Beth Henley was born in Jackson, Mississippi. Her plays include Crimes of the Heart and The Wake of Jamey Foster, which were performed on Broadway. Off-Broadway productions include: The Miss Firecracker Contest, Am I Blue, The Lucky Spot, The Debutante Ball, Abundance, Impossible Marriage, Family Week and The Jacksonian. Studio Theatre produced the world premiere of her play Laugh in 2015.
Beth Henley was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Drama and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play for Crimes of the Heart. Other awards include: American Theatre Wing 1998 Award for Distinguished Achievement in Playwriting; Susan Smith Blackburn Finalist for Crimes of the Heart and Ridiculous Fraud; Richard Wright Literary Excellence Award 2000; New York Stage and Film Honoree, 2007; ATHE Career Achievement Award, 2010; Honoree William Inge Festival, 2017.
Ms. Henley has the honor of serving as Theatre Arts Presidential Professor at LMU, Los Angeles. She is a member of The Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Dramatists Guild and the Academy of Arts and Science.