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Georgia-born, L.A.-based artist Hannah Manikowski is a professional playmaker with training at the cross-section of theatre and game design. Her love of the embodied nature of theatre paired with the individualized, player-first mentality of gaming led her to her current work: crafting stories in and for immersive experiences. 

As the Narrative Designer at the most-visited immersive experience in the country, AREA15, Hannah is responsible for molding the IP, implementing story, and always asking, "How do we invite our guests to care more deeply?" 

Prior to AREA15, Hannah worked as a writer at both immersive art behemoth, Meow Wolf and experiential retailer, CAMP. She has also served as an Associate Producer within Blizzard Entertainment's Story and Franchise department. Outside of her work in the immersive and gaming spaces, Hannah enjoys a robust artistic identity as a playwright.

As a theatre artist, Hannah holds a BFA in Directing from the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University. Through her work, Hannah prioritizes excavating the mundane within the magical and the magical within the mundane. Among other honors, Hannah has been named a 2023 Jane Chambers Prize finalist, a 2020 O'Neill finalist, and the winner of the 2018 - 2019 Judith Barlow Prize. She's a proud alumna of The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals, The Road Theatre's Under Construction year-long playwriting cohort, and the inaugural Tepper Semester Playwriting Program, where she studied under Broadway-produced playwright Antoinette Nwandu. Her play, The Sunrise from the Moon has enjoyed readings/development through both the San Francisco Playhouse and the MACH 33 Festival (a collaboration between Pasadena Playhouse and CalTech) and received a full university production in spring 2023 through CalTech Theatre, where Hannah served as a writer in residence. Compensation, meanwhile, received its professional world premiere in 2021 at Island City Stage in Florida. Critics called the script "effectively lacerating," hailing that "every emotion associated with pregnancy and pending parenthood is present in the 95 minutes of Hannah Manikowski’s smart and promising play." You can read her plays on NPX.

If this were not evident from her photo at left (thanks, Tom's One Hour Photo!), Hannah takes herself significantly less seriously than she takes her career. She's basically a sentient Easter egg. Alongside building imaginative new worlds, Hannah rescues homeless bunny rabbits. Her largest bunny, Marni, is 12 pounds, and she is magnificent.

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