Tina Howe, reared in New York City, was born into an aristocratic and celebrated family. Her grandfather, Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe, was a renowned poet and Pulitzer Prize recipient. Her father, Quincy Howe, was an eminent radio and television broadcaster, and her mother, Mary, was a painter. After attending private schools in New York, Howe went to Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, where she received a baccalaureate degree in 1959. Howe tried her hand at playwriting during her undergraduate studies and had a play produced (Closing Time) at Sarah Lawrence College, with Howe directing and Jane Alexander, Howe’s classmate, starring in the production. She did not seriously consider becoming a dramatist, however, until the year after her graduation, when she traveled to Paris and had the opportunity to meet aspiring young writers and, more important, to see various experimental, absurdist theater productions, in particular Eugène Ionesco’s La Cantatrice chauve (pr. 1950; The Bald Soprano, 1956) and Rhinocéros (pr., pb. 1959; Rhinoceros, 1959). This experience was a turning point for Howe, for the absurdist dramas appealed to her own antic, comic spirit, and these plays would later influence her dramaturgical style. She returned to New York, married writer Norman Levy in 1961, and taught high school English in Maine, where she also served as drama coach for the school’s club. This position helped her learn her craft, for the rigors of writing one-act plays for the club’s production season helped her gain the discipline and focus that she needed as a writer. During the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Howe and Levy took various teaching positions at colleges in Chicago, Madison, and Albany. Howe continued to write plays, with The Nest receiving a professional production. In 1973, the couple settled in New York City with their two children. In 1983 Howe began working as an adjunct professor of playwriting at New York University and in 1990 became a visiting professor at Hunter College.