Middlebury

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of "Angels in America," Tony Kushner, to give a reading April 28

April 19, 2004

"Some playwrights want to change the world.  Some want to revolutionize theater.  Tony Kushner is that rarity of rarities: a writer who has the promise to do both."

--The New York Times

 

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of "Angels in America," Tony Kushner, will give a reading of his works in progress on Wednesday, April 28, at 5 p.m. in Middlebury College's Dana Auditorium.  After the reading, Middlebury College Visiting Lecturer in Theatre Dana Yeaton will interview Kushner, who will then take questions from the audience.  Immediately following the event, there will be a reception in Sunderland Lobby.  Dana Auditorium and Sunderland Lobby are located in Sunderland Language Center on College Street (Route 125).  All events are free and open to the public.

According to the Web site of the Steven Barclay Agency, Kushner's lecture agency, Kushner intends his plays to be part of a greater political movement; his work is concerned with moral responsibility during politically repressive times.  He also addresses timeless matters, such as faith, death and life.

Kushner's seven-hour, two-part, Broadway production of "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" received a Pulitzer Prize, two Tony Awards, two Drama Desk Awards, the Evening Standard Award, two Olivier Award nominations, the New York Critics

Circle Award, the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, and the LAMBDA Literary Award for Drama.  In 1998, London's National Theatre selected "Angels in America" as one of the 10 best plays of the 20th century.  About "Angels in America," Newsweek magazine wrote, "The entire work is the broadest, deepest, most searching American play of our time."  The 2003 HBO television version of the play was directed by Mike Nichols and featured actors Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson.

Kushner's many other plays include "Hydriotaphia," "A Bright Room Called Day" and "Homebody/Kabul."  He is also the author of several books, such as "Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue and Happiness:  Essays, a Play, Two Poems and a Prayer," and a picture book titled "Brundibar," based on the American version of the opera of the same name, which he crafted with author and illustrator Maurice Sendak.  He is the editor of "Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict."

Kushner has received grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, the NEA, the Whiting Foundation, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters; he has also received a Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Fellowship, and a medal for cultural achievement from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture.  He lives in New York City.

The April 28 event is co-sponsored by several Middlebury College organizations: the office for institutional diversity, the PALANA Center, the American literature and civilization department, Chellis House, the theatre department, Gay and Lesbian Employees at Middlebury (GLEAM), and the film and media culture program.

For more information, contact Jessa Karki or Roman Graf of the Middlebury College Office for Institutional Diversity at 802-443-5615.

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