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Reading by OBIE Award-Winning Playwright/Actor Wallace Shawn Monday, April 22, 2013 at 4:30 PM
James M. Stewart '32 Theater at 185 Nassau St.

On Monday, April 22, renowned playwright and actor Wallace Shawn will read from his work as part of the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series of the Program in Creative Writing at the Lewis Center for the Arts.  The reading, beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the James M. Stewart ’32 Theater at 185 Nassau Street, is free and open to the public.

Perhaps best known as an actor for his performances in film and television, Wallace Shawn is also a highly regarded, OBIE Award-winning playwright.  His early plays, such as Marie and Bruce dealt with sexual and emotional conflicts, while his later plays evolved to become overtly political. His plays include Four Meals in May (1967), The Family Play (1970), The Hotel Play (1970), The Hospital Play (1971), Our Late Night (1975), A Thought in Three Parts (1976), Marie and Bruce (1978), Aunt Dan and Lemon (1985), The Fever (1990), The Designated Mourner (1997; adapted to film in 1998), and Grasses of a Thousand Colors (2008).

After receiving an A.B. in History from Harvard University, Shawn attended Oxford University to study Economics and Philosophy before teaching English in India for the Fulbright Program. Originally intending to become a diplomat, he found himself drawn into the word of literature and drama.

Shawn made his acting debut in Woody Allen’s Manhattan (1979). Since then, he has appeared in over 70 films including the semi-autobiographical My Dinner with Andre (1981), Strange Invaders (1983), The Princess Bride (1987), Vanya on 42nd Street (1994), Clueless (1995), The Toy Story series (1995, 1999, 2010), The Incredibles (2004), and Chicken Little (2005), among others. On television, he has appeared in Ally McBeal, Murphy Brown, The Cosby Show, Crossing Jordan, and Taxi.

Shawn’s other writings include political commentary in The Nation, a one-issue political magazine called Final Edition, and Essays. He has also penned a translation of Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera.

The Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series will conclude with a reading by students in spring Creative Writing courses on May 1 and a reading by seniors in the Program in Creative Writing on May 6. The series, which this year included readings by Joseph O’Neill, Azar Nafisi, A.S. Byatt, Denis Johnson, and Tom Sleigh, among others, will resume in September.

To learn more about the Program in Creative Writing, the reading series, and the more than 100 events offered annually by the Lewis Center visit

Photos Link:
Photo Caption: Playwright and actor Wallace Shawn
Photo Credit: Photo by Jared Rodriguez

The Lewis Center for the Arts encompasses Princeton University’s academic programs in creative writing, dance, theater, and visual arts, as well as the interdisciplinary Princeton Atelier.   The Center represents a major initiative of President Shirley M. Tilghman to fully embrace the arts as an essential part of the educational experience for all who study and teach at Princeton.  Over 100 diverse public performances, exhibitions, readings, and lectures are offered each year, most of them free or at a nominal admission fee.  For more information about the Lewis Center for the Arts visit

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