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Playwright Christopher Durang to speak

Tuesday, March 25, 2008, 4:30 p.m. 219 Burr Hall
Leading American playwright Christopher Durang will present a lecture and answer questions at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, in 219 Burr Hall.

Playwright Noah Haidle, a 2001 Princeton graduate who is a lecturer in theater and dance, will lead the discussion. The event is sponsored by the Lewis Center for the Arts.

Durang has written numerous plays that have been produced on- and off-Broadway, as well as nationally and internationally. His works often deal with issues of child abuse, the Roman Catholic culture and homosexuality. They include "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You," "Beyond Therapy," "Baby With the Bathwater," "The Nature and Purpose of the Universe," "Titanic," "A History of the American Film," "The Marriage of Bette and Boo," "Laughing Wild," "'Dentity Crisis," "The Actor's Nightmare," "The Vietnamization of New Jersey," "Betty's Summer Vacation," "Adrift in Macao," "Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge" and "Miss Witherspoon" as well as a collection of one-act parodies and unproduced screenplays including "The House of Husbands," which he co-wrote with Wendy Wasserstein.

In addition to having an outstanding career as a playwright, Durang has performed as an actor for both stage and film. Among his notable performances are in the satirical review "Das Lusitania Songspiel," with Sigourney Weaver, and as Matt in "The Marriage of Bette and Boo," his own play for which he received one of his three Obie Awards.

Durang also received Obie Awards for "Sister Mary Ignatius" and "Betty's Summer Vacation" and a Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for "A History of the American Film." His long list of awards, honors and fellowships includes a Guggenheim, Rockefeller, CBS Playwriting Fellowship, the Lecomte du Nouy Foundation grant and the Kenyon Festival Theatre Playwriting Prize. He also was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in drama in 2006 for "Miss Witherspoon."

Durang holds an A.B. in English from Harvard University and an M.F.A. in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild Council and is co-chair of the playwriting program at the Juilliard School.

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