Christopher Durang

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Old News:

Christopher Durang had two prominent revivals in the summer of 2008.  The first was Roundabout Theatre’s presentation of Durang’s 1985 Obie-winning playThe Marriage of Bette and Boo in its first major NYC revival.  The well received production was directed by Walter Bobbie, and starred Kate Jennings Grant and Christopher Evan Welch as Bette and Boo.   The rest of the talented cast was Victoria Clark and Adam LeFevre as Margaret and Paul, John Glover and Julie Hagerty as Karl and Soot, Heather Burns and Zoe Lister-Jones as sisters Emily and Joan, Terry Beaver as Father Donnally, and Charles Socarides as Matt.  

The second revival was Durang’s screwball comedy Beyond Therapy -- about messed up lovers and even more messed up therapists -- presented in a joint production by the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Massachusetts and the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, Long Island, N.Y.  The production was directed by Alex Timbers, and starred Katie Finneran and Darren Goldstein as Prudence and Bruce, Darrell Hammond and Kate Burton as the two therapists, Matt McGrath as Bob, and Bryce Pinkham as Andrew.   

THE WILLIAM INGE THEATRE FESTIVAL – Christopher Durang was the Honoree of the 27th William Inge Theatre Festival, April 23-26, 2008, in Independence, Kansas.  He received the William Inge Theatre Festival Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award on Sat. April 26, 2008. Previous Honorees include Arthur Miller, August Wilson, Neil Simon, Edward Albee, Stephen Sondheim, Wendy Wasserstein, and Tina Howe, among others.  The tribute festival finale presented a full evening of excerpts of Durang’s work, performed by an impressive group of actors: Dominic Barker, Barbara Dana, Brad Herbelee, Kaitlin Hopkins, Susan Hyon, Michele Pawk, Jim Price, Patricia Randell, Alan Safier, Walter Willison, Elizabeth Wilson, and two “surprise guests,” Kate McGregor-Stewart and E. Katherine Kerr (both of whom originated roles in Durang’s works).  It was a lovely event.

PLAYWRIGHTS’ SIDEWALK – at the Lucille Lortel Awards on May 7, 2007, Durang was honored with a star on the sidewalk outside the Lucille Lortel Theatre on Christopher Street in New York City.  Movie stars famously have their feet and hand prints in the sidewalk outside of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.   This is the playwrights’ more modest version of that.  Check out this website, and move the cursor over the sidewalk and find out which playwrights are where.  

OldER News:

CHRISTOPHER DURANG was awarded the Harvard Arts Medal on May 5, 2006. Durang, a 1971 graduate of Harvard College, was the 12th person to win the medal, and the first playwright. Previous medal recipients include cellist Yo-Yo Ma ’76, film director Mira Nair ’79, director Peter Sellars ’80, composers William Christie ’66 and John Harbison ’60, National Theatre of the Deaf founder David Hays ’52, author John Updike ’54, musicians Bonnie Raitt ’72 and Pete Seeger ’40, and the late actor Jack Lemmon ’47.”  Click here: Harvard Gazette: Playwright Durang wins Harvard Arts Medal

Christopher Durang and Debra Monk performed in a revival of Durang’s play Laughing Wild in the spring of 2005 at the Huntington Theatre in Boston. The production was directed by Nicholas Martin.

DURANG and MARSHA NORMAN won the Margo Jones Medal last fall for their work in playwriting and especially for their teaching of emerging playwrights at the Juilliard School in Manhattan. There was a ceremony honoring them in November, 2004 at Juilliard.

Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge is a good antidote to holiday cheer for those theatres looking for such a thing. The play was a big hit when it premiered at City Theatre in Pittsburgh, and it is now available through Dramatists Play Services. There’s more information on this website in the Full Length Plays section.  Click Here for more about  Mrs. Bob Crachit's Wild Christmas Binge 

Beyond Therapy - perhaps of interest to people putting on that play of Durang’s about patients and their therapists, there is a recorded CD version of the play (a “play on tape” or rather “play on cd”).  It has a distinguished cast: David Hyde Pierce who plays Bruce, Catherine O’Hara (of all those funny Christopher Guest movies) who plays Prudence, Kate McGregor-Stewart who created the role of Mrs. Wallace in the original production on Broadway and who performs it again here; Ed Begley, Jr. who plays the macho therapist; Richard Kind who plays the lover Bob; and Durang who plays the small part of Andrew the waiter (which was originally done by David Hyde Pierce in his first Equity job).  If you’re interested, you can get the CD through Amazon here is their link: amazon.com


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