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АКУЛИЧ Людмила Давыдовна
Для студентов специальностей 1-02 03 06-01 «Английский язык.
Немецкий язык»; 1-02 03 06-03 «Английский язык. Французский
язык»; 1-02 03 07-02 «Английский язык. Информатика»
Periods in the history of the theatre in the United States
Broadway – the theatrical centre of the USA
American musical theatre
Notable contemporary American playwrights
Theater of the United States is based in the Western tradition,
mostly borrowed from the performance styles prevalent in Europe. Today,
it is heavily interlaced with American literature, film, television, and
music, and it is not uncommon for a single story to appear in all forms.
Regions with significant music scenes often have strong theater and
comedy traditions as well. Musical theater may be the most popular form:
it is certainly the most colorful, and choreographed motions pioneered on
stage have found their way onto movie and television screens. Broadway
in New York City is generally considered the pinnacle of commercial U.S.
theater, though this art form appears all across the country. Another city of
particular note is Chicago, which boasts the most diverse and dynamic
theater scene in the country. Regional or resident theatres in the United
States are professional theatre companies outside of New York City that
produce their own seasons. There is also community theatre and showcase
theatre (performing arts group). Even tiny rural communities sometimes
awe audiences with extravagant productions.
Note: "theater" is the preferred spelling in the U.S., see spelling
1) History
Early history
The birth of professional theater in America is usually thought to
have begun with the Lewis Hallam troupe which arrived in Williamsburg,
Virginia in 1752. However it is certain that theater existed in North
America before that. A theater was built in Williamsburg in 1715, and in
January 1736, the original Dock Street Theatre was opened in Charles
Town, SC. Thomas Kean played the part of Richard III in New York City
in 1750, and probably performed in Williamsburg shortly before the
Hallams. (Amateur theater is recorded to have existed as early as 1665,
when performers of a play were prosecuted in Accomack County, Virginia
on charges of public wickedness.) In any case The Hallams were the first
to organize a complete company of actors in Europe (London in this case)
and bring them to the colonies. They brought a repertoire of the most
popular plays from London, including Hamlet, The Recruiting Officer, and
Richard III. The Merchant of Venice was their first performance, shown
initially on September 15 1752. Encountering opposition from religious
organisations, Hallam and his company left for Jamaica in 1754 or 1755.
Soon after, Lewis Hallam's son, Lewis Hallam, Jr., founded the American
Company which opened a theater in New York and presented the first
professionally-mounted American play, The Prince of Parthia by Thomas
Godfrey, in 1767.
Throughout the 18th century there was widespread opposition to
theatrical performances. In the puritanical climate of the time, especially in
the North, the theater was considered a "highway to hell". Laws forbidding
the performance of plays were passed in Massachusetts in 1750, in
Pennsylvania in 1759, and in Rhode Island in 1761, and it was banned in
most states during the American Revolutionary War at the urging of the
Continental Congress. In 1794 President Timothy Dwight IV of Yale
College in his "Essay on the Stage" declared that "to indulge a taste for
playgoing means nothing more or less than the loss of that most valuable
treasure: the immortal soul.". However it is likely that these ordinances
were not strictly enforced, for we have records of performances in many
cities during this time.
In the early 19th century, theater became more common in the
United States, and many celebrity actors from Europe toured the United
States. There were even a few famous , such as Edwin Forrest and
Charlotte Cushman. Many theater owners, such as William Dunlap and
Thomas Abthorpe Cooper, similarly became well known throughout the
young nation.
The Walnut Street Theatre (or simply The Walnut) is the oldest
continuously-operating theater in America, located in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania at 825 Walnut Street. The Walnut was built by The Circus of
Pepin and Breschard, in 1809.
Most cities only had a single theater. Productions were much more
rudimentary then, and sometimes plays would be staged in barns or dining
rooms when no theater was available. Provincial theaters frequently lacked
heat and even minimal props and scenery. As the Westward Expansion of
the country progressed, some entrepreneurs staged floating theaters on
boats which would travel from town to town. Eventually, towns grew to
the size that they could afford "long runs" of a production, and in 1841, a
single play was shown in New York City for an unprecedented three
Shakespeare was the most commonly performed playwright, along
with other European authors. American playwrights of the period existed,
but are mostly forgotten now. American plays of the period are mostly
melodramas, often weaving in local themes or characters such as the
heroic but ill-fated Indian. The most enduring melodrama of this period is
Uncle Tom's Cabin, adapted by H. J. Conway from the novel by Harriet
Beecher Stowe.
A popular form of theater during this time was the minstrel show,
arguably the first uniquely American style of performance. These shows
featured white actors dressed in blackface and playing up racial
stereotypes. These shows became the most watched theatrical form of the
Throughout the 19th century, many preachers continued to warn
against attending plays as being sinful. Theater was associated with
hedonism and even violence, and actors especially female actors, were
looked upon as little better than prostitutes. A serious rivalry between
William Charles Macready and Edwin Forrest mirrored the sports rivalries
of later years. The Astor Place Riot of 1849 in New York was sparked by
this rivalry, and brought about the deaths of 22 people. Then, at the end of
the United States Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was shot in Ford's Theater
while watching a play.
Burlesque became a popular form of entertainment in the middle of
the 19th century. Originally a form of farce in which females in male roles
mocked the politics and culture of the day, burlesque was condemned by
opinion makers for its sexuality and outspokenness. The form was
hounded off the "legitimate stage" and found itself relegated to saloons
and barrooms. The female producers were replaced by their male
counterparts, who toned down the politics and played up the sexuality,
until the shows eventually became little more than pretty girls in skimpy
clothing singing songs, while male comedians told raunchy jokes.
The Civil War ended much of the prosperity of the South, and with
it, its independent theaters. Only New Orleans was able to recover its
theatrical tradition in the 19th century, if only partially. In the North,
theater flourished as a post-war boom allowed longer and more frequest
productions. The advent of railroads allowed actors to travel much more
easily between towns, making theaters in small towns more feasible. By
the late 19th century, there were thousands of cities and towns with at least
a rudimentary theater for live productions. This trend also allowed larger
and more elaborate sets to travel with players from city to city. The advent
of electric lighting led to changes in styles, as more details could be seen
by the audience.
By the 1880s theaters on Broadway in New York City, and along
42nd Street, took on a flavor of their own, giving rise to new stage forms
such as the Broadway musical (strongly influenced by the feelings of
immigrants coming to New York with great hope and ambition, many of
whom went into the theater). New York became the organizing center for
theater throughout the U.S.
In 1896, Charles Frohman, Al Hayman, Abe Erlanger, Mark Klaw,
Samuel F. Nixon, and Fred Zimmerman formed the Theatrical Syndicate.
Their organization established systemized booking networks throughout
the United States and created a monopoly that controlled every aspect of
contracts and bookings until the late 1910s when the Shubert brothers
broke their stranglehold on the industry.
The 20th century
Vaudeville was common in the late 19th and early 20th century, and
is notable for heavily influencing early film, radio, and television
productions in the country. (This was born from an earlier American
practice of having singers and novelty acts perform between acts in a
standard play.) George Burns was a very long-lived American comedian
who started out in the vaudeville community, but went on to enjoy a career
running until the 1990s.
Some vaudeville theaters built between about 1900 and 1920
managed to survive as well, though many went through periods of
alternate use, most often as movie theaters until the second half of the
century saw many urban populations decline and multiplexes built in the
suburbs. Since that time, a number have been restored to original or
nearly-original condition and attract new audiences nearly one hundred
years later.
By the beginning of the 20th century, legitimate (non-vaudville)
theater had become decidedly more sophisticated in the United States, as it
had in Europe. The stars of this era, such as Ethel Barrymore and John
Drew, were often seen as even more important than the show itself. The
advance of motion pictures also led to many changes in theater. The
popularity of musicals may have been due in part to the fact the early films
had no sound, and could thus not compete, until The Jazz Singer of 1927,
which combined both talking and music in a moving picture. More
complex and sophisticated dramas bloomed in this time period, and acting
styles became more subdued. Even by 1915, actors were being lured away
from theater and to the silver screen, and vaudeville was beginning to face
stiff competition.
While revues consisting of mostly unconnected songs, sketches,
comedy routines, and scantily-glad dancing girls dominated for the first 20
years of the 20th century, musical theater would eventually develop
beyond this. One of the first major steps was Show Boat, with music by
Jerome Kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein. It featured songs and nonmusical scenes which were integrated to develop the show's plot. The next
great step forward was Oklahoma!, with lyrics by Hammerstein and music
by Richard Rodgers. Its "dream ballets" used dance to carry forward the
plot and develop the characters.
Amateur performing groups have always had a place along side
professional acting companies. The Winneshiek Players, an amateur
theater group in Freeport, IL, first organized in 1916. After a few years of
sporadic performances at various venues, the group reorganized in 1926.
The group has been in continuous operation since that time, making them
the oldest continuously operating theater group in the United States.
Detailed history of the Winneshiek Players can be found in the 1970
edition of History of Stephenson County. Records of all productions are
maintained in the archives of the Winneshiek Players.
The massive social change that went on during the Great
Depression also had an effect on theater in the United States. Plays took on
social roles, identifying with immigrants and the unemployed. The Federal
Theatre Project, a New Deal program set up by Franklin D. Roosevelt,
helped to promote theater and provide jobs for actors. The program staged
many elaborate and controversial plays such as It Can't Happen Here by
Sinclair Lewis and The Cradle Will Rock by Marc Blitzstein. By contrast,
the legendary producer Brock Pemberton (founder of the Tony Awards)
was among those who felt that it was more than ever a time for comic
entertainement, in order to provide an escape from the prevailing harsh
social conditions: typical of his productions was Lawrence Riley's comedy
Personal Appearance (1934), whose success on Broadway (501
performances) vindicated Pemberton.
After World War II, American theater came into its own. Several
American playwrights, such as Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams,
became world-renowned. In the Sixties, experimentation in the Arts spread
into theater as well, with plays such as Hair including nudity and drug
culture references. Musicals remained popular as well, and musicals such
as West Side Story and A Chorus Line broke previous records.
In the late 1990s and 2000s, American theatre began to borrow
from cinematic and operatic roots. For instance, Julie Taymor, director of
The Lion King directed Die Zauberflote at the Metropolitan Opera. Also,
Broadway musicals were developed around Disney's Mary Poppins,
Tarzan, The Little Mermaid, and the one that started it all, Beauty and the
Beast, which may have contributed to Times Square's revitalization in the
1990s. Also, Mel Brooks's The Producers and Young Frankenstein are
based on his hit films.
American theater today
Earlier styles of theater such as minstrel shows and Vaudeville acts
have disappeared from the landscape, but theater remains a popular
American art form. Broadway productions still entertain millions of
theatergoers as productions have become more elaborate and expensive.
Notable contemporary American playwrights include Edward Albee,
August Wilson, Tony Kushner, David Henry Hwang, and Wendy
Wasserstein. Smaller urban theaters have stayed a source of innovation,
and regional theaters remain an important part of theater life. Drama is
also taught in high schools and colleges, which was not done in previous
eras, and many become interested in theater through this.
2) Broadway theatre is commonly called simply Broadway, are
theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres
with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center
along Broadway, in the Manhattan borough of New York City. Along with
London's West End theatres, Broadway theatres are widely considered to
represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking
world.The Broadway Theater District is a popular tourist attraction in New
York City.In the early years of the 20th century, translations of popular
late-19th century continental operettas were joined by the "Princess
Theatre" shows of the 1910s by writers such as P. G. Wodehouse, Guy
Bolton and Harry B. Smith. Victor Herbert, whose work included some
intimate musical plays with modern settings as well as his string of famous
operettas (The Fortune Teller (1898), Babes in Toyland (1903), Mlle.
Modiste (1905), The Red Mill (1906), and Naughty Marietta
(1910)).Beginning with The Red Mill, Broadway shows installed electric
signs outside the theatres. Since colored bulbs burned out too quickly,
white lights were used, and Broadway was nicknamed "The Great White
Way". In August 1919, the Actors Equity Association demanded a
standard contract for all professional productions. After a strike shut down
all the theatres, the producers were forced to agree. By the 1920s, the
Shubert Brothers had risen to take over the majority of the theatres from
the Erlanger syndicate.During this time, the play Lightnin' became the first
Broadway show to reach 700 performances. From then, it would go on to
become the first show to reach 1,000 performances. Lightnin' was the
longest-running Broadway show until being overtaken in performance
totals by Abie's Irish Rose in 1925.
The Center Theatre was a theater located at 1230 Sixth Avenue,
the southeast corner of West 49th Street in Rockefeller Center in New
York City. Seating 3500, it was originally designed as a movie palace in
1932 and later achieved fame as a showcase for live musical ice-skating
spectacles. It was demolished in 1954, the only building in the original
Rockefeller Center complex to have been torn down. The Center Theatre
was originally called the RKO Roxy Theatre and opened December 29,
1932 with the RKO film The Animal Kingdom and a live stage show. It
was intended as a smaller sister to the 6,000 seat Radio City Music Hall
one block away, which at first did not show films. The Center Theatre
featured an elegant Art Deco design which was muted by comparison to
the lavish Radio City Music Hall. The architect was Edward Durrell Stone
and decor was by Eugene Schoen. The spare but striking design featured
curved walls paneled in mahogany. The large stage contained hydraulic
lifts as did the orchestra pit. Looking for a way to make the Center Theatre
profitable, Rockefeller Center, inspired by the theatrical success of figureskating champion Sonja Henie, converted it into a theater expressly
designed for the presentation of musical ice shows. As an ice theater, the
Center Theatre reopened on October 10, 1940 with the presentation of
Sonja Henie's production, In 1950, after the novelty of ice shows waned,
the Center was leased by NBC and became a venue for live television
broadcasts. Many early programs, including The Voice of Firestone and
Your Show of Shows, were broadcast from the Center.After only 21 years
the Center Theatre was demolished in 1954 and replaced with a 19 story
office building, an addition to the United States Rubber Company
Building. The Center Theatre had never been able to become a
consistently profitable venture for Rockefeller Center.
An Off-Broadway theatre is a professional venue in New York
City with a seating capacity between 100 and 499. These theatres are
smaller than Broadway theatres.An "Off-Broadway production" is a
production of a play, musical or revue that appears in such a venue, and
which adheres to related trade union and other contracts.Originally
referring to the location of a venue and its productions on a street
intersecting Broadway in Manhattan's Theater District, the hub of the
theatre industry in the United States, the term later became defined by the
League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers as a professional venue
in New York City with a seating capacity between 100 and 499, or a
specific production that appears in such a venue, and which adheres to
related trade union and other contracts.
Previously, regardless of the size of the venue, a theatre was not considered OffBroadway if it was within the "Broadway Box" (extending from 40th to 54th
Street, and from west of Sixth Avenue to east of Eighth Avenue, and including
Times Square and 42nd Street). The contractual definition changed this to
encompass theatres meeting the standard, which is beneficial to these theatres
because of the lower minimum required salary for Actors' Equity performers at
Off-Broadway theatres as compared with the salary requirements of the union for
Broadway theatres. Examples of Off-Broadway theatres within the Broadway
Box are the Laura Pels Theatre and the Snapple Theater Center.According to
Bloom and Vlastnik, the Off-Broadway movement started in the 1950s, as a
reaction to the "perceived commercialism of Broadway" and provided an "outlet
for a new generation" of creative artists. This "fertile breeding ground, away
from the pressures of commercial production and critical brickbats, helped give a
leg up to hundreds of future Broadway greats. The first great Off-Broadway
musical was the 1954 revival of the Brecht/Weill ThreepennyOpera."A number
of Off-Broadway musicals have had subsequent runs on Broadway. These have
included musicals such as Hair, Godspell, A Chorus Line, Little Shop of
Horrors, Sunday in the Park with George, Rent, Grey Gardens, Urinetown,
Avenue Q, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Rock of Ages, In The
Heights, Spring Awakening and Next to Normal. Plays that have moved to
Broadway include Doubt, I Am My Own Wife, Bridge & Tunnel, The Normal
Heart, and Coastal Disturbances. Other productions, such as Stomp, Blue Man
Group, Altar Boyz, Perfect Crime and Naked Boys Singing have run for several
years Off Broadway. The Fantasticks, the longest-running musical in theatre
history, spent its original 42-year run Off Broadway.
3) American musical theatre - musical play and musical comedy: “semi –
classical” or “classical- popular” musical form, from “Oklahoma” and “Westside
story” to “Hair” and “Cats”; the music of Gershwin and Bernstein. America’s
most influential musicians: Hopkinson, Billings, MacDowell, Joplin, B.B. King,
Armstrong, Duke Elington, Gershwin, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley.
It took many years for the American musical theatre to acquire its own
identity. The first musical production in the Colonies was Flora, a performance
that took place in a court room in Charleston, South Carolina, on February 8,
1735. Flora was a ballad opera imported from England. The English ballad opera
remained popular in the Colonies for several decades.
Musical play is a theater production with many songs and dances that
provide the story.
Musical comedy is a comedic play or movie in which dialogue is
interspersed with songs, especially one with a focus on musical numbers and a
simple plot.
The saga of the trials and tribulations of Oklahoma! before it reached its
première performance in New York to become one of the surpassing triumphs of
the American theatre is now a twice-told tale. Virtually everybody connected
with the production was convinced he was involved with a box-office disaster.
Here was a musical without stars; without "gags" and humour; without the sex
appeal of chorus girls in flimsy attire. Here was a musical that strayed into
realism and grim tragedy, with Jud as one of the main characters, and his death
as a climax of the story. Here, finally, was a musical which for the first time in
Broadway history leaned heavily upon American folk-ballet -the choreography
by Agnes De Mille, one of America's foremost choreographers and ballet
dancers. Oklahoma! might be fine art, was the general consensus of opinion
before première time, but it was poison at the box-office. The effort to get the
necessary financial backing proved to be a back-breaking operation, successfully
consummated only because the Theatre Guild, which had undertaken the
production, had many friends and allies. But there was hardly an investor
anywhere who did not think he was throwing his money down a sewer. When
Oklahoma! opened out of town scouts sent back to New York the succinct
message: "No Girls, No Gags, No Chance." After the New York opening, the
line was revised to read: "No Girls, No Gags, No Tickets." For at that première
performance the surpassing beauty, the freshness, the imagination and the magic
of this musical play held the audience spellbound from the opening curtain on.
There was a vociferous ovation at the end. The next day the critics vied with
each other in the expression of superlatives. One of them, Lewis Nichols, did not
hesitate to describe it as "folk opera". But Oklahoma! not only opened new vistas
for the American musical theatre with its new and unorthodox approaches, and
with the vitality and inspiration of Hammerstein's text and lyrics and Rodgers'
music. It created box-office history. It ran on Broadway for five years and nine
months (2,248 performances), breaking all of the then existing records both for
length of run and for box-office receipts. A national company toured the United
States for ten years, performing in about 250 cities before an audience exceeding
ten million. In addition, when the New York engagement ended, the original
company went on a tour of seventy-one cities. Companies were formed to
produce the play in Europe, South Africa, Scandinavia, Australia and for the
armed forces in all the theatres of war during the last years of the Second World
War. In London its run proved the longest in the three-hundred year history of
the Drury Lane Theatre.
West Side Story is an American musical with a book by Arthur Laurents,
music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and conception and
choreography by Jerome Robbins. It was inspired by William Shakespeare's play
Romeo and Juliet.
The story is set in the East 40s and West 50s of the Upper West Side
neighborhood in New York City in the mid-1950s, an ethnic, blue-collar
neighborhood. The musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks,
two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. The members of the
Sharks from Puerto Rico are taunted by the Jets, a Polish-American workingclass group. The young protagonist, Tony, one of the Jets, falls in love with
Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. The dark theme,
sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems
marked a turning point in American musical theatre. Bernstein's score for the
musical includes "Something's Coming", "Maria", "America", "Somewhere",
"Tonight", "Jet Song", "I Feel Pretty", "A Boy Like That", "One Hand, One
Heart", "Gee, Officer Krupke", and "Cool".The original 1957 Broadway
production, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and produced by
Robert E. Griffith and Harold Prince, marked Sondheim's Broadway debut. It ran
for 732 performances before going on tour. The production was nominated for
six Tony Awards including Best Musical in 1957, but the award for Best Musical
went to Meredith Willson's The Music Man; it won a Tony Award for Robbins'
choreography. The show had an even longer-running London production, a
number of revivals and international productions. The play spawned an
innovative 1961 musical film of the same name, directed by Robert Wise and
Robbins, starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris
and Russ Tamblyn. The film won ten Academy Awards out of eleven
nominations, including Best Picture.
Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical is a rock musical with a
book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and music by Galt
MacDermot. A product of the hippie counter-culture and sexual revolution of the
1960s, several of its songs became anthems of the anti-Vietnam War peace
movement. The musical's profanity, its depiction of the use of illegal drugs, its
treatment of sexuality, its irreverence for the American flag, and its nude scene
caused much comment and controversy. The musical broke new ground in
musical theatre by defining the genre of "rock musical", using a racially
integrated cast, and inviting the audience onstage for a "Be-In" finale.Hair tells
the story of the "tribe", a group of politically active, long-haired hippies of the
"Age of Aquarius" living a bohemian life in New York City and fighting against
conscription into the Vietnam War. Claude, his good friend Berger, their
roommate Sheila and their friends struggle to balance their young lives, loves
and the sexual revolution with their rebellion against the war and their
conservative parents and society. Ultimately, Claude must decide whether to
resist the draft as his friends have done, or to succumb to the pressures of his
parents (and conservative America) to serve in Vietnam, compromising his
pacifistic principles and risking his life.After an Off-Broadway debut in October
1967 at Joseph Papp's Public Theater and a subsequent run in a midtown
discothèque space, the show opened on Broadway in April 1968 and ran for
1,750 performances. Simultaneous productions in cities across the United States
and Europe followed shortly thereafter, including a successful London
production that ran for 1,997 performances. Since then, numerous productions
have been staged around the world, spawning dozens of recordings of the
musical, including the 3 million-selling original Broadway cast recording. Some
of the songs from its score became Top 10 hits, and a feature film adaptation was
released in 1979. A Broadway revival opened on March 31, 2009, earning strong
reviews and winning the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for best revival of
a musical. In 2008, Time magazine wrote, "Today Hair seems, if anything, more
daring than ever".
Cats (stylized as CATS) is a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd
Webber, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. The
musical tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they
make what is known as "the Jellicle choice" and decide which cat will ascend to
the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life. Cats also introduced the song
standard "Memory".Directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Gillian
Lynne, Cats first opened in the West End in 1981 and then with the same
creative team on Broadway in 1982. It won numerous awards, including Best
Musical at both the Laurence Olivier Awards and the Tony Awards. The London
production ran for twenty-one years and the Broadway production ran for
eighteen years, both setting . Actresses Elaine Paige and Betty Buckley became
particularly associated with the musical. One actress, Marlene Danielle,
performed in the Broadway production for its entire run (from 1982 until
2000).Cats is the second longest-running show in Broadway history, and the
fourth longest-running West End musical. It has been performed around the
world many times and has been translated into more than 20 languages. In 1998,
Cats was turned into a made-for-television film.
George Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an
American composer and pianist.Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular
and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known. Among
his best known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue and An
American in Paris, as well as the opera Porgy and Bess.
Gershwin studied piano under Charles Hambitzer and composition with
Rubin Goldmark and Henry Cowell. He began his career as a song plugger, but
soon started composing Broadway theatre works with his brother Ira Gershwin
and Buddy DeSylva. He moved to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger, where
he began to compose An American in Paris. After returning to New York City,
he wrote Porgy and Bess with Ira and the author DuBose Heyward. Initially a
commercial failure, Porgy and Bess is now considered one of the most important
American operas of the twentieth century. Gershwin moved to Hollywood and
composed numerous film scores until his death in 1937 from a brain
tumor.Gershwin's compositions have been used in numerous films and on
television, and several became jazz standards recorded in many variations.
Countless singers and musicians have recorded his songs.
Leonard Bernstein [ˈbɜrnstaɪn] (August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990)
was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He
was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of
America to receive worldwide acclaim. According to The New York Times, he
was "one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in
American history." He is quite possibly the conductor whose name is best known
to the public in general, especially the American public. His fame derived from
his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, from his
conducting of concerts with most of the world's leading orchestras, and from his
music for West Side Story, as well as Candide, Wonderful Town, On the Town
and his own Mass .Bernstein was also the first conductor to give numerous
television lectures on classical music, starting in 1954 and continuing until his
death. In addition, he was a skilled pianist, often conducting piano concertos
from the keyboard. As a composer he wrote in many styles encompassing
symphonic and orchestral music, ballet, film and theatre music, choral works,
opera, chamber music and pieces for the piano. Many of his works are regularly
performed around the world, although none has matched the tremendous popular
and commercial success of West Side Story.
3)Irwin Shaw (February 27, 1913 – May 16, 1984) was a prolific
American playwright, screenwriter, novelist, and short-story author whose
written works have sold more than 14 million copies. He is best known for
his novel The Young Lions (1948) about the fate of three soldiers during
World War II that was made into a film starring Marlon Brando. Though
Shaw's work received widespread critical acclaim, the success of his
commercial fiction ultimately diminished his literary reputation. Shaw was
born Irwin Gilbert Shamforoff in the South Bronx, New York City, to
Russian Jewish immigrants. His parents were Rose and Will. His younger
brother, David Shaw (died 2007), became a noted Hollywood producer.
Shortly after Irwin's birth, the Shamforoffs moved to Brooklyn. Irwin
changed his surname upon entering college. He spent most of his youth in
Brooklyn, where he graduated from Brooklyn College with a Bachelor of
Arts degree in 1934. Shaw died in Davos, Switzerland on May 16, 1984,
aged 71, after undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. Shaw began
screenwriting in 1935 at the age of 21, and scripted for several radio
shows, including Dick Tracy, The Gumps and Studio One. He recaptured
this period of his life in his short story "Main Currents of American
Thought," about a hack radio writer grinding out one script after another
while calculating the number of words equal to the rent money:“
Furniture, and a hundred and thirty-seven dollars. His mother had
always wanted a good dining-room table. She didn't have a maid, she said,
so he ought to get her a dining room table. How many words for a diningroom table? ”Shaw's first play, Bury the Dead (1936) was an expressionist
drama about a group of soldiers killed in a battle who refuse to be buried.
His play Quiet City, directed by EliaKazan and with incidental music by
Aaron Copland, closed after two Sunday performances.During the 1940s,
Shaw wrote for a number of films, including The Talk of the Town (a
comedy about civil liberties), The Commandos Strike at Dawn (based on a
C.S. Forester story about commandos in occupied Norway) and Easy
Living (about a football player unable to enter the game due to a medical
condition). Shaw married Marian Edwards (daughter of well-known
screen actor Snitz Edwards). They had one son, Adam Shaw, born in 1950,
himself a writer of magazine articles and non-fiction.Shaw summered at
the Pine Brook Country Club, located in the countryside of Nichols,
Connecticut, which became the summer home of the Group Theatre (New
York), with; Elia Kazan, Harry Morgan, John Garfield, Francis Farmer,
Will Geer, Clifford Odets and Lee J. Cobb.Shaw enlisted in the U.S. Army
and was a warrant officer during World War II. The Young Lions, Shaw's
first novel, was published in 1948. Based on his experiences in Europe
during the war, the novel was very successful and was adapted into a 1958
film. Shaw was not happy with the film.
Shaw's second novel, The Troubled Air, chronicling the rise of
McCarthyism, was published in 1951. He was among those who signed a
petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the John Howard
Lawson and Dalton Trumbo convictions for contempt of Congress,
resulting from hearings by the House Committee on Un-American
Activities. Accused of being a communist by the Red Channels
publication, Shaw was placed on the Hollywood blacklist by the movie
studio bosses. In 1951 he left the United States and went to Europe, where
he lived for 25 years, mostly in Paris and Switzerland. He later claimed
that the blacklist "only glancingly bruised" his career. During the 1950s he
wrote several more screenplays, including Desire Under the Elms (based
on Eugene O'Neill's play) and Fire Down Below (about a tramp boat in the
Caribbean).While living in Europe, Shaw wrote more bestselling books,
notably Lucy Crown (1956), Two Weeks in Another Town (1960), Rich
Man, Poor Man (1970) (for which he would later write a less successful
sequel entitled Beggarman, Thief) and Evening in Byzantium (made into a
1978 TV movie). Rich Man, Poor Man was adapted into a highly
successful ABC television miniseries in 1976.His novel Top of the Hill
was made into a TV movie about the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid in
1980, starring Wayne Rogers, Adrienne Barbeau, and Sonny Bono.His last
two novels were Bread Upon the Waters (1981) and Acceptable Losses
(1982). During his lifetime Shaw won a number of awards, including two
O. Henry Awards, a National Institute of Arts and Letters grant, and three
Playboy Awards.
Arthur Asher Miller (October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005)[2][3]
was an American playwright and essayist. He was a prominent figure in
American theatre, writing dramas that include plays such as All My Sons
(1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953) and A View
from the Bridge (one-act, 1955; revised two-act, 1956), as well as the film
The Misfits (1961).Miller was often in the public eye, particularly during
the late 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s, a period during which he testified
before the House Un-American Activities Committee, received the
Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and was married to Marilyn Monroe. In 2002 he
received the Prince of Asturias Award and in 2003 the Jerusalem
Prize.Miller wrote The Man Who Had All the Luck, which was produced
in New Jersey in 1940 and won the Theatre Guild's National Award. The
play closed after four performances and disastrous reviews.[13]In his book
Trinity of Passion, author Alan M. Wald conjectures that Miller was "a
member of a writer's unit of the Communist Party around 1946," using the
pseudonym Matt Wayne, and editing a drama column in the magazine The
New Masses.In 1946 Miller's play All My Sons, the writing of which had
commenced in 1941, was a success on Broadway (earning him his first
Tony Award, for Best Author) and his reputation as a playwright was
established. Years later, in a 1994 interview with Ron Rifkin, Miller said
that most contemporary critics regarded All My Sons as "a very depressing
play in a time of great optimism" and that positive reviews from Brooks
Atkinson of The New York Times had saved it from failure.In 1948 Miller
built a small studio in Roxbury, Connecticut. There, in less than a day, he
wrote Act I of Death of a Salesman. Within six weeks, he completed the
rest of the play,[7] one of the classics of world theater.[5][17] Death of a
Salesman premiered on Broadway on February 10, 1949 at the Morosco
Theatre, directed by Elia Kazan, and starring Lee J. Cobb as Willy Loman,
Mildred Dunnock as Linda, Arthur Kennedy as Biff, and Cameron
Mitchell as Happy. The play was commercially successful and critically
acclaimed, winning a Tony Award for Best Author, the New York Drama
Circle Critics' Award, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was the first
play to win all three of these major awards. The play was performed 742
times.In 1952, Kazan appeared before the House Un-American Activities
Committee (HUAC); unwilling to risk his promising career in Hollywood
for the Communist cause that he had come to despise, Kazan named eight
members of the Group Theatre, including Clifford Odets, Paula Strasberg,
Lillian Hellman, Joe Bromberg, and John Garfield,[18] who in recent
years had been fellow members of the Communist Party.[19] After
speaking with Kazan about his testimony Miller traveled to Salem,
Massachusetts to research the witch trials of 1692. The Crucible, in which
Miller likened the situation with the House Un-American Activities
Committee to the witch hunt in Salem in 1692,opened at the Beck Theatre
on Broadway on January 22, 1953. Though widely considered only
somewhat successful at the time of its initial release, today The Crucible is
Miller's most frequently produced work throughout the world and was
adapted into an opera by Robert Ward, which won the Pulitzer Prize for
Music in 1962. Miller and Kazan were close friends throughout the late
1940s and early 1950s, but after Kazan's testimony to the HUAC, the
pair's friendship ended, and they did not speak to each other for the next
ten years. The HUAC took an interest in Miller himself not long after The
Crucible opened, denying him a passport to attend the play's London
opening in 1954. Kazan defended his own actions through his film On the
Waterfront, in which a dockworker heroically testifies against a corrupt
union boss.Miller's experience with the HUAC affected him throughout
his life. In the late 1970s he became very interested in the highly
publicized Barbara Gibbons murder case, in which Gibbons' son Peter
Reilly was convicted of his mother's murder based on what many felt was
a coerced confession and little other evidence. City Confidential, an A&E
Network series, produced an episode about the murder, postulating that
part of the reason Miller took such an active interest (including supporting
Reilly's defense and using his own celebrity to bring attention to Reilly's
plight) was because he had felt similarly persecuted in his run-ins with the
HUAC. He sympathized with Reilly, whom he firmly believed to be
innocent and to have been railroaded by the Connecticut State Police and
the Attorney General who had initially prosecuted the case.Later career -In
1964 Miller's next play was produced. After the Fall is a deeply personal
view of Miller's experiences during his marriage to Monroe. The play
reunited Miller with his former friend Kazan: they collaborated on both
the script and the direction. After the Fall opened on January 23, 1964 at
the ANTA Theatre in Washington Square Park amid a flurry of publicity
and outrage at putting a Monroe-like character, called Maggie, on stage.[2]
That same year, Miller produced Incident at Vichy. In 1965, Miller was
elected the first American president of PEN International, a position which
he held for four years.[29] During this period Miller wrote the penetrating
family drama, The Price, produced in 1968.[2] It was Miller's most
successful play since Death of a Salesman.In 1969, Miller's works were
banned in the Soviet Union after he campaigned for the freedom of
dissident writers.[7] Throughout the 1970s, Miller spent much of his time
experimenting with the theatre, producing one-act plays such as Fame and
The Reason Why, and traveling with his wife, producing In The Country
and Chinese Encounters with her. Both his 1972 comedy The Creation of
the World and Other Business and its musical adaptation, Up from
Paradise, were critical and commercial failures.Miller was an unusually
articulate commentator on his own work. In 1978 he published a collection
of his Theater Essays, edited by Robert A. Martin and with a foreword by
Miller. Highlights of the collection included Miller's introduction to his
Collected Plays, his reflections on the theory of tragedy, comments on the
McCarthy Era, and pieces arguing for a publicly supported theater.
Reviewing this collection in the Chicago Tribune, Studs Terkel remarked,
"in reading [the Theater Essays] are exhilaratingly aware of a social
critic, as well as a playwright, who knows what he's talking about."[33]In
1983, Miller traveled to China to produce and direct Death of a Salesman
at the People's Art Theatre in Beijing. The play was a success in China[30]
and in 1984, Salesman in Beijing, a book about Miller's experiences in
Beijing, was published. Around the same time, Death of a Salesman was
made into a TV movie starring Dustin Hoffman as Willy Loman. Shown
on CBS, it attracted 25 million viewers.[7][34] In late 1987, Miller's
autobiographical work, Timebends, was published. Before it was
published, it was well known that Miller would not talk about Monroe in
interviews; in Timebends Miller talks about his experiences with Monroe
in detail.[2] During the early 1990s Miller wrote three new plays, The
Ride Down Mt. Morgan (1991), The Last Yankee (1992), and Broken
Glass (1994). In 1996, a film of The Crucible starring Daniel Day-Lewis
and Winona Ryder opened. Miller spent much of 1996 working on the
screenplay to the film.[7] Mr. Peters' Connections was staged OffBroadway in 1998, and Death of a Salesman was revived on Broadway in
1999 to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. The play, once again, was a large
critical success, winning a Tony Award for best revival of a play.In 1993,
he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.[36] Miller was honored with
the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for a
Master American Dramatist in 1998. In 2001 the National Endowment for
the Humanities (NEH) selected Miller for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S.
federal government's highest honor for achievement in the humanities.[37]
Miller's lecture was entitled "On Politics and the Art of Acting."[38]
Miller's lecture analyzed political events (including the U.S. presidential
election of 2000) in terms of the "arts of performance," and it drew attacks
from some conservatives[39] such as Jay Nordlinger, who called it "a
disgrace," [40] and George Will, who argued that Miller was not
legitimately a "scholar."[41]In 1999 Miller was awarded The Dorothy and
Lillian Gish Prize, one of the richest prizes in the arts, given annually to "a
man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of
the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life."[42] On
May 1, 2002, Miller was awarded Spain's Principe de Asturias Prize for
Literature as "the undisputed master of modern drama." Later that year,
IngeborgMorath died of lymphatic cancer[43] at the age of 78. The
following year Miller won the Jerusalem Prize.In December 2004, the 89year-old Miller announced that he had been in love with 34-year-old
minimalist painter Agnes Barley and had been living with her at his
Connecticut farm since 2002, and that they intended to marry. Within
hours of her father's death, Rebecca Miller ordered Barley to vacate the
premises, having consistently opposed the relationship. Miller's final play,
Finishing the Picture, opened at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago, in the fall
of 2004, with one character said to be based on Barley.[citation needed]
Miller said that the work was based on the experience of filming The
Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III (March 26, 1911 –
February 25, 1983) was an American writer who worked principally as a
playwright in the American theater. He also wrote short stories, novels,
poetry, essays, screenplays and a volume of memoirs. His professional
career lasted from the mid-1930s until his death in 1983, and saw the
creation of many plays that are regarded as classics of the American stage.
Williams adapted much of his best known work for the cinema. In the late
1930s, as the young playwright struggled to have his work accepted,
Williams supported himself with a string of menial jobs (including a
notably disastrous stint as caretaker on a chicken ranch outside Los
Angeles). In 1939, with the help of his agent, Audrey Wood, he was
awarded a $1,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in recognition of
his play Battle of Angels which was produced in Boston in 1940, but
poorly received.
Using the remainder of the Rockefeller funds, Williams moved to
New Orleans in 1939 to write for the Works Progress Administration
(WPA), a federally funded program begun by President Franklin D.
Roosevelt which was created to put people back to work and helped many
artists, musicians and writers survive during the Great Depression. He
lived for a time in the French Quarter; first at 722 Toulouse Street, the
setting of his 1977 play Vieux Carré. (The building is now part of The
Historic New Orleans Collection).[8] The Rockefeller grant gained him
attention and Williams received a six-month contract from the Metro
Goldwyn Mayer film studio in Hollywood, earning $250 weekly.During
the winter of 1944–45, his "memory play" The Glass Menagerie was
successfully produced in Chicago garnering good reviews. It moved to
New York where it became an instant and enormous hit during its long
Broadway run. The play tells the story of a young man, Tom, his disabled
sister, Laura, and their controlling mother Amanda, who tries to make a
match between Laura and a gentleman caller. Williams' use of his own
familial relationships as inspiration for the play is impossible to miss. Elia
Kazan (who directed many of Williams' greatest successes) said of
Williams: "Everything in his life is in his plays, and everything in his
plays is in his life."[9] The Glass Menagerie won the New York Drama
Critics' Circle Award for best play of the season.The huge success of his
next play, A Streetcar Named Desire, in 1947 secured his reputation as a
great playwright. Although widely celebrated and increasingly wealthy, he
was still restless and insecure in the grip of fears that he would not be able
to duplicate his success. During the late 1940s and 1950s Williams began
to travel widely with his partner Frank Merlo, often spending summers in
Europe. To stimulate his writing he moved often, to various cities
including New York, New Orleans, Key West, Rome, Barcelona, and
London. Williams wrote, "Only some radical change can divert the
downward course of my spirit, some startling new place or people to arrest
the drift, the drag."[6]:xvWilliams walking to the service for Dylan
Thomas, 1953.Between 1948 and 1959 seven of his plays were performed
on Broadway: Summer and Smoke (1948), The Rose Tattoo (1951),
Camino Real (1953), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), Orpheus Descending
(1957), Garden District (1958), and Sweet Bird of Youth (1959). By 1959
he had earned two Pulitzer Prizes, three New York Drama Critics' Circle
Awards, three Donaldson Awards, and a Tony Award.His work reached
world-wide audiences in the early 1950s when The Glass Menagerie and
A Streetcar Named Desire were made into motion pictures. Later plays
also adapted for the screen included Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Rose
Tattoo, Orpheus Descending, The Night of the Iguana, Sweet Bird of
Youth, and Summer and Smoke.After the extraordinary successes of the
1940s and 1950s, the 1960s and 1970s brought personal turmoil and
theatrical failures. Although he continued to write every day, the quality of
his work suffered from his increasing alcohol and drug consumption as
well as occasional poor choices of collaborators. Consumed by depression
over the death of his partner Merlo, and in and out of treatment facilities
under the control of his mother and younger brother Dakin, Williams
spiraled downward. Kingdom of Earth (1967), In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel
(1969), Small Craft Warnings (1973), The Two Character Play (also called
Out Cry, 1973), The Red Devil Battery Sign (1976), Vieux Carré (1978),
Clothes for a Summer Hotel (1980) and others were all box office failures,
and the relentlessly negative press notices wore down his spirit. His last
play, A House Not Meant To Stand was produced in Chicago in 1982 and,
despite largely positive reviews, ran for only 40 performances.Critics and
audiences alike failed to appreciate Williams' new style and the approach
to theater he developed during 1960s. Williams said, “I’ve been working
very hard since 1969 to make an artistic comeback…there is no release
short of death”(Spoto 335), and “I want to warn you, Elliot, the critics are
out to get me. You’ll see how vicious they are. They make comparisons
with my earlier work, but I’m writing differently now” (Spoto 331).
Leverich explains that Williams to the end was concerned with "the depths
and origin of human feelings and motivations, the difference being that he
had gone into a deeper, more obscure realm, which, of course, put the poet
in him to the fore, and not the playwright who would bring much concern
for audience and critical reaction” (xxiii).
Edward Franklin Albee III (/ˈɔːlbiː/ AWL-bee; born March 12,
1928) is an American playwright who is known for works such as The Zoo
Story (1958), The Sandbox (1959), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
(1962), and a rewrite of the book for the unsuccessful musical Breakfast at
Tiffany's an adaptation of Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's (1966).
His works are considered well-crafted, often unsympathetic examinations
of the modern condition. His early works reflect a mastery and
Americanization of the Theatre of the Absurd that found its peak in works
by European playwrights such as Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, and
Jean Genet. Younger American playwrights, such as Paula Vogel, credit
Albee's daring mix of theatricality and biting dialogue with helping to
reinvent the post-war American theatre in the early 1960s. Albee continues
to experiment in works, such as The Goat: or, Who Is Sylvia? (2002)
[edit]According to Magill's Survey of American Literature (2007), Edward
Albee was born somewhere in Virginia (the popular belief is that he was
born in Washington, D.C.). He was adopted two weeks later and taken to
Larchmont, New York in Westchester County, where he grew up. Albee's
adoptive father, Reed A. Albee, the wealthy son of vaudeville magnate
Edward Franklin Albee II, owned several theaters. Here the young Edward
first gained familiarity with the theatre. His adoptive mother, Reed's third
wife, Frances (Cotter), tried to raise Albee to fit into their social circles.
Edward Albee at the 1987 Miami Book Fair International.Albee attended
the Clinton High School, then the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey,
from which he was expelled. He then was sent to Valley Forge Military
Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania, where he was dismissed in less than a
year. He enrolled at The Choate School (now Choate Rosemary Hall) in
Wallingford, Connecticut, graduating in 1946. His formal education
continued at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where he was
expelled in 1947 for skipping classes and refusing to attend compulsory
chapel. In light of his expulsion, Albee's play Who's Afraid of Virginia
Woolf? is believed to be based on his experiences at Trinity
College.[citation needed]Albee left home for good when he was in his late
teens. In a later interview, he said: "I never felt comfortable with the
adoptive parents. I don't think they knew how to be parents. I probably
didn't know how to be a son, either."[1] More recently, he told interviewer
Charlie Rose that he was "thrown out" because his parents wanted him to
become a "corporate thug" and did not approve of his aspirations to
become a writer.Albee moved into New York's Greenwich Village, where
he supported himself with odd jobs while learning to write plays. His first
play, The Zoo Story, was first staged in Berlin. The less than diligent
student later dedicated much of his time to promoting American university
theatre. He currently is a distinguished professor at the University of
Houston, where he teaches an exclusive playwriting course. His plays are
published by Dramatists Play Service[3] and Samuel French, Inc.Albee is
openly gay and states that he first knew he was gay at age 12 and a half.He
has insisted, however, that he does not want to be known as a "gay writer",
stating in his acceptance speech for the 2011 Lambda Literary
Foundation's Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement: "A writer who
happens to be gay or lesbian must be able to transcend self. I am not a gay
writer. I am a writer who happens to be gay."[5]Albee's longtime partner,
Jonathan Thomas, a sculptor, died on May 2, 2005, from bladder cancer.
Lillian Florence "Lilly" Hellman (June 20, 1905 – June 30, 1984)
was an American author of plays, screenplays, and memoirs and
throughout her life, was linked with many left-wing political causes.
Works [edit]
The Children's Hour (1934 play)
The Dark Angel (1935 screenplay)
These Three (1936 screenplay)
Days To Come (1936)
Dead End (1937)
The North Star (1943 screenplay)
The Little Foxes (1939 play)
Watch on the Rhine (1941 play)
The Little Foxes (1941 screenplay)
The Dark Angel (1935 screenplay)
These Three (1936 screenplay)
Days To Come (1936)
Dead End (1937)
The North Star (1943 screenplay)
The Little Foxes (1939 play)
Watch on the Rhine (1941 play)
Anthony Robert "Tony" Kushner (born July 16, 1956) is an
American playwright and screenwriter. He received the Pulitzer Prize for
Drama in 1993 for his play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on
National Themes. He co-authored with Eric Roth the screenplay for the
2005 film Munich, and wrote the screenplay for the 2012 film Lincoln.
Career Kushner's best known work is Angels in America (a play in two
parts: Millennium Approaches and Perestroika), a seven-hour epic about
the AIDS epidemic in Reagan-era New York, which was later adapted into
an HBO miniseries for which Kushner wrote the screenplay. His other
plays include Hydriotaphia, Slavs!: Thinking About the Longstanding
Problems of Virtue and Happiness, A Bright Room Called Day,
Homebody/Kabul, and the book for the musical Caroline, or Change. His
new translation of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children was
performed at the Delacorte Theater in the summer of 2006, starring Meryl
Streep and directed by George C. Wolfe. Kushner has also adapted
Brecht's The Good Person of Szechwan, Corneille's The Illusion, and S.
Ansky's play The Dybbuk.In the early 2000s, Kushner began writing for
film. His co-written screenplay Munich was produced and directed by
Steven Spielberg in 2005. In January 2006, a documentary feature about
Kushner entitled Wrestling With Angels debuted at the Sundance Film
Festival. The film was directed by Freida Lee Mock. In April 2011 it was
announced that he was working with Spielberg again, writing the
screenplay for an adaptation of historian Doris Kearns Goodwin's book
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.Kushner is
famous for frequent revisions and years-long gestations of his plays. Both
Angels in America: Perestroika and Homebody/Kabul were significantly
revised even after they were first published.Kushner has admitted that the
original script version of Angels in America: Perestroika is nearly double
the length of the theatrical version. His newest completed work, the play
The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a
Key to the Scriptures, began as a novel more than a decade ago.Awards
1993 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play – Angels in
America: Millennium Approaches
1993 Pulitzer Prize for Drama – Angels in America: Millennium
1993 Tony Award for Best Play – Angels in America: Millennium
1994 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play – Angels in
America: Perestroika
1994 Tony Award for Best Play – Angels in America: Perestroika
2002 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award
for a playwright in mid-career
2004 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a
Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special, Angels in America
2007 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical – Caroline, or
2008 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award
2011 Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship[21]
2012 St. Louis Literary Award
2012 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay Lincoln
2012 Paul Selvin Award - Lincoln
2004 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical –
Caroline, or Change
2004 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical – Caroline, or Change
2004 Tony Award for Best Original Score – Caroline, or Change
2005 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay – Munich
2005 Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay – Munich
2012 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay - Lincoln
2012 AACTA International Award for Best Screenplay - Lincoln
2012 BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay - Lincoln
2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay – Lincoln
2012 Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
- Lincoln
Evening Standard Award
Obie Award
New York Drama Critics' Circle
American Academy of Arts and Letters Award
1990 Whiting Writers' Award
Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Fellowship