Saturday, April 13, 2024

Acclaimed playwright Christopher Durang has passed away

Christopher Durang, one of America’s most acclaimed playwrights for comic works such as Beyond Therapy, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You and the Tony-winning Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike has passed away.

Durang died at his home in Pipersville, Pa., in Bucks County at the age of 75 as a result complications of his 2016 diagnosis with a form of Alzheimer’s disease that impedes the ability to process language.

In February, New York’s Dramatists Guild announced that Durang would receive its 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award on May 6, placing him in the company of John Guare, Terrence McNally, Paula Vogel, Stephen Sondheim and Edward Albee, to name but a few.

Prior to Durang’s passing, Lloyd Suh, chair of the Dramatists Guild’s Awards Committee, said, “It’s a privilege to celebrate Christopher Durang with the Dramatists Guild’s highest honor, in recognition of his singular voice and his enduring impact on generations of other writers. His grace, wit, charm, and generosity are an example to all of us in the community of American dramatists.”

“Christopher Durang is one of today’s most luminous talents, and Final Draft is delighted to support the Dramatists Guild of America as they recognize his distinguished career,” added Shelly Mellott, President of Final Draft.

Award-winning Durang was a New Jersey native. He attended Harvard College and the Yale School of Drama, where he studied English and playwriting, respectively. He also taught at Yale and Princeton. Together with Marsha Norman, Durang directed the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at the Juilliard School from 1984 to 2016. He has been a member of the Dramatists Guild since 1978 and a member of the Dramatists Guild Council since 1981.

Durang was named the Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Awards master dramatist. He was a recipient of the Tony, Obie, Guggenheim, and Rockefeller; the CBS Playwriting Fellowship; the Lecomte du Nouy Foundation Award; and the Kenyon Festival Theatre Playwriting Prize. He was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist and an American Theater Hall of Fame member.

​Tickets for the awards are here.

About the Dramatists Guild of America

Since its inception in 1919, the Dramatists Guild of America has been the professional association for playwrights, librettists, lyricists, and composers writing for the American stage. With over 10,000 members around the world, the Guild is guided by a governing council of writers who each give their time, interest and support to advance the rights of dramatists everywhere, including the right for dramatists to own and control their own copyrighted work. The Guild’s advocacy, programs, events, publications, and other services provide dramatists with the resources, the community, and the support they require to protect their property, their livelihoods, and their unique voices in the American theatre.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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