Tony Kushner Premieres New Play at The Guthrie Spring 2009

Guthrie Director Joe Dowling announced that Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner has been commissioned by the Guthrie to write a new play. Tentatively titled The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, Kushner's Guthrie commission will premiere on the McGuire Proscenium Stage in the spring of 2009, as part of the Guthrie's 2008-2009 season.

Born in New York City in 1956, and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Kushner is best known for his two-part epic, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. His other plays include A Bright Room Called Day, Slavs!; Hydrotaphia; Homebody/Kabul; and Caroline or Change, the musical for which he wrote book and lyrics, with music by composer Jeanine Tesori. Kushner has translated and adapted Pierre Corneille's The Illusion, S.Y. Ansky's The Dybbuk, Bertolt Brecht's The Good Person of Sezuan and Mother Courage and Her Children; and the English-language libretto for the children's opera Brundibár by Hans Krasa. He wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichols' film of Angels In America, and Steven Spielberg's Munich. His books include "Brundibar," with illustrations by Maurice Sendak; "The Art of Maurice Sendak: 1980 to the Present;" and "Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict," co-edited with Alisa Solomon.

Kushner is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, an Emmy Award, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, an Oscar nomination, an Arts Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Mid-Career Playwright, a Spirit of Justice Award from the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, and a Cultural Achievement Award from The National Foundation for Jewish Culture, among many others. Most recently, Caroline or Change, produced in the autumn of 2006 at the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain, received the Evening Standard Award, the London Drama Critics' Circle Award and the Olivier Award for Best Musical. He is the subject of a documentary film, Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner, made by the Oscar-winning filmmaker Freida Lee Mock. He is currently working on a screenplay about Abraham Lincoln. He lives in Manhattan with his husband, Mark Harris.

The Guthrie gratefully acknowledges the generosity of Bill and Penny George and the George Family Foundation  in their roles as Executive Producers of the new Tony Kushner play commission.

The Guthrie Theater, founded in 1963, is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Guthrie is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. Led by Director Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie recently moved to their new three-theater home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

The Guthrie is located at 818 South 2nd Street (at Chicago Avenue), in downtown Minneapolis. To purchase tickets or season subscriptions call the Guthrie Box Office between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily at 612.377.2224 or toll-free 877.44.STAGE. For more information, or to purchase tickets online, visit www.guthrietheater.org.  

Photo of Tony Kushner by Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.


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