Playwright Christopher Durang Hospitalized After Collapsing Onstage During KISS ME, KATE at Yale


According to the Yale Daily News, alumnus playwright Christopher Durang collapsed onstage yesterday, January 19, during a performance of Kiss Me, Kate.

Read the original report here.

House manager Eric Gershman said that during an encore of "Brush Up Your Shakespeare", Durang jumped down two steps and missed his footing upon landing. The show was halted and the team called an ambulance. The hospital stated later Saturday night that Durang was in "good spirits" but provided no further information.

Cast member Asa Somers took over for Durang for the rest of the performance, as well as the second show at 8 p.m.

Yale's concert version of Kiss Me, Kate, was a tribute to alumnus composer and lyricist Cole Porter (B.A. 1913) on the centennial of his graduation from the University. The production featured an all-Yale cast and crew, led by conductor David Charles Abell ('81), a full 40-piece orchestra, and more. The concert kicked off a year-long celebration of Cole Porter at Yale.

The artistic staff and company of this "Kiss Me, Kate" included a 40-year span of Yalies, from current students - who made up the orchestra and musical ensemble and played small acting roles - to graduates at the top of their professions, among them Durang (MFA '74), Ethan Freeman ('81), well-known in the German-speaking world for his performances in musical theater; distinguished opera singer Sari Gruber ('93), and composer Bobby Lopez ('97).

Durang has written Beyond Therapy, Urban Blight, Betty's Summer Vacation, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Baby with the Bathwater, Titanic, Miss Witherspoon, Durang/Durang, Sex and Longing, Das Lusitania Songspiel, Sister Mary Ingatius Explains It All for You/ The Actor's Nightmare, Laughing Wild, Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them, All About Me, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Adrift in Macao and A History of American Film, among others.

His performing credits include off-Broadway's Encores! Call Me Madam concert, Putting It Together, Ubu, Laughing Wild, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You/ The Actor's Nightmare, Das Lusitania Songspiel and more.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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