2015 Inge Festival to Honor Playwright Donald Margulies

Playwright Donald Margulies will be honored with the William Inge Distinguished Achievement in the American Theater Award, at the 34th Annual William Inge Theatre Festival in Independence, Kansas, at Independence Community College on April 19, 2015. The Inge Festival is the Official Theatre Festival of the State of Kansas.

Born in Brooklyn in 1954, Donald Margulies grew up in Trump Village, a Coney Island housing project built by Donald Trump's father. Margulies was exposed early to the theatre. His father, a wallpaper salesman, played show tunes on the family hi-fi every Saturday, and despite a limited income, often took his children to Manhattan to attend Broadway plays and musicals.

Margulies studied visual arts at the Pratt Institute, before transferring to the State University of New York to pursue a degree in playwriting. During the early 80s, he collaborated with Joseph Papp, and his first Off-Broadway play, Found a Peanut, was produced at the Public Theatre. In 1983, he moved with his wife, Lynn Street, to New Haven, Connecticut, so that she could attend Yale Medical School.

Margulies has received numerous awards throughout his career. In 2005, he was honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters with an Award in Literature, and was the recipient of the 2000 Sidney Kingsley Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Theater by a Playwright, and the 2014 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, American Playwright in Mid-Career Award. Along the way Margulies also won a Lucille Lortel Award, two American Theater Critics New Play Citations, two Los Angeles Drama Critics Awards, two OBIE Awards (for Sight Unseen and The Model Apartment), one Tony Award nomination (for Time Stands Still), one L.A. Ovation Award (for The Country House), two Dramatists' Guild Hull-Warriner Awards, five Drama Desk Award nominations, five Burns Mantle Best Play citations, two Pulitzer Prize nominations (for Sight Unseen and Collected Stories) and the Pulitzer Prize (for Dinner With Friends). His other plays include Brooklyn Boy, The Loman Family Picnic, What's Wrong With This Picture?, Found A Peanut, God Of Vengeance, Coney Island Christmas, and Shipwrecked! An Entertainment -- The Amazing Adventures Of Louis De Rougemont (As Told By Himself).

The film of his screenplay, The End of the Tour, will premiere at Sundance Film Festival in 2015. Additional Margulies projects include the book of a new musical of Father of the Bride, for Disney Theatricals.

Mr. Margulies has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists, serves on the council of The Dramatists Guild of America, and is an adjunct professor of English and Theatre Studies at Yale University.

His plays have premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club, South Coast Repertory, The New York Shakespeare Festival and the Jewish Repertory Theatre; and are performed regularly at major theatres across the United States and around the world.

Margulies now joins a select roster of world-renowned playwrights who have traveled to the Inge Festival to receive the William Inge Distinguished Achievement in the American Theater Award. This select company includes Arthur Miller, Stephen Sondheim, Edward Albee, Wendy Wasserstein, David Henry Hwang, Tina Howe, August Wilson, and Neil Simon, to name only a few. Upon being notified of this recognition, Margulies said, "I am delighted to receive this career-affirming honor and humbled to find myself in such distinguished company."

"Donald Margulies has delivered a consistently excellent body of work with humor and punch, in one of the most distinctive voices of the American theater." said Karen Carpenter, Interim Artistic Director of the Inge Center. "Margulies' ability to excavate both comedy and pathos, in writing about the struggle to belong, to sustain relationships, to find one's purpose in life, has made a lasting impact," Carpenter said, "and shown us that the heartbreak life gives us can be transforming."

His latest play, The Country House, premiered on Broadway this season, and will receive a reading on Friday, April 17, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. in the William Inge Theater. While at the Inge Festival, Margulies will also present a Master Class in Playwriting.

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