Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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U.Va. Department of Drama to Host Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright

Students and community members get to hear what noted playwright, lyricist, librettist and screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire has to say about his craft in a question-and-answer discussion in the Helms Theatre on Wednesday at 5 p.m. His talk is part of the University of Virginia Department of Drama’s Keenan Lecture Series.

Lindsay-Abaire’s play, “Rabbit Hole,” won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Produced in 2006 in New York and starring Cynthia Nixon, Tyne Daly and John Slattery, the play was also nominated for Tony Awards that year, including for Best Play, and Nixon won a Tony as Best Actress. 

Lindsay-Abaire also wrote the book and lyrics for “Shrek the Musical,” which opened on Broadway in 2009.

Lindsay-Abaire is currently in Virginia to work on a production of his play, “Good People,” now in performance at Richmond’s Cadence Theatre Company in partnership with Virginia Repertory Theatre. The play opened opened on Broadway in 2011 with Frances McDormand and Tate Donovan in the lead roles.

“The drama department recently established a professional affiliation with Virginia Repertory Theatre,” said Colleen Kelly, associate professor and interim department chair. “We are thrilled to begin this collaboration by hosting a renowned visiting artist such as Lindsay-Abaire.”

Lindsay-Abaire and composer Jeanine Tesori were nominated for a 2009 Grammy Award in the category of Best Musical Show Album, as well as for two Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical and Best Score, for their work on “Shrek the Musical.”

Lindsay-Abaire’s other plays include “Fuddy Meers” “Kimberly Akimbo,” “Wonder of the World,” “High Fidelity” and “A Devil Inside.”

In addition to his work in theatre, his screen credits include his film adaptation of “Rabbit Hole,” starring Nicole Kidman, as well as Disney’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful” and the remake of the 1980s horror movie, “Poltergeist.”

He is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the Juilliard School.

Friends and family established the Keenan Lectureship in honor of Lawrence R. Keenan, a 1966 graduate of the University, lawyer and playwright. Each year, the drama department brings a playwright of note to U.Va. to speak to students about playwriting.

Admission to the presentation is free. Parking is available at the Culbreth Parking Garage, conveniently located alongside the Drama Building.

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