June 27, 2013 |
Tony Kushner's landmark achievements have been “Angels in America,” the epic 1992 stage play that showed humanly flawed gay men loving, honoring and cherishing each other amid the fear and horror of the 1980s AIDS crisis, and the screenplay to Steven Spielberg's acclaimed 2012 film “Lincoln,” a memorably taut depiction of American democracy bucking, churning and grinding to right a historic wrong. Kushner spent Wednesday morning sitting on the couch with his husband, Mark Harris, in their Manhattan home, watching and waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on matters that brought thematic strands from those two dramas together.
January 18, 2013 |
Anna Deavere Smith, famed for creating one-woman, documentary theater pieces about taut social issues in which she portrays multiple people she's interviewed, has won the $300,000 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, one of the most lucrative awards in the arts and literature. The annual career-achievement award, initiated in 1994 when Los Angeles architect Frank Gehry was the first recipient, is for “an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind's understanding and enjoyment of life.” It was created under the will of Lillian Gish, whose long career -- including roles alongside her younger sister, Dorothy -- began as one of Hollywood's first superstar actresses.
December 13, 2012 |
Tony Kushner had a decade's worth of plays behind him when his epic two-part masterpiece, "Angels in America," exploded in the mainstream in 1992, going on to win the Pulitzer Prize, two best play Tonys and a clutch of other stage awards. In adapting the play with Mike Nichols for cable TV, he discovered a fresh way to tell stories; "Angels" eventually won 11 Emmys for HBO in 2004. Since then, the playwright has added screenwriting to his credits with 2005's "Munich" and this year's "Lincoln" (both for director Steven Spielberg)
December 5, 2012 |
"Lincoln" has been a big hit in movie theaters, and on Jan. 22 Tony Kushner's screenplay for Steven Spielberg's film will arrive in book form, to be followed in late February by another new Kushner book -- the revised script for "Angels in America," the early 1990s stage drama that established him as a leading playwright. Kushner's longtime publisher, Theatre Communications Group, is issuing both volumes -- the film script about Abraham Lincoln's struggle to push the constitutional amendment abolishing slavery through Congress during the waning days of the Civil War, and the epic, seven-hour play about gay men trying to cope with the AIDs crisis during the 1980s.
December 1, 2012 |
In December 2001, the original production of Tony Kushner's globe-trotting drama "Homebody/Kabul" opened at a small New York theater. Kushner, author of "Angels In America" and the script for Steven Spielberg's heralded epic "Lincoln," had written the play several months before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the subsequent U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Yet the themes of "Homebody/Kabul" - global politics, human upheaval and the historically tortured relationship between Afghanistan and the West - were so timely that it seemed as if Kushner had been gazing into a crystal ball or the collected writings of Nostradamus.
November 28, 2012 |
Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" is a historical biopic more concerned with depicting the 16th president's log-rolling politics than his log-splitting childhood. "Lincoln," one of many high-profile films this season based on real events, has been warmly embraced by critics and audiences. But there's another group whose opinion matters - historians. "There have been other movies about Lincoln," said James McPherson, a Civil War historian, Lincoln biographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Battle Cry of Freedom," in a recent interview after seeing the film.