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Tony Kushner Biography

(1956– ), A Bright Room Called Day, Angels in America, Millenium Approaches, Perestroika, Columbia, Angels, A Dybbuk

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Knole Kent to Mary Lavin Biography

American playwright, born in New York, educated at Columbia and New York University. His first play, A Bright Room Called Day (1984), concerns the dissolution of a small circle of friends under pressures created by the Nazis' rise in Germany during the last months of the Weimar Republic. He came to prominence with his seven-hour, twopart epic, Angels in America: Part I, Millenium Approaches (1991) won him a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize in 1993; Part II, Perestroika (1992), won him a Tony Award in 1994. In his alumni magazine Columbia (Sp. 93) Kushner is quoted as saying that Angels ‘is nothing less than a fierce call for gay America to seize the strings of power in the war for tolerance and against AIDS’. His adaptations include A Dybbuk (1994), by Corneille, and The Good Person of Szetchuan (1994), a version of Brecht's The Good Woman of Szetchuan. He also wrote a dance theatre piece, La Fin de la Baleine: An Opera for the Apocalypse (1982). His work Slavs! Thinking About The Long-standing Problems of Virtue and Happiness (1994) contains much material left out of Angels.

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