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Award-winning Playwright to Deliver Master Class

Award-winning Playwright to Deliver Master Class

Posted: March 29, 2016

Four-time Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally will conduct a free theater master class in the Donald Savage Theater and Communication Building's Flexible Theater on Saturday, April 2, at 11:00 a.m. The class is open to the public (no ticket is required) and will take place during Buffalo State's Spring 2016 Undergraduate Open House.

During the class, McNally, along with his husband, Broadway producer Tom Kirdahy, will answer questions about the theater, playwriting, and producing on Broadway.

Co-hosted by theater critic Anthony Chase, assistant dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, and local playwright Donna Hoke, McNally’s visit is part of the Dramatists Guild Fund’s (DGF) Traveling Master’s program. It is a national outreach program that sends prominent dramatists into communities across the country for writing workshops, master classes, talkbacks, and other public events.  

McNally has written such critically acclaimed plays as Love! Valour! Compassion!Master ClassLips Together Teeth ApartThe Lisbon Traviata; and Mothers and Sons, as well as the librettos for the Broadway musicals Ragtime Kiss of the Spider WomanThe Full MontyA Man of No Importance, and The Visit, and two operas: Dead Man Walking and Great Scott

The recipient of the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, McNally was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1996 and has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, three Hull-Warriner Awards for Best Play, three Lucille Lortel Awards, and a citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He received an Emmy Award for his television play, Andre’s Mother.

“Our playwright community is thrilled that Terrence and Tom will be visiting as part of the DGF Traveling Master’s Program,” said Hoke, who serves as the program’s local representative. “This is the first traveling master we've had since I became the representative, and to have someone as celebrated as he is generous promises an inspiring event.”

McNally will give a reading the previous evening at 7:00 p.m. at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site (TR site) as a fundraising event for local LGBT theater Buffalo United Artists (BUA). “An Evening with Terrence McNally” will feature the playwright reading from his new book, Selected Works, A Memoir in Plays (Grove Press 2015), and BUA actors reading scenes from his plays.

“Terrence’s work has been an inspiration to our company,” said BUA founder and artistic director Javier Bustillos. “As a playwright who expresses so many truths about the lives of the LGBT community, his work has provided an ongoing theme for BUA. We have staged seven of his plays over the years, and we have just secured the rights to produce an eighth.”

McNally’s work also has been produced locally on the stages of the Irish Classical Theatre Company, Musical Fare, Kavinoky Theatre, and Shea’s.

Tickets to the Friday night reading are available online from the TR site.

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