Playwright Tony Kushner launches Open VISIONS Forum 2001 Season


Image: Tony KushnerThe Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the masterful epic "Angels in America," playwright Tony Kushner, launches Fairfield University's Open VISIONS Forum 2001 season on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Kushner's topic, "The Arts as Political Provocateur," will challenge the audience with the moral dilemmas of our time and ask the question, "Can we change?"

The university's Department of Visual and Performing Arts has named Kushner this year's Visiting Artist. During his visit to campus, made possible by a special grant, the playwright will conduct master/workshop classes with the school's theater students.

Raised in Louisiana and educated at Columbia and New York Universities, Kushner most enjoys addressing audiences that are receptive to ideas for progress and change. He talks about weighty philosophical and political topics without being didactic or patronizing and will truly rouse the audience as he speaks about such timeless matters as faith, death and life.

Kushner intends his plays to be part of a greater political movement; his work is concerned with moral responsibility during politically repressive times. His powerful, seven-hour, two-part Broadway production of "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes," was selected by London's National Theatre in 1998 as "one of the ten best plays of the 20th Century."

In addition to winning the Pulitzer, "Angels..." received two Tony Awards, two Drama Desk Awards, the Evening Standard Award, two Olivier Award nominations, the New York Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and the LAMBDA Literary Award for Drama. His other plays include "Hydriotaphia," "A Bright Room Called Day" and "Slavs!"

Kushner collaborated on an opera, "Caroline or Change," with Bobby McFerrin which debuted at the San Franciso Opera last year. He is currently working on his next play, "Henry Brown Fox or the Mirror of Slavery," as well as a musical, "St. Cecilia."

The Open VISIONS Forum, a program of Fairfield University's School of Continuing Education, is sponsored in part by Advest. Ticket prices vary for each lecture. Tickets for the Kushner lecture are $15 and $12 for seniors. For tickets or information call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll-free at 1-877-ARTS-396.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 15, 2001

Vol. 33, No. 122