Uncommon Playwrights

Christopher Durang

Christopher Durang Biography

His latest play Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love premiered at the Public Theater in 2009. In recent years, Durang won the Harvard Arts Medal; the Sidney Kingsley Playwriting Award, and was the 2008 honoree at the William Inge Festival. Durang has acted in movies (Butcher’s Wife, Housesitter, Mr. North, Secret of My Success) and in his own plays. He appeared with Sigourney Weaver in their co-authored Das Lusitania Songspiel (Drama Desk nominations for both of them), and with Julie Andrews in the Stephen Sondheim revue Putting It Together at Manhattan Theatre Club. With John Augustine and Sherry Anderson he performed his crackpot cabaret Chris Durang and Dawne multiple times, winning all three of them a 1996 Bistro Award. With Marsha Norman, he’s been co-chair of the Playwriting Program at Juilliard since 1994.

He met Wendy Wasserstein when they both attended Yale School of Drama. Together they wrote a cabaret called When Dinah Shore Ruled the Earth for the Yale Cabaret. Years later they wrote a screenplay together called The House of Husbands. And in the 90s they wrote a short parody of Medea together, which is published by Dramatists Play Services. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild Council.

Christopher Durang has had plays on and off-Broadway including:

  • A History of the American Film (Tony nomination)
  • Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You (Obie award)
  • Beyond TherapyBaby with the Bathwater
  • The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie award, Dramatists Guild Hull Warriner Award)
  • Laughing WildBetty’s Summer Vacation (Obie award)
  • Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge
  • Miss Witherspoon (2005 Pulitzer finalist)
  • Adrift in Macao (book/lyrics Durang, music by Peter Melnick)