Contemporary Gay American Poets and Playwrights: An A-to-Z Guide

By Emmanuel S. Nelson | Go to book overview

CHRISTOPHER DURANG (1949–)

Thomas Dukes


BIOGRAPHY

Born on January 2, 1949, in Montclair, New Jersey, Christopher Ferdinand Durang was reared in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. His father was an architect, and Durang grew up in comfortable circumstances. Yet his childhood was not without its difficulties: His father was alcoholic, and Durang was the only one of his parents’ four children to be born alive. He received an extensive Catholic primary and secondary education, and he began writing plays in school. His Catholic education and faith, which he later abandoned, would have great bearing upon his plays. Accepted at Harvard, Durang did not have an easy time of it: He cleaned bathrooms to help earn his keep and suffered from the emotional effects of his parents’ divorce. Worse, he experienced a kind of paralyzing lethargy before recovering in his senior year when he began writing plays again.

Durang followed his time at Harvard with a stint at Yale in its famed drama school. There Durang would work with such talents as Sigourney Weaver and Meryl Streep, among others, who would act in his work, then and later. He also began to refine his style in such early plays as The Idiots Karamazov (1974), written with the playwright Albert Innaurato, and The Nature and Purpose of the Universe (1971, 1979). Durang then began writing a number of one-act and full-length plays that brought him acclaim and, as in the case of Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You (1979, 1981), more than a little controversy. Most of these plays would be originally staged in regional theaters or off-Broadway. Attempts to transfer A History of the American Film (1978), for which Durang received a Tony nomination, and Beyond Therapy (1982) from regional and off-Broadway success to Broadway triumph ended in bitter critical and commercial disappointment. Such later failures as Sex and Longing (1996) would leave Durang cool to writing for the theater for a time.

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Contemporary Gay American Poets and Playwrights: An A-to-Z Guide
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiii
  • Edward Albee (1928–) 1
  • Jeff Baron (1952–) 11
  • Jeffery Beam (1953–) 19
  • David Bergman (1950–) 25
  • Alan Bowne (1945–1989) 29
  • Donald Britton (1951–1994) 38
  • James Broughton (1913–1999) 43
  • Bibliography 50
  • Victor Bumbalo (1946–) 54
  • Charles Busch (1954–) 61
  • Leo F. Cabranes-Grant (1960–) 69
  • Robert Chesley (1943–1990) 74
  • Justin Chin (1969–) 82
  • Alfred Corn (1943–) 87
  • Mart Crowley (1935–) 93
  • Melvin Dixon (1950–1992) 101
  • Bibliography 106
  • Tim Dlugos (1950–1990) 108
  • Bibliography 116
  • Mark Doty (1953–) 117
  • Bibliography 123
  • David Drake (1963–) 125
  • Robert Duncan (1919–1988) 130
  • Christopher Durang (1949–) 141
  • Edward Field (1924–) 147
  • Harvey Fierstein (1954–) 153
  • William Finn (1952–) 162
  • Kenny Fries (1960–) 171
  • Allen Ginsberg (1926–1997) 178
  • Thom Gunn (1929–) 188
  • Bibliography 196
  • Essex Hemphill (1957–1995) 198
  • William M. Hoffman (1939–) 205
  • Richard Howard (1929–) 212
  • Bibliography 215
  • Maurice Kenny (1929–) 217
  • Bibliography 220
  • Rudy Kikel (1943–) 222
  • Harry Kondoleon (1955–1994) 230
  • Bibliography 234
  • Larry Kramer (1935–) 236
  • Tony Kushner (1956–) 246
  • Michael Lassell (1947–) 260
  • Timothy Liu (1965–) 268
  • Craig Lucas (1951–) 272
  • Charles Ludlam (1943–1987) 280
  • J.D. Mcclatchy (1945–) 288
  • Bibliography 291
  • Terrence Mcnally (1939–) 293
  • Bibliography 307
  • Scott Mcpherson (1959–1992) 309
  • James Merrill (1926–1995) 316
  • Paul Monette (1945–1995) 323
  • Frank O’hara (1926–1966) 334
  • Bibliography 340
  • Robert O’hara (1970–) 342
  • Peter Parnell (1953–) 349
  • Carl Phillips (1959–) 357
  • Kenneth Pobo (1954–) 363
  • D.A. Powell (1963–) 369
  • Bibliography 376
  • Guillermo Reyes (1962–) 377
  • Bibliography 382
  • Assotto Saint (yves FranÇois Lubin) (1957–1994) 383
  • Bibliography 387
  • F. Allen Sawyer (1957–) 388
  • Bibliography 392
  • James Schuyler (1923–1991) 393
  • Reginald Shepherd (1963–) 398
  • Bibliography 405
  • Martin Sherman (1938–) 406
  • Aaron Shurin (1947–) 412
  • David Trinidad (1953–) 421
  • Gore Vidal (1925–) 427
  • Bibliography 435
  • Jonathan Williams (1929–) 438
  • Doric Wilson (1939–) 444
  • Lanford Wilson (1937–) 451
  • Chay Yew (1966–) 461
  • Selected Bibliography 467
  • Index 469
  • About the Contributors 477
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