A Search for a Postmodern Theater: Interviews with Contemporary Playwrights

By John L. DiGaetani | Go to book overview

TERRENCE McNALLY

The playwright Terrence McNally was born in St. Petersburg, Florida on November 3, 1939 and was raised in Corpus Christi, Texas. He first came to New York City to attend Columbia University, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1960 with a major in English. Since then he has continued to live in New York, though his plays have sometimes premiered elsewhere. His first experience with writing for professional theater occurred with And Things That Go Bump in the Night, which was staged in New York in 1965. Next premiered in Westport, Conn. in 1967 but was staged successfully in New York two years later. Botticelli, a television play McNally wrote, was televised in 1968. Where Has Tommy Flowers Gone? ( New Haven, Conn., and then New York in 1971) did very well off-Broadway. Bad Habits played on Broadway in 1973. His biggest success -- as a play on Broadway and as a film -- was The Ritz ( 1975). It's Only a Play appeared off-Broadway in 1982 and was restaged two years later. McNally also wrote the book for the musical The Rink, which was staged on Broadway in 1984. More recently, his The Lisbon Traviata appeared off-Broadway in 1985, followed in 1987 by the very successful Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune. His Lips Together, Teeth Apart appeared in New York in 1991.

McNally has received two Guggenheim Fellowships in addition to a Rockefeller grant and a citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has been a member of the Dramatists Guild since 1970, and has been vice president of the Guild since 1981.

DiGaetani: I have enjoyed those of your plays that I have been able to see here in New York, especially The Lisbon Traviata. I was interested in the presentation in that play of the character of the fanatical opera fan.

McNally: I thought that was a rather fresh character for the stage. The play also concerns the obsession with the cult of personality, which is why Maria Callas is such a symbol in the play. But she could also have been

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A Search for a Postmodern Theater: Interviews with Contemporary Playwrights
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Robert Anderson 1
  • Alan Ayckbourn 15
  • Eric Bentley 27
  • Ed Bullins 39
  • Mart Crowley 47
  • Jules Feiffer 55
  • Horton Foote 65
  • Michael Frayn 73
  • Larry Gelbart 83
  • Amlin Gray 91
  • Simon Gray 97
  • John Guare 105
  • A. R. Gurney 113
  • ChriS+̄topher Hampton 121
  • William M. Hoffman 133
  • Israel Horovitz 139
  • Tina Howe 149
  • David Henry Hwang 161
  • Albert Innaurato 175
  • David Ives 183
  • Barrie Keeffe 191
  • Romulus Linney 199
  • Craig Lucas 211
  • Terrence Mcnally 219
  • Adrian Mitchell 229
  • Richard Nelson 237
  • Marsha Norman 245
  • Eric Overmyer 253
  • David Storey 259
  • Timberlake Wertenbaker 265
  • August Wilson 275
  • Lanford Wilson 285
  • Paul Zindel 295
  • Bibliography 305
  • Index 309
  • About the Author *
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