Synopses & Reviews
What was the play that changed your life? What was the play that inspired you; that showed you something entirely new; that was so thrilling or surprising, breathtaking or poignant, that you were never the same? Nineteen of today's most gifted playwrights respond in this most revealing and personal book published by Applause Books and presented by the American Theatre Wing, founder of The Tony Awards.
From Edward Albee's 1935 visit to New York's Hippodrome Theatre to see Jimmy Durante (and an elephant) in Rodgers and Hart's Jumbo, to Diana Son's twelfth-grade field trip in 1983 to see Diane Venora play Hamlet at The Public Theater, from David Henry Hwang's seminal San Francisco encounter with Equus to a young Beth Henley's epiphany after seeing her mother in a Green Bean Man costume, The Play That Changed My Life offers readers a unique peek into the theatrical influences of some of the nation's most important dramatists.
The book is filled with tributes, memories, anecdotes and other insights that connect past to present and make this volume an instant must-have for anyone who adores the theatre. Also in the book are pieces by David Auburn, Jon Robin Baitz, Nilo Cruz, Christopher Durang, Charles Fuller, A. R. Gurney, Tina Howe, David Ives, Donald Margulies, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sarah Ruhl, John Patrick Shanley, Regina Taylor, and Doug Wright, as well as an introduction by Paula Vogel. All together, the playwrights featured here have won more than 40 Tony Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, Obies, and MacArthur genius grants.
"What a thrilling book! I suppose it shouldn't surprise us that writers of great dialogue should also write great prose, but these writers most certainly do. By describing their own formative moments in a theatre, our best playwrights collectively define the transformative power of theatre itself. For years now, we've heard these men and women speak in the voices of their characters, up on stage. Here they regale us in voices that are passionate, personal, witty, and true: their own." John Lithgow
"Buy this wonderful book! It's a fascinating compendium of how, when, and where our most gifted playwrights fell under the magic spell of the theatre. A must for theatre lovers and a great gift for any young person who dreams of a life in the theatre." Sigourney Weaver
About the Author
Ben Hodges is the editor of the Theatre World series, which received a Special Tony Honor in 2001.
Best known for creating The Antoinette Perry Tony Awards, now presented with The Broadway League, The American Theatre Wing is dedicated to celebrating excellence and supporting education in the theatre through a wide variety of programs and activities.