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March 13, 2003

Award-winning playwright to speak at Literary Awards

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning playwright Tony Kushner will speak at this year's Purdue University Literary Awards banquet.

The banquet will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on March 31 in the Purdue Memorial Union's North Ballroom. Following the banquet at 8 p.m., Wendy Flory, English professor, will conduct an interview with Kushner in Loeb Playhouse about his playwriting, followed by a question-and-answer period. The interview will be conducted in a style similar to James Lipton's "In the Actor's Studio," and it will be open to the public. The interview is sponsored by the Department of English and Purdue University Libraries.

"Kushner is unquestionably one of the hottest sensations in theater, thanks to the phenomenal success of his seven-hour, two-part 'Angels in America,'" said Dino Felluga, professor of English and chairperson for the 72nd Literary Awards.

"Angels in America" won the Pulitzer Prize and two Tony Awards. In 1998, London's National Theatre selected "Angels in America" as one of the 10 best plays of the 20th century. Kushner's other plays include "Hydriotaphia," "A Bright Room Called Day" and "Slavs!" Kushner is currently an adjunct faculty member in New York University's dramatic writing program.

This author's visit marks the second partnership between the English department and Purdue Libraries to bring award-winning and critically acclaimed literary figures to Purdue. Last year's program featured Nobel Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney. He is one of five Nobel laureates to visit Purdue for the Literary Awards.

"I am a strong proponent of bringing new and varied intellectual stimulation and perspective to campus," said Emily Mobley, dean of Purdue Libraries. "Kushner is an example of someone who is a top luminary in the literary field."

Since 1928 the English department has hosted authors, including Tennessee Williams, John Irving and Louise Erdrich, to speak at the Literary Awards banquet.

Tickets for the banquet are $15 for students and $20 for non-students and are available in Heavilon Hall, Room 324, or by calling the English department at (765) 494-3740. Ticket price includes dinner, the awards ceremony, Kushner's address to award-winners about the creative process and a predinner reception on campus. Tickets must be purchased by March 26.

The Kushner interview is free and open to the public.

On March 29, Purdue Theatre will perform scene selections from Kushner's plays at 8 p.m. in the Experimental Theater. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and there is no admission charge.

Writer: Amy Patterson-Neubert, (765) 494-9723,

Sources: Dino Felluga, (765) 494-3770,

Emily Mobley, (765) 494-2900,

Lori Sparger, Purdue Theatre marketing and public relations director, (765) 494-3084,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Related Web sites:
Literary Awards
English Department
Purdue Libraries

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