Department of Theatre

Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner speaks on politics and art!

Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner

On September 12th the Department of Theatre was the proud host of this year’s Hearst Lecture Series. Renowned playwright Tony Kushner, whose works include the epic two-part Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, was our guest. Mr. Kushner accepted an invitation that expressed our desire to bring to campus a speaker who would passionately illustrate the connection between arts and education, and who could explore the political potential of theatre. Mr Kushner spent an amazing 2 hours onstage responding to questions presented by department head Eric Lange. He discussed his current work- including the screenplay for the upcoming Lincoln- and shared his views on the political climate today, the great need for economic justice in America and the place of theatre in that conversation. A large portion of the passionate audience of 500+ stayed afterwards as Mr. Kushner signed books and talked individually with the students and community members.

The next morning Mr. Kushner spent time with Theatre majors and discussed his musical Caroline, or Change, the artistic process of playwriting and even tips for aspiring artists. Students in the department had all been provided with a copy of Caroline, or Change before Mr. Kushner's visit, and we also listened to the show during two special all-department gatherings.

We're grateful both to Mr. Kushner and to the Hearst Lecture Series committee for making this terrific opportunity available to the UNI community.