Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy Birthday Christopher Durang

PhotobucketFrom the wildly absurdist imagination of Christopher Durang (born on this day in 1949) comes the plays Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You (1979) for which he won an Obie Award, Beyond Therapy (1981), Baby With the Bathwater (1983), and Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge (2002).

Durang's works are frequently mounted in regional theatres across the US and Canada, but he hasn't allowed any of them to be adapted for the movies since Robert Altman savaged Beyond Therapy in 1987.

Durang's work often explores the cognitive dissonance between what the Catholic Church says (ie: the teachings of Christ) and what it does (the exact opposite of what it says); one of the first playwrights to show gay men being sensible (as opposed to walking punch-lines), of course Durang is gay himself, having lived with his partner John Augustine for more than 20 years.

Durang continues to write, and is co-chair of the playwriting program at Juilliard.

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