Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Doug Wright to Join Yale School of Drama Faculty

Yale School of Drama Dean James Bundy has announced that Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright Doug Wright will join the Yale School of Drama faculty as a Lecturer in Playwriting for the fall 2010 semester.

Paula Vogel, the Eugene O’Neill Chair of the Playwriting Department, will take a one-semester leave of absence in the fall to work on a new play commissioned by Yale Rep through the Yale Center for New Theatre. Kenneth Prestininzi, associate chair of the department, will serve as acting chair during her leave.

Wright will lead the school’s weekly Playwriting Workshop and mentor students in the program.

“I am thrilled to welcome Doug Wright, one of the most honored and distinguished American writers working today, back to Yale, where he received his undergraduate degree, and to the School of Drama community, in particular, to share his remarkable gifts with our students,” said Bundy.

The Dean continued, “Paula Vogel graciously postponed a leave of absence to work on her own projects when she was appointed Chair of Playwriting in 2008, until she had put the program on secure footing. Having now done so, she will depart New Haven in August and return for the spring semester.”

Wright was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, a Tony Award for Best Play, the Drama Desk Award, a GLAAD Media Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Drama League Award, and a Lucille Lortel Award in 2004 for his play “I Am My Own Wife.” In 2006, he received Tony and Drama Desk nominations for the Broadway musical “Grey Gardens.” Most recently, he was represented on Broadway by Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”

Earlier in his career, Wright won an Obie Award for outstanding achievement in playwriting and the Kesselring Award for Best New American Play from the National Arts Club for his play “Quills.” He made his motion picture debut writing the screenplay adaptation, which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and received the Paul Selvin Award from the Writer’s Guild of America. The film was named Best Picture by the National Board of Review and nominated for three Academy Awards.

For director Rob Marshall, Wright also wrote the television special “Tony Bennett: An American Classic,” which received seven Emmy Awards.

His stage work — which includes such titles as “The Stonewater Rapture,” “Interrogating the Nude,” “Watbanaland,” “Buzzsaw Berkeley” and “Unwrap Your Candy” — has been produced in major cities across the nation and the globe, among them, New York, Dallas, London, Stockholm, Budapest, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Sydney and Tokyo.

For career achievement, Wright has received an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Tolerance Prize from the KulturForum Europa. He is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America, East; the Screen Actors Guild; the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers; and the PEN American Center. Wright has appeared as an actor in the films “Little Manhattan” and “Two Lovers” and the television show “Law & Order.”