13 Stories

America's 'Greatest Living Playwright' Dies at 88

Edward Albee was best known for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

(Newser) - Edward Albee can no longer be considered America's greatest living playwright. The 88-year-old, whose most famous works include A Delicate Balance and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, died Friday at his home in Montauk, New York. Albee, a three-time Pulitzer winner, was famous for challenging audiences with his... More »

Author Claims Shakespeare Had Secret 'Bastard' Son

William Davenant would go on to become the poet laureate of England

(Newser) - William Shakespeare wasn't necessarily a doting husband: In his will, he famously left his wife Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children, his "second best bed." Now a new biography of the Bard of Avon suggests the playwright had a son with a married tavern mistress,... More »

Shakespeare Had Co-Author

Thomas Middleton's literary fingerprint found on 'All's Well '

(Newser) - All's well that ... blends well? William Shakespeare worked with a co-author on All's Well That Ends Well, according to researchers who have analyzed the play line by line. The Oxford University experts say the most likely candidate for co-bard is celebrated playwright Thomas Middleton, judging from his distinctive... More »

Angry Ex Hits 'Moonstruck' Scribe With Sex Lawsuit

John Patrick Shanley denies allegations by Amanda Jencsik

(Newser) - A former flame of John Patrick Shanley has hit the writer with a $5 million lawsuit for allegedly abusing her during a violent sexual relationship, the New York Post reports. But 61-year-old Shanley, the Oscar-winning author of "Moonstruck" and "Doubt," denies that he committed any non-consensual sex... More »

Playwright Kushner Likely to Get Honorary Degree After All

CUNY will reconsider controversial move

(Newser) - CUNY officials will meet Monday to try to end the PR disaster that has erupted in a normally uncontroversial realm—the awarding of an honorary degree. The board of trustees at City University of New York made the surprise move Tuesday of withholding such a degree from Pulitzer-winning playwright Tony... More »

West Side Story Playwright Dead at 93

Arthur Laurents enjoyed success as playwright, director, screenwriter

(Newser) - Arthur Laurents, writer of landmark Broadway musicals including West Side Story and Gypsy, has died at his Manhattan home at the age of 93. Laurents' career as a playwright spanned seven decades. He also enjoyed success as a director and as screenwriter of movie classics including Rope and The Way ... More »

Playwright Lanford Wilson Dead

Pulitzer Prize-winner championed outsiders

(Newser) - Groundbreaking playwright Lanford Wilson has died at the age of 73. Wilson, considered one of the most influential American playwrights of the late 20th century, was known for his gritty, realistic dialogue and his championing of those pushed to the margins of society, the New York Times notes. He won... More »

Fiddler On the Roof Author Dead at 98

Joseph Stein penned hit Broadway musicals over 60-year career

(Newser) - Joseph Stein, the playwright best known for turning Fiddler On the Roof from a Yiddish short story into a Broadway musical, has died at the age of 98. The Tony Award-winning writer supplied the story for almost a dozen more musicals, including Zorba and Take Me Along, in a career... More »

'Lost' Shakespeare Play Published

Double Falsehood is no hoax, experts say

(Newser) - A Shakespeare play dismissed as a hoax for nearly 300 years has now been accepted as the real thing. Double Falsehood, now under the name of writer Lewis Theobal, was—as its author always claimed—based on William Shakespeare's long-lost script for Cardenio, scholars say. Shakespeare publisher Arden has now... More »

Shakespeare Didn't Work Alone, Says Computer

Program developed to spot plagiarism shows Bard wrote Edward III With Kyd

(Newser) - The computer program is called “Pl@giarism,” but no one is suggesting the Bard cribbed from others—not yet, at least. Researchers used the software, developed to spot cheating scholars, to take a look at The Reign of King Edward III, an unattributed 1596 play that has recently been... More »

Vatican Warms to Wilde

Paper praises writer's 'lucid' analysis of his world

(Newser) - The Vatican long regarded Oscar Wilde as a “dissolute homosexual,” but things have changed, writes Richard Owen in the Times of London. A review in the Vatican newspaper of a study on the Irish writer celebrates him as “one of the personalities of the 19th century who... More »

White Director for Black Play Puts Race Center Stage

Violates playwright Wilson's wishes

(Newser) - The selection of a white director for the Broadway revival of an August Wilson play has sparked racial tension, the New York Times reports. Before his death in 2005, Wilson refused to let white directors oversee productions of his work, partially out of racial solidarity, partially because he felt black... More »

Playwright, Screenwriter Horton Foote Dead at 92

(Newser) - Playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote, who movingly portrayed the broken dreams of common people in The Trip to Bountiful, Tender Mercies, and his Oscar-winning screen adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, died today in Connecticut at age 92. Foote's writing career spanned more than half a century and earned him... More »

13 Stories