19 Stories

Neil Simon, King of Broadway Comedy, Is Dead at 91

The writer died of complications from pneumonia

(Newser) - Playwright Neil Simon, a master of comedy whose laugh-filled hits such as The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park, and his Brighton Beach trilogy dominated Broadway for decades, has died. He was 91, the AP reports. Simon died early Sunday of complications from pneumonia surrounded by family at New York...

Playwright's Estate: Oscar-Nominated Film Ripped Him Off

Paul Zindel's people say 'The Shape of Water' borrowed from a 1969 play

(Newser) - The Shape of Water has been nominated for 13 Oscars, including best director, best picture, and best screenplay—but the estate of a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright is pushing back on the latter. David Zindel says in an email to the Guardian that the acclaimed movie is "obviously derived" from...

Beastie Boy Sides With Women Accusing His Playwright Father

Israel Horovitz, 78, says he has a 'different memory' of some of the allegations

(Newser) - The father of one of the Beastie Boys is the latest to be caught up in a sexual misconduct scandal, and the Beastie says he stands with the accusers. Nine women have lobbed allegations of sexual abuse and "violations of trust" against playwright Israel Horovitz, and the New York ...

Peter Pan Author's Lost 'Bedroom Farce' Is Published

JM Barrie's work involves a hotel, 'the victim,' and a mustard plaster

(Newser) - The latest issue of the Strand Magazine includes a play by legendary Peter Pan author JM Barrie—and it's the first time it's ever been published. But if anyone's looking for a magical journey to Neverland, you won't find it here. The editor calls The Reconstruction ...

Playwright, Actor Sam Shepard Dead
Playwright, Actor
Sam Shepard Dead

Playwright, Actor Sam Shepard Dead

He was 73, suffered from ALS

(Newser) - Acclaimed actor and playwright Sam Shepard is dead at age 73, reports BroadwayWorld . Shepard, who died at home in Kentucky, had been suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease. He leaves behind an impressive legacy in the arts as the author of more than 40 plays, including Buried Child, for which...

Edward Albee Left a Controversial Final Wish

Playwright's will instructs executors to destroy all his unfinished manuscripts

(Newser) - When Franz Kafka died, he left instructions for his friend Max Brod to incinerate any incomplete works—a request Brod ignored, which led to the publishing of The Castle and The Trial, among other writings. Edward Albee also wanted to avoid such posthumous publications, and the New York Times reports...

America's 'Greatest Living Playwright' Dies at 88
America's 'Greatest Living
Playwright' Dies at 88

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...

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,...

Shakespeare Had Co-Author
 Shakespeare Had Co-Author 
new study

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...

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...

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...

West Side Story Playwright Arthur Laurents Dead at 93
 West Side Story 
 Playwright Dead at 93 

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 ...

Playwright Lanford Wilson Dead

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...

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...

'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...

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...

Vatican Warms to Wilde
 to Wilde 

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...

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...

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...

19 Stories