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Christopher Durang
Born January 2, 1949 (1949-01-02) (age 61)
Montclair, New Jersey

Christopher Ferdinand Durang (born January 2, 1949) is an American playwright known for works of outrageous and often absurd comedy. His work was especially popular in the 1980s.



Durang was born in Montclair, New Jersey, the son of Patricia Elizabeth, a secretary, and architect Francis Ferdinand Durang, Jr.[1] He grew up in Berkeley Heights. He attended Catholic schools as a child, including the Our Lady of Peace School in New Providence, New Jersey and the Delbarton School in Morristown, NJ. He received a B.A. in English from Harvard and an M.F.A. in playwriting from Yale School of Drama. He lives in Bucks County with his partner, John Augustine; they have been together for 20 years.[2]


His work often deals critically with issues of child abuse, Roman Catholic dogma and culture, and homosexuality.

His plays have been performed nationwide, including on Broadway and Off-Broadway.[3] His works include Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, Beyond Therapy, Baby With the Bathwater, The Nature and Purpose of the Universe, Titanic, A History of the American Film, The Idiots Karamazov, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Laughing Wild, 'Dentity Crisis, The Actor's Nightmare, The Vietnamization of New Jersey, Betty's Summer Vacation, Adrift in Macao, Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge, Miss Witherspoon, Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them, and a collection of one-act parodies meant to be performed in one evening entitled Durang/Durang that includes "Mrs. Sorken", "For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls" (a parody of The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams), "A Stye Of the Eye", "Nina in the Morning", "Wanda's Visit", and "Business Lunch at the Russian Tea Room".

Durang has performed as an actor for both stage and screen. He first came to prominence in his Off-Broadway satirical review Das Lusitania Songspiel, which he performed with friend and fellow Yale alumna Sigourney Weaver. Later he co-starred in one of his own plays as Matt in The Marriage of Bette and Boo.


In film

Durang has denounced the Robert Altman 1987 film adaptation of Beyond Therapy, calling it "horrific" and accusing Altman of totally rewriting the script "so that all psychology is thrown out the window, and the characters dash around acting crazy but with literally no behavioral logic underneath."

Durang has appeared as an actor in the 1987 comedy The Secret of My Succe$s and 1989's Penn & Teller Get Killed

He has also written a number of unproduced screenplays, including The Nun Who Shot Liberty Valence, The House of Husbands (which he co-authored with Wendy Wasserstein), and The Adventures of Lola.

Awards and honors

He received Obie Awards for Sister Mary Ignatius, The Marriage of Bette and Boo and Betty's Summer Vacation. He received a nomination for a Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for A History of the American Film.

Durang has been awarded numerous fellowships and high profile grants including a Guggenheim, a Rockefeller, the CBS Playwriting Fellowship, the Lecomte du Nouy Foundation grant, and the Kenyon Festival Theatre Playwriting Prize.

He is a member of the Dramatists Guild Council, and is co-chair of the playwriting program at Juilliard. He was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 2006 for Miss Witherspoon.


  1. ^ Biography at
  2. ^ Smith, Dinithia (2005-11-26). "Christopher Durang Explores the Afterlife, Including His Own". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-05-11.  
  3. ^ "Internet Broadway Database: Christopher Durang Credits on Broadway" on IBDB

External links


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