An American playwright and screenwriter, Kushner received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1993 for his play, ItalicsAngels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, and co-authored with Eric Roth the screenplay for the 2005 film, Munich.
Kushner moved to New York in 1974 to begin his undergraduate college education at Columbia University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Medieval Studies in 1978. He studied directing at New York University's Graduate School until 1984. During graduate school, he spent the summers of 1978-1981 directing both early original works (Masque of Owls and Incidents and Occurrences During the Travels of the Tailor Max) and plays by Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest) for the children attending the Governor's Program for Gifted Children (GPGC) in Lake Charles.
Kushner received an honorary doctorate in May 2011 from CUNY's John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In 2008, also he received a Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from SUNY Purchase College.
Kushner's other plays include Hydriotaphia, Slavs!: Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue and Happiness, A Bright Room Called Day, Homebody/Kabul, and the book for the musical Caroline, or Change. His new translation of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children was performed at the Delacorte Theater in the summer of 2006 starring Meryl Streep and directed by George C. Wolfe. Kushner has also adapted Brecht's The Good Person of Szechwan, Corneille's The Illusion, and S. Ansky's play The Dybbuk.
In the early 2000s, Kushner began writing for film. His co-written screenplay Munich was produced and directed by Steven Spielberg in 2005. In January 2006, a documentary feature about Kushner entitled Wrestling With Angels debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. The film was directed by Freida Lee Mock. In April 2011 it was announced that he is currently working with Spielberg again, writing the screenplay for an adaptation of historian Doris Kearns Goodwin‘s book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.
Kushner is famous for frequent revisions and years-long gestation's of his plays. Both Angels in America: Perestroika and Homebody/Kabul were significantly revised even after they were first published. His newest completed work, the play The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, began as a novel more than a decade ago.
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