Get to know the playwright Lynn Notage – Utah Shakespeare Festival

By Martin Green-Rogers

“Natz’s imaginative exploration of history, his ability to find resonance in unexpected moments in the past, and his sensitive outpouring of social concern have made him a powerful voice in theater. He is a playwright who will continue to provide us with provocative plays where his character will face some complex problems in society.

– MacArthur Foundation website

Playwright and screenwriter Lynn Nottz is the only woman to have won the Pulitzer Prize for drama twice. He was born on November 2 in Brooklyn, New York, to schoolteacher and principal Ruby Notage and child psychologist Wallace Notage.

He is Fiorello H. He graduated from Lagarde High School, and while there he wrote his first full-length play, The dark side of Verona, About an African-American Shakespeare company that is traveling through the South. He graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1986, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1989 from the Yale School of Drama, and a Doctorate in Fine Arts in 2011 from Brown University.

In his plays The story of the mountain; By the way; Meet Vera Stark; Ruined (Pulitzer Prize); Intimate clothing (American Theater Critics and New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for Best Play); Fabulation, or The Re-Education of the Undead; Pieces from the joy table; Girls; Mud, rivers, rocks; Por’knockers; The secret life of bees (With music by Duncan Sheikh and songs by Susan Berkenhead), and POOF!

His game Sweat (Pulitzer Prize), premiered and commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival American Revolution History Circle / Arena Stage, moved to Broadway after selling in public theaters. Inspired by his research Sweat, Notes improved This is reading, A performance installation based on a two-year interview, at Franklin Street, Reading Railroad Station, Pennsylvania.

Also, he is the co-founder of the production company, Market Road Films, whose recent projects include The infamous Mr. Bout, first fall, And Remote control. He was also a writer and producer of the Netflix series He has it, Managed by Spike Lee.

Recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Natage MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, the Steinberg “Mimi” Playwright Award, the Penn / Laura Pells Master Playwright Award, the Merit and Literature Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Doris Duke Artist Award. , The Nelson A Rockefeller Award for Creativity, The Dramatists Guild Hall-Warrior Award, the inaugural Horton Foot Award, the Helen Hayes Award, and the Jewish World Watch Witness Award. His other honors include the August Wilson Play-Writing Award at the National Black Theater Fest, a Guggenheim Grant, a Louisville Lortel Fellowship, and a Visiting Research Fellowship at Princeton University.

Last, but certainly not least, Notage received honorary degrees from Juliard and Albright College.

About playwriting

Notts said in numerous interviews that he thinks he writes with marginalized people in mind and more specifically he is interested in uncovering informed stories. “It’s not just theater, it’s art … it’s about reflecting what’s happening in culture. Responsibility isn’t exactly the right word, but I think we have a role to play in asking tough questions, reflecting what we see” (Compton, Sarah , “The playwright Lynn Notage: ‘We are a country that has lost us descriptively” [The Guardian, 2 December 2018]).

For example, he recognizes the judgment of drama production. Performing with a large cast, e.g. Ruined, Difficult to get to the production stage. “The plays are getting smaller and smaller, not because the playwrights’ minds are shrinking but because of the economy, ”he said (Nestrak, J.). [The Globe and Mail, 10 February 2010]). He thinks it plays like that Intimate clothing, With its small, multicultural cast, makes it a popular choice for regional theaters.

Intimate clothing Set in 1905 and centered around the story of Esther Mills, an African American seamstress who makes lingerie for wealthy women And Woman of the night. Esther’s whole world changes when the owner of the boarding house she lives in gives her a letter from a Panamanian man and she starts a correspondence with him. While digging into the world of blackness and immigration, digging into what it means to be a newly married couple, who, in the end, knew little about each other before marriage, let Natz bathe the world in all the complexities of life in the 1900s.

Knotz has done a lot of interviews about why he wrote Intimate clothing. He said the play is about the “intercourse” of immigrants from Eastern Europe and what it means for African Americans to move from the countryside to the south to the larger urban area and into the bedroom (Nestrak).

The origin of the story began with her grandmother’s passport photo which was a mystery to her. She knew her grandmother was a seamstress, but the way to find out more about her and the picture was cut because her mother had recently died. He went to the New York Public Library to find out more, and a year later, Intimate clothing Was written. As he puts it, “All my plays are about people who have been marginalized,” people “who have been erased from public records” (Soloski, Alexis, “Lynn Notes: Intimate clothing And what’s under my drama ” [The Guardian, 28 May 2014]).

Notes spoke with Alexis Soloski Guardian About the rather obsolete setting of the play. He said he “put a bed in the middle of each scene,” because I wanted to see how it affected the interaction. Even if the bed is not used, even if no one is sitting on it, how does it change sexual mobility, social intercourse? ‘The play focuses on the question of intimacy. Relationships start with those who are physically emotional but emotionally affectionate towards them. . . Which is rich in love, but completely sacred. “These chaste but deep relationships anchor the play, and Knotz’s interest in this relationship is evident in the depth of the friendship between Easter and Mr. Marx. As Soloski put it,” Seeing Marx together means denying the almost unbearable feeling of love. “This kind of emotional journey makes the play relevant and almost tragic. A truly heartwarming story.

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