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2011 Honored Playwright

Lee Blessing

Lee Blessing

Lee Blessing is one of America’s most talented and prolific playwrights. He has been awarded the Steinberg/American Theater Critics Association Award and Citation, the L.A. Drama Critics Award, the Great American Play Award, the Humanitas Award and the George and Elisabeth Marton Award among others. His plays have also garnered nominations for the Tony and Olivier awards, as well as the Pulitzer Prize. Notable productions include: A Walk In The Woods - Broadway and London's West End (also seen on PBS’s “American Playhouse”); Off-Broadway - When We Go Upon the Sea, A Body of Water, Going to St. Ives, (Outer Critics Circle Award, Best Play, OBIE for ensemble performance); Thief River (Drama Desk nomination, Best Play); Cobb (Drama Desk award, best ensemble); Chesapeake, Eleemosynary and Down the Road. 1992-93 Signature Theatre season: Fortinbras, Lake Street Extension, Two Rooms and the world premiere of Patient A. Notable world premieres: Wood for the Fire (part of The Great Game, a twelve-play cycle produced by the Tricycle Theatre, London); Great Falls in the Humana New Play Festival of the Actors Theatre of Louisville; Lonesome Hollow, Flag Day and Whores all at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival; The Scottish Play at La Jolla Playhouse; Black Sheep at Florida Stage and The Winning Streak at George Street Playhouse. Other plays include Riches, Independence, Oldtimers Game, Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music, Perilous Night and A User’s Guide to Hell, Featuring Bernard Madoff. Recent adaptations: Heaven’s My Destination, from Thornton Wilder’s picaresque 1935 novel, commissioned and produced by the Cleveland Play House, and Courting Harry, commissioned by the Weissberger Group from a non-fiction work by Linda Greenhouse. Blessing is married to playwright and TV writer Melanie Marnich and lives in New York. He heads the graduate playwriting program at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.

Profile Theatre in Portland, OR has devoted its entire 2010-11 season to Blessing’s work.

Blessing is a current member or alumnus of the Writers Guild of America, west; the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis; New Dramatists in NY and the Societe des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques.