Award-winning playwright Tony Kushner to speak at MU

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 | 5:03 p.m. CDT; updated 8:02 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, April 23, 2013

*CORRECTION: "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches" will be performed Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week and next week. A free reading of "Angels in America: Perestroika" is scheduled for Sunday. An earlier version of this story misstated the performance dates.

COLUMBIA — Tony Award-winning playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner will come to MU to participate at a conference on gays and lesbians in theater.

Kushner received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1993 for his play "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes," which chronicles the early AIDS crisis of the 1980s in New York City. He also co-wrote the screenplay for the 2005 film "Munich" and wrote the screenplay for the 2012 film "Lincoln," which won two Oscars this year.

"Tony Kushner's plays are radical for the American theater in that they are openly political, controversial and at the same time utterly human, and amazingly funny and heartbreaking," MU theater professor David Crespy said. "His approach to playwriting simply changed the way we understand how plays can and should be written."

Crespy will host a free discussion with Kushner at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Rhynsburger Theatre, 129 Fine Arts Building.

The interview will touch on many subjects, including what it was like to write "Angels in America," Kushner's experience of seeing the play done again 20 years later, his recent work on "Lincoln" and the politics of changing culture and social justice, Crespy said.

*The first part of Kushner's play, "Millennium Approaches" will be performed Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights this week and next week at the Rhynsburger Theatre.

Tickets can be purchased online, by phone or in person in the Rhynsburger Theatre lobby. The box office is open from 4 to 6 p.m. on weekdays, or from one hour prior to showtime.

A free reading of the second part of the play, "Perestroika," is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

In addition to Kushner, the conference will feature Kim Marra, professor of American studies and theatre arts at the University of Iowa, and Robert Schanke, professor emeritus of theatre at Central College, Iowa.

Ticket information and additional details about the conference can be found on MU's Department of Theatre website.

Supervising editor is Emilie Stigliani

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