NEW YORK CITY: James Houghton, Richard Rodgers director of Juilliard’s Drama Division, has announced that David Lindsay-Abaire will join Marsha Norman as the new co-director of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program, beginning in the fall 2016. Lindsay-Abaire will succeed Christopher Durang, who has served as co-director since 1994.
“Marsha Norman and Chris Durang have together created one of the most dynamic and essential playwrights programs in the country,” said Houghton in a statement. “They have nurtured an entire generation of some of the finest writing in American theatre and beyond. It is absolutely right and appropriate that David Lindsay-Abaire, as an alum, joins Marsha now as they continue the legacy of this program. We are thrilled beyond measure to have David join us.”
Juilliard’s one-year playwrights program offers graduate level fellowships to four or five writers, free of tuition.
“I consider my years as a student at Juilliard to have been a special and seminal time in my life as a playwright, primarily because of Chris and Marsha and their unwavering support and guidance,” said Lindsay-Abaire in a statement. “To be stepping in for Chris all these years later is a great honor, and incredibly humbling. I so look forward to working alongside Marsha, and with Jim Houghton and the rest of the Juilliard family. But most exciting of all, I’m eager to get to know the next generation of playwrights, and to learn from them.”
Lindsay-Abaire is a playwright, screenwriter, lyricist, and librettist. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Rabbit Hole, which also received five Tony nominations, and the Spirit of America Award. His play Good People premiered on Broadway in 2011, and garnered the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, the Horton Foote Prize, the Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, and two Tony nominations. He wrote the book and lyrics for Shrek the Musical. Lindsay-Abaire’s other plays include Ripcord, Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo, Wonder of the World and A Devil Inside, among others. In addition to his work in theatre, his screen credits include his film adaptation of Rabbit Hole, Dreamworks’ Rise of the Guardians, and the upcoming Family Fang.