Tony Kushner to visit English class this spring

The playwright who penned the film season’s most buzzworthy movie, “Lincoln,” will come to campus this spring to lecture in the English department.
Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner will come to GW April 9 for the “Jewish Literature Live” course. The English and theatre and dance departments will begin preparations Sunday, putting on a series of student-run versions of his plays as part of a series of events to honor the playwright.“If for no other reason other than that movie is on everyone’s lips right now, Kushner’s visit becomes a very very exciting thing,” English professor Faye Moskowitz said. “He’s an amazing playwright in the American canon.”

Moskowitz, who runs the course, said adding Kushner to the lineup of contemporary Jewish-American authors was a snag for the three-year-old class, which brings students together with the authors they read.

The class filled up with 25 seniors on the first day of registration. In past years, authors like Michael Chabon have also visited the course, which is funded by an undisclosed gift from alumnus David Bruce Smith, a former trustee.

It took an extra gift from Smith to attract Kushner, who asks a hefty speaking fee, which Moskowitz would not disclose.

Kushner is most famous for writing “Angels in America,” a two-part play that sets religion, sexuality and politics behind a backdrop of a country enduring the early part of the AIDS epidemic.

“It aroused a lot of attention at the time and it’s remained a very important play. Not only because of its politics, but because of the power of Kushner’s writing,” Moskowitz said.

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