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Playwright Lanford Wilson Dies

Posted on 26 March 2011

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Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and longtime Sag Harbor resident Lanford Wilson died on Thursday, March 24 in Wayne, N.J. from complications of pneumonia. He was 73 years old. Wilson, a native of Lebanon, Mo., won the Pulitzer for drama in 1980 for his play “Talley’s Folly.” The play was part of a trilogy set in his hometown and also included “Talley & Son” (1985)  and “Fifth of July (1980).” A production of “Fifth of July” was presented at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor last summer. Other plays include “Hot L Baltimore” (1973), Angels Fall” (1983), “Burn This” (1987), and “Redwood Curtain” (1993). A memorial service for Lanford Wilson will be held on Monday, March 28 at the First Presbyterian (Old Whalers’) Church, 44 Union Street, Sag Harbor, at 2 p.m.

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2 Responses to “Playwright Lanford Wilson Dies”

  1. Eloisa Cardona says:

    I understudied Geri Riordan for the Seattle Repertory premier of “Redwood Curtain”, and had the honor of being in Mr. Wilson’s presence during rehearsals (he sat in on one understudy rehearsal and coached us through the dialogue of one scene) and backstage during performances. I remember we had a a chat during opening night out in the lobby during the show, short but sweet about how the show was going. Needless to say I was in awe of him. During my years as student in the University of Washington Drama department, we had read and done scene work from his plays. That I was actually working with a living theater legend was the experience of a lifetime for this Asian American actress. I am saddened by the news of his passing, as are, I am sure, a great many who have had the same honor and privilege of working with Lanford Wilson.

  2. Vicki Pardee says:

    I was pulled magically into the Landford Wilson play, Redwood Curtain, when it premiered here in Seattle at the Seattle Repertory Theatre.
    It was through the magical powers of my dog, D’art, that I met Marshall Mason, Landford Wilson, Fred Reinglas and my partner of 18years,Leslie Loeb who was part of the Circle Repertory Theatre in New York and was Stage Manager for several of Landford Wilsons plays.
    I remember Landford complimenting D’art on her performances, in which she was brilliant. She (nor I) had ever done anything like this before, and we ended up on Broadway, in which Debra Monk won a Tony for “Best Actress” that year.
    Being behind the scenes with David Orser here in Seattle, Jeff Daniels & Debra Monk, Denise Yaney and Fred Reinglas in New York; it was one of the most magical and amazing adventures of my life.
    I cannot tell you how wonderful being in New York was for first time, with my canine companion. D’art and I went everywhere-Macy’s! The Plaza…walking Manhattan with a Broadway Starlett! I swear, after awhile, D’art could even hail a cab! We arrived to a St. Patrick’s Day blizzard only to be walking among Daffodils in Central Park a few weeks later.
    I am sorry I never crossed paths with Landford Wilson ever again, but I am afraid that one actress dog named D’art, was probably all I will ever have and I was only graced into the world of theatrical arts momentarily.
    Leslie & I will be in NYC mid-April and would love to see any Redwood Curtain or Circle Repertory folks that would like to meet for a drink and reminisce, in Landford’s honor.


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