Bruce Norris (playwright)

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Bruce Norris (born May 16, 1960) is an American actor and playwright associated with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company of Chicago. On April 18, 2011, Norris was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Clybourne Park (2010). The Prize committee citation described the play as "a powerful work whose memorable characters speak in witty and perceptive ways to America's sometimes toxic struggle with race and class consciousness." Prior to its Pulitzer reception, the play won the Olivier Prize for "Best New Play" following its premiere at New York's Playwrights Horizons, and won the Tony Award for Best Play following its Pulitzer win. It is notably one of two plays to win the Pulitzer, Tony, and Olivier, the other being David Mamet's drama Glengarry Glen Ross.

After graduating from Northwestern University in 1982 with a degree in theatre, Norris set out to become an actor. He performed at Victory Gardens Theater, the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre and on Broadway. His Broadway credits include David Hirson's Wrong Mountain, Wendy Wasserstein's An American Daughter, and Neil Simon's Biloxi Blues.[1] During this time he was also "hired and fired from a number of television pilots." These rejections led to his first play, The Actor Retires.[2] The Steppenwolf Theatre has produced the last seven of Norris' plays.[3]

Norris' verbally dexterous and fast-paced dramas are reminiscent of Edward Albee's comically tragic plays, which contemplate the complexities of the American psyche and the family dynamic.

In 2009, Norris was awarded the Steinberg Playwright Award.

Plays[edit]

  • The Actor Retires (1992)
  • The Vanishing Twin (1996)
  • The Infidel (2002)
  • Purple Heart (2002)
  • We All Went Down to Amsterdam (2003)
  • The Pain and the Itch (2004)
  • The Unmentionables (2006)
  • Clybourne Park (2009), world premiere produced January 29 - March 7, 2010 by Playwrights Horizons, New York, New York, with Tony winner Frank Wood, Emmy nominee Annie Parisse, Jeremy Shamos, Crystal A. Dickinson, Brendan Griffin, Damon Gupton and Christina Kirk
  • A Parallelogram (2010)[4]
  • The Low Road (2013)
  • Domesticated (2013)
  • The Qualms (2014)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Internet Broadway Database. http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=72371
  2. ^ Steppenwolf Theatre Company. http://www.steppenwolf.org/watchlisten/backstage/detail.aspx?id=79 Accessed June 20, 2009.
  3. ^ Steppenwolf Theatre Company. http://www.steppenwolf.org/boxoffice/productions/bio.aspx?crewId=775 Accessed June 20, 2009.
  4. ^ http://broadwayworld.com/article/Posey_Stars_Plays_by_Norris_Gibson_Among_Playwrights_Horizons_20092010_Season_Highlights_20090317