Amy Herzog

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Amy Herzog is an American playwright.[1][2] Her play 4000 Miles, which ran Off-Broadway in 2011, was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.[3] Her play Mary Jane, which ran Off-Broadway in 2017, won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play.[4] Herzog's plays have been produced Off-Broadway, and have received nominations for, among others: the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Actor and Actress (After the Revolution); the Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (The Great God Pan); and Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Actress in a Play (Belleville). She was a finalist for the 2012–2013 and 2016–2017 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Personal life[edit]

Herzog's grandfather is songwriter Arthur Herzog Jr.[1] She is married to stage director Sam Gold; they have two children.[5]

She grew up in Highland Park, New Jersey[6] and was the valedictorian of her 1996 graduating class at Highland Park High School.[7]

Career[edit]

Herzog received a Bachelors degree from Yale College and a Masters in Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama. Her teachers included Richard Nelson and John Guare. Jim Nicola, producer of Belleville at the New York Theatre Workshop, said that "the distinction of Herzog's work is her belief 'that private, individual experience is always inseparable from public, historical processes, when she explores human lives.'"[8] Herzog teaches at Yale as a lecturer in Playwriting.[9][10]

Style and themes[edit]

Tim Sanford, artistic director of Playwrights Horizons noted that she is willing "to take on 'ideas and history, which not everyone believes in anymore.' He also praises the sophistication of her structures and characters. 'You can see the affinity for Richard Nelson, who was her teacher,' Sanford points out, referring to the veteran playwright and teacher at Yale School of Drama."[8]

Richard Nelson said: "She has great, great facility for dialogue ... It's clean, it's simple, it's evocative, it's witty. It's alive and easily spoken. Very, very actable. That's a given talent." John Guare noted "Amy came fully formed" Guare also mentioned her "warm-hearted, cold-eyed sympathy for her characters."[8]

Herzog based several characters in her plays on family members. The character of Vera Joseph in 4000 Miles is based on Herzog's grandmother, Leepee. Vera initially appeared in her play After the Revolution. Leo in 4000 Miles is based on her cousin who lost a good friend. The "Josephs" in her plays are also partially based on her father's stepfamily.[11]

After the Revolution[edit]

Her play After the Revolution had its world premiere at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Massachusetts, from July 22 to August 1, 2010.[12] The play premiered Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in October 2010 (in previews) and ran through December 12, 2010. The play concerns the young granddaughter continuing her "family's Marxist tradition, devoting her life to the memory of her blacklisted grandfather." The cast featured Mare Winningham, Lois Smith (as Vera), Peter Friedman and Katharine Powell.[12]

The play received nominations for the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Actor and Actress, as well as the Outer Critics Circle Award, John Glassner award.[13] Charles Isherwood, in his review for The New York Times called the play "smart, engrossing", and wrote: it "strikes a fresh note in being set among a family of exotic beings".[14] Herzog won the "New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award" for this play; the award carries a prize of $5000.[15]

The Great God Pan[edit]

Her play The Great God Pan opened at Playwrights Horizons in December 2012 and closed on January 13, 2013.[16] Directed by Carolyn Cantor, the cast featured Becky Ann Baker, Peter Friedman, Jeremy Strong (Jamie), Keith Nobbs (Frank) and Joyce Van Patten.[17]

The play concerns a journalist, Jamie, age 32. Jamie is told by his old friend Frank that he is suing his (Frank's) father for sexual abuse; Frank suspects that Jamie was also abused. Although Jamie denies this, his life and relationships are thrown into turmoil. Herzog said that the play is "not about abuse, it's about memory and self-discovery."[18]

Charles Isherwood, reviewing in The New York Times, wrote: Herzog "has emerged in the past few years as one of the bright theatrical lights of her generation. ... She writes with a keen sensitivity to the complex weave of feelings embedded in all human relationships, with particular attention to the way we tiptoe around areas of radioactive emotion. Ms. Herzog makes quietly captivating dramas of our instinct to avoid drama, noting how momentous events in our lives can pass by almost without registering on the surface."[19] The play received a 2013 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (Peter Friedman).[20]

Belleville[edit]

Belleville had its world premiere at the Yale Repertory Theatre in October through November 2011, directed by Anne Kauffman.[21] This play was commissioned by Yale Rep.[21][22][23] The play then opened Off-Broadway at the New York Theatre Workshop from March 3, 2013, to April 14, 2013.[24][25] Again directed by Anne Kauffman, the cast featured Maria Dizzia and Greg Keller.[26] Belleville opened in London at the Donmar Warehouse on December 14, 2017. Directed by Michael Longhurst, the cast features James Norton and Imogen Poots.[27]

The play involves two young married Americans, Zack and Abby, living in Paris in a "funky bohemian apartment in up-and-coming Belleville". Zack's "noble mission [is] to fight pediatric AIDS."[21]

The play received nominations for the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Director (Anne Kauffman) and Outstanding Lighting Design (Ben Stanton).[28] The play also received 2013 Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Actress in a Play (Maria Dizzia).[20] Herzog, for Belleville, was a finalist for the 2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.[29][30][31]

Mary Jane[edit]

Her play, Mary Jane, premiered at Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, Connecticut, from April 28 to May 20, 2017, directed by Anne Kauffman.[32][33] Mary Jane was a finalist for the 2017 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.[34] The Yale Rep production featured Emily Donahoe (Mary Jane) and Kathleen Chalfant (Ruthie, Tenkei). Mary Jane opened Off-Broadway at the New York Theatre Workshop on September 6, 2017 (previews) and closed on October 29, 2017. The Off-Broadway production, directed by Anne Kauffman, featured Carrie Coon (Mary Jane) and Brenda Wehle (Ruthie, Tenkei).[35] Mary Jane focuses on a single mother (Mary Jane) who is raising an ill child, helped by female friends. The Off-Broadway cast was new, and director Kaufman had "the chance to reexamine it from a new angle."[36]

Mary Jane won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play on May 3, 2018.[4]

The play received six 2018 Lucille Lortel Awards nominations: Outstanding Director (Anne Kauffman), Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play (Carrie Coon), Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play (Liza Colón-Zayas), Outstanding Scenic Design (Laura Jellinek), Outstanding Lighting Design (Japhy Weideman) and Outstanding Sound Design (Leah Gelpe).[37]

The play received two 2018 Drama Desk Award nominations: Outstanding Play and Outstanding Actress in a Play (Carrie Coon).[38]

Works[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

She received the 2008 Helen Merrill Award for Aspiring Playwrights.[23]

She won a 2011 Whiting Award, which included a $50, 000 prize.[40] She received the Lilly Award in 2011 for playwrighting. (The Lilly Award Foundation has as its mission to "celebrate the work of women in the theater and promote gender parity at all levels of theatrical production.")[41]

Herzog won the 2012 Obie Award in the category Best New American Play for 4000 Miles.[42]

She was a finalist for the 2012-2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Award for Belleville; each finalist receives $2,500.[43]

She was a finalist for the 2016-2017 Susan Smith Blackburn Award for her play Mary Jane. Each finalist receives $5,000.[44] [45]

She won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play for Mary Jane in 2018. The award includes a cash prize of $2,500.[46]

Herzog was awarded the 2019 Horton Foote Playwriting Award (along with Heidi Schreck) by the Dramatists Guild of America. The award, to be presented at a ceremony in July 2019, has a cash prize of $12,500.[47]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Snyder, Diane (May 31, 2011). "Profile: Amy Herzog". Time Out New York.
  2. ^ Pacheco, Patrick (April 13, 2012). "Q&A: Playwright Amy Herzog on Family History, Political Activism, and the Culture of Capitalism". Artinfo. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
  3. ^ Gans, Andrew. "'Disgraced' Wins 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama" Archived April 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Playbill, April 15, 2013
  4. ^ a b Rooney, David (May 3, 2018). "'Mary Jane,' 'Hangmen' Take New York Drama Critics' Circle Honors". The Hollywood Reporter.
  5. ^ Jones, Chad. "Amy Herzog gets mileage out of grandma" sfgate.com, January 13, 2013
  6. ^ Catton, Pia (May 28, 2012). "The Lights Are Bright Off-Broadway". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 4, 2022. Even if Hollywood beckons, Ms. Herzog's roots are firmly in the theater, a community she has been long been a part of, even before she realized it. A native of Highland Park, N.J., she had an early exposure to New York theater through her grandparents, who were in the industry.
  7. ^ "The Highland Park H.S. Class of '96 makes exit". Home News Tribune. June 28, 1996. Retrieved January 5, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. Highland Park High School said farewell to its Class of 1996 last night during commencement in the Maude R. Stockman Gymnasium. The valedictorian, Amy Herzog, will attend Yale University.
  8. ^ a b c Soloski, Alexis. "Amy Herzog balances the political and the personal in her dialogue-rich plays" Archived January 7, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Theatre Communications Group, March 2012, accessed May 26, 2013
  9. ^ "Amy Herzog Biography, Finalist 2016-2017" blackburnprize.org, retrieved March 7, 2017
  10. ^ "Amy Herzog" drama.yale.edu, retrieved March 7, 2017
  11. ^ Snyder, Diane. "Profile Amy Herzog" Time Out New York, May 31, 2011
  12. ^ a b Jones, Kenneth. "After the Revolution, Amy Herzog's Intergenerational Family Portrait, Unveiled Oct. 21" Archived February 1, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Playbill, October 21, 2010
  13. ^ "Listing" Archived October 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Internet Off-Broadway Database, accessed May 23, 2013
  14. ^ a b Isherwood, Charles. "Theater Review; 'After the Revolution'" The New York Times, November 10, 2010
  15. ^ Kepler, Adam W. "Theater Prize Awarded" The New York Times, December 2, 2012
  16. ^ "'The Great God Pan' Listing" Archived September 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Internet Off-Broadway Database, accessed May 23, 2013
  17. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Amy Herzog's 'The Great God Pan' To Star Becky Ann Baker, Joyce Van Patten, Peter Friedman and More Off-Broadway" Archived March 13, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Playbill, August 29, 2012
  18. ^ Simonson, Robert. "Playbill Brief Encounter With Amy Herzog, the Playwright of 'The Great God Pan' and 'Belleville'" Archived June 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Playbill, January 10, 2013
  19. ^ a b Isherwood, Charles. "Theater Review; 'The Great God Pan,' by Amy Herzog, at Playwrights Horizons" The New York Times, December 18, 2012
  20. ^ a b Hetrick, Adam and Gans, Andrew. "Billy Porter, Andrea Martin, 'Pippin', 'Matilda', 'Vanya and Sonia' Win Drama Desk Awards" Archived June 5, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Playbill, May 19, 2013
  21. ^ a b c "Belleville" Archived June 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine yalerep.org, accessed May 24, 2013
  22. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Maria Dizzia and Greg Keller Star in Belleville, New Amy Herzog Drama, Opening Off-Broadway March 3" Archived June 6, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Playbill, March 3, 2013
  23. ^ a b "Amy Herzog Biography" Archived December 14, 2013, at the Wayback Machine yalerep.org, accessed May 24, 2013
  24. ^ a b "'Belleville' Listing" Archived September 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Internet Off-Broadway Database, accessed May 23, 2013
  25. ^ Zoglin, Richard (March 11, 2013). "The Quiet American". Time. Archived from the original on March 1, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
  26. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "'April in Paris': New York Theatre Workshop Extends Amy Herzog's 'Belleville' An Additional Two Weeks" Archived June 6, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Playbill, March 4, 2013
  27. ^ Franklin, Marc J. "The London premiere, starring James Norton and Imogen Poots, will open December 14" Playbill, December 14, 2017
  28. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "'Dogfight', 'The Whale' and 'The Piano Lesson' Are Lortel Award Winners" Archived June 5, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Playbill, May 5, 2013
  29. ^ "2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize" Archived May 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine blackburnprize.org, March 19, 2013,accessed May 23, 2013
  30. ^ "Blackburn Prize Finalists (e-k)" blackburnprize.org, accessed August 31, 2015
  31. ^ Rickwald, Bethany. "Annie Baker, Amy Herzog, Laura Marks, and More Among Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalists" theatermania.com, March 2, 2013
  32. ^ Paulson, Michael. "Yale Rep to Debut Works by Amy Herzog and Sarah Ruhl" The New York Times, March 11, 2016
  33. ^ Mary Jane yalerep.org, retrieved September 23, 2017
  34. ^ Clement, Olivia. "Susan Smith Blackburn Playwriting Prize Awarded March 6" Playbill, March 6, 2017
  35. ^ Mary Jane nytw.org, retrieved September 23, 2017
  36. ^ McHenry, Jackson. "First Look: Carrie Coon Returns to Theater in NYTW's 'Mary Jane'" Vulture, September 15, 2017
  37. ^ McPhee, Ryan. "'KPOP', 'Bella', 'Mary Jane' Lead 2018 Lucille Lortel Award Nominations" Playbill, April 4, 2018
  38. ^ McPhee, Ryan. "Carousel, SpongeBob SquarePants, Mean Girls Lead 2018 Drama Desk Award Nominations" Playbill, April 26, 2018
  39. ^ Taylor, Leah (March 27, 2013). "30 Seconds With… Amy Herzog". Flavorwire. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
  40. ^ "Amy Herzog Wins Whiting Award" stage-directions.com, accessed December 2, 2015
  41. ^ "Past Winners"[Usurped!] thelillyawards.org, retrieved February 9, 2017
  42. ^ "Amy Herzog: Playwright". Playwrights Horizons. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
  43. ^ "Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2012-13 Finalists Announced; Ceremony Set for 3/17" broadwayworld.com, March 1, 2013
  44. ^ "Finalists 2016-2017" blackburnprize.org, retrieved February 9, 2017
  45. ^ "Clare Barron's 'Dance Nation' Wins Blackburn Prize" American Theatre, March 6, 2017
  46. ^ Hetrick, Adam (May 3, 2018). "Amy Herzog's Mary Jane and Martin McDonagh's Hangmen Win New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards". Playbill.
  47. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Heidi Schreck and Amy Herzog Named Winners of 2019 Horton Foote Playwriting Award" Playbill, March 19, 2019

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