Donald Margulies

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Donald Margulies
Donald Margulies.png
Born (1954-09-02) September 2, 1954 (age 61)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Occupation Playwright
Nationality American
Alma mater Purchase College
Spouse Lynn Street

Donald Margulies (born September 2, 1954) is an American playwright and a professor of English and Theater Studies at Yale University. In 2000, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Background and Education[edit]

Margulies attended John Dewey High School in Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from Purchase College where he received a BFA in Visual Arts. Margulies lives with his wife, Lynn Street, a physician, and their son, Miles, in New Haven, Connecticut, where he is a professor of English and Theatre Studies at Yale University.


Margulies' notable works include The Country House (2014), Time Stands Still (2009); Shipwrecked! An Entertainment — The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told by Himself) (2007) and Brooklyn Boy (2004). Sight Unseen and Collected Stories were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, in 1992 and 1997, respectively; Dinner with Friends was awarded the prize in 2000.

The Country House[edit]

The Country House opened on Broadway on October 2, 2014 at the Manhattan Theater Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theater. It was a co-production with the Geffen Playhouse, where it had its world premiere on June 11, 2014, directed by Daniel Sullivan and starred Blythe Danner, Eric Lange, David Rasche and Sarah Steele; Scott Foley and Emily Swallow originated roles played on Broadway by Daniel Sunjata and Kate Jennings Grant. It won the 2014 L.A. Ovation Award for Best Play and was selected an Applause Books Best Play of 2013-14.

Time Stands Still[edit]

Time Stands Still opened on Broadway on January 28, 2010, at the Manhattan Theatre Club's Friedman Theatre for a limited engagement. It resumed performances on September 23, 2010, at the Cort Theatre, where it ran until January 30, 2011; between its two runs, it played a total of 24 previews and 194 performances. It starred Laura Linney, Brian d'Arcy James, Eric Bogosian and Alicia Silverstone (later succeeded at the Cort by Christina Ricci), and was directed by Daniel Sullivan. The play was nominated for a 2010 Tony Award for Best Play and was selected a Burns Mantle Best Play of 2009-2010. Linney was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. In 2009, Time Stands Still had its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse (Los Angeles), which had commissioned it. Directed by Sullivan, the Geffen premiere featured Silverstone, Anna Gunn, David Harbour and Robin Thomas. Its foreign premiere took place in Stockholm in 2009, and productions are planned in many cities across the country and around the world.

Shipwrecked! An Entertainment[edit]

After its world premiere in the 2007 Pacific Playwrights Festival at South Coast Repertory where it starred Gregory Itzin and was directed by Bart DeLorenzo, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment went on to productions at the Geffen Playhouse (where it again was directed by DeLorenzo and starred Itzin), Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven (directed by Evan Cabnet); Primary Stages in New York (directed by Lisa Peterson; both featuring Michael Countryman); and in theaters all over the United States. It received an Outer Critics' Circle Award nomination for Outstanding New Play in 2009.

Brooklyn Boy[edit]

Main article: Brooklyn Boy

Brooklyn Boy also began life at the Pacific Playwrights Festival, in 2003, and was produced at South Coast Repertory, on Broadway by Manhattan Theatre Club at the Biltmore Theatre, and in Paris at the Comedie des Champs-Élysées. It was an American Theatre Critics' Association New Play Award finalist, an Outer Critics' Circle nominee, and a Burns Mantle Best Play of 2004-2005. The play was directed by Daniel Sullivan, and its original cast was Adam Arkin, Arye Gross, Allan Miller, Ari Graynor, Mimi Lieber, Kevin Isola and Dana Reeve (whose role was played on Broadway by Polly Draper).

Dinner with Friends[edit]

Main article: Dinner with Friends

Dinner With Friends, which received the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Drama,[1] was commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville (Kentucky), where it had its world premiere at the 1998 Humana Festival of New American Plays. A revised version was produced later that year at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California, and opened November 4, 1999, at the Variety Arts Theatre in New York, where it played 654 performances. In addition to the Pulitzer, Dinner with Friends received an American Theatre Critics Association New Play Citation, The Dramatists' Guild/Hull-Warriner Award, the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play, the Outer Critics Circle Award, a Drama Desk Award nomination, and was selected a Burns Mantle Best Play of 1999-2000. It went on to have a long run in Paris at the Comedie des Champs-Élysées, and productions in cities all over the world including London, Berlin, Vienna, Stockholm, Tokyo, Mumbai, Seoul, Tel Aviv and Istanbul. In 2001 it was an Emmy Award-nominated film for HBO.

Collected Stories[edit]

Collected Stories was commissioned by South Coast Repertory, where it had its world premiere in 1996. It went on to have three New York productions: its premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club's City Center Stage I, in 1997, with Maria Tucci and Debra Messing, directed by Lisa Peterson; the following year at the Lucille Lortel Theatre with Uta Hagen and Lorca Simons, directed by William Carden; and on Broadway in 2010 at Manhattan Theatre Club's Friedman (formerly Biltmore) Theatre, starring Linda Lavin and Sarah Paulson, directed by Lynne Meadow. Lavin received a 2010 Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Play for her performance. She had previously played the role of Ruth Steiner in 1999 at the Geffen Playhouse in a production co-starring Samantha Mathis, directed by Gilbert Cates, which was later re-produced for PBS Hollywood Presents in 2002. The play has had dozens of productions all over the country and around the world, perhaps most notably in London in 1999, at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, with Helen Mirren and Anne-Marie Duff, directed by Howard Davies.

Sight Unseen[edit]

Main article: Sight Unseen (play)

Sight Unseen was commissioned by South Coast Repertory, where it had its premiere in September 1991. It was given its New York premiere by Manhattan Theatre Club at City Center II on January 27, 1992 and later moved to the Orpheum Theatre where it ran for a combined total of 293 performances. It was directed by Michael Bloom and starred Dennis Boutsikaris, Deborah Hedwall, Jon DeVries and, in the supporting role of a German art critic, Laura Linney. In 2005, Linney played the female lead in the play's Broadway premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club's Biltmore Theatre, with Ben Shenkman, Byron Jennings and Ana Reeder, directed by Sullivan. Linney received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Play for her performance.

The Loman Family Picnic[edit]

The Loman Family Picnic was first produced by Manhattan Theatre Club at City Center Stage II in 1989, with Marcia Jean Kurtz and Larry Block, directed by Barnet Kellman. MTC revived it on Stage I in 1993, with Christine Baranski and Peter Friedman, directed by Lynne Meadow. It was a Drama Desk nominee and a Burns Mantle Best Play of 1988-1989.

The Model Apartment[edit]

The Model Apartment premiered at Los Angeles Theatre Center in 1988 (directed by Roberta Levitow) but wasn't produced in New York until 1995, by Primary Stages, directed by Lisa Peterson. Margulies won the OBIE Award for Playwriting, and the play was a Dramatists' Guild/Hull-Warriner Award finalist and a Drama Desk nominee. A revival premiered during Primary Stages 2013-2014 season where is was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Revival of a Play, and two Lucille Lortel Awards.

What's Wrong With This Picture? [edit]

What's Wrong With This Picture? was first produced by Manhattan Theatre Club in 1985, by Jewish Repertory Theatre New York in 1990, and at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Broadway in 1994.

Found a Peanut[edit]

Found a Peanut was first produced by Joseph Papp at the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1984, where it was directed by Claudia Weill and starred Robert Joy, Evan Handler, Peter McNicol, Greg Germann, Robin Bartlett, Nealla Spano, Kevin Geer and Jonathan Walker.


In 1982, Luna Park, a one-act play inspired by the short story "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities" by Delmore Schwartz and produced by Jewish Rep, was his New York debut as playwright.

His God of Vengeance, based on the Yiddish classic by Sholem Asch, was produced at ACT Theatre (Seattle) in 2000, and in 2002 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, directed by Gordon Edelstein.

Coney Island Christmas, adapted from the short story “The Loudest Voice” by Grace Paley, was commissioned and first produced by the Geffen Playhouse in November 2012.

He is currently writing the book for the musical Father of the Bride, based on the 1950 movie with Spencer Tracy, for Disney Theatricals.

Film and Television[edit]

Margulies has written pilots and episodes of various television shows and has been a writer-for-hire on numerous screenplays that remain unproduced.

The End of the Tour[edit]

Margulies adapted the memoir Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky as a feature film screenplay, The End of the Tour. The film, to be released in 2015, was directed by James Ponsoldt and stars Jason Segel as Wallace and Jesse Eisenberg as Lipsky. The screenplay appeared on the 2013 Blacklist, a survey published every year of the top motion picture screenplays not yet produced.

Middlesex (HBO Miniseries)[edit]

Margulies has adapted the novel Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides into an HBO miniseries. As of November 2014 it is still in development.

Grants and awards[edit]

Margulies has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. He was playwright-in-residence at the Sundance Playwrights Conference for three summers. Margulies is an alumnus of New Dramatists and serves on the council of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Selected awards[edit]

Notable works[edit]

  • Luna Park, 1982
  • Resting Place, 1982
  • Gifted Children, 1983
  • Found a Peanut, 1984
  • What's Wrong with This Picture?, 1985
  • The Model Apartment, 1988
  • The Loman Family Picnic, 1989
  • Pitching to the Star, 1990
  • Sight Unseen, 1991
  • July 7, 1994, 1995
  • Collected Stories, 1996
  • Dinner with Friends, 1998
  • God of Vengeance, 2000
  • Brooklyn Boy, 2003
  • Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, 2007
  • Time Stands Still, 2009
  • Coney Island Christmas, 2012
  • The Country House, 2014


English Department (2008). "Donald Margulies: Adjunct Professor of English". Yale University. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 

External links[edit]