Terrence McNally

For Mothers and Sons.

Poignant and playful, brilliant and biting, the ground-breaking work of playwright Terrence McNally crackles through five decades of American theatre. He is a writer equally willing to challenge an audience’s view of the past and open them to the possibilities of the future.

As playwright coming of age in the creative explosion of the theatre scene in the 1960s and 70s, Mr McNally’s plays cried out against Vietnam, satirized stale family dynamics, mocked sexual mores, all with laser-sharp wit and insight. Part of a generation of remarkable American voices in the theatre, he offered a unique and vital imagination to both the Off-Broadway and Broadway world.

His contributions to the art of theatre are incredibly far-ranging; penning landmark plays such as Master Class, Love! Valor! Compassion!, and Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune that celebrate men and women—biographical and fictional, gay and straight—who embrace life’s possibilities in all their ridiculous and painful glory. He has contributed the books of ground-breaking musicals such as The Kiss of the Spider Woman, Ragtime, and The Visit, that challenge notions of race, class, and sexuality. In the world of opera he has created the librettos for the poignant Dead Man Walking and the upcoming Great Scott at the Dallas Opera.

By the time he won the 1993 Tony for Best Book of a Musical for Kiss of the Spiderwoman (the first of four Tony awards), Terrence McNally was already a recipient of multiple Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel, and Obie Awards. He was inducted to the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1996 and has been honored by numerous organizations for his ongoing contributions to the theatre.

Terrence McNally’s ability to move effortlessly between history and current events, intimate emotional portraits and sweeping cultural landscapes, continue to make him an integral part of the American theatre, combining a sacred tradition of theatrical storytelling with an audacious spirit for skewering its hubris.

Terrence McNally is both a keeper of our shared theatrical inheritance and a great pioneer in its ongoing evolution.