Adrienne Kennedy


Award-winning playwright, lecturer, and author Adrienne Kennedy (Ohio State Murders) was born in Pittsburgh in 1931 and attended Ohio State University. Her plays include Funnyhouse of a Negro (Obie Award), June and Jean in Concert (Obie Award), A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and WhiteA Rat's MassThe Owl AnswersMotherhood 2000Electra and Orestes(adaptation), She Talks to BeethovenAn Evening with Dead EssexA Lesson in a Dead Language, and The Lennon Play. She is the recipient of an Obie Award for Sleep Deprivation Chamber, which she co-authored with her son Adam. It premiered at the Public Theater and was produced by Signature Theatre Company, which devoted an entire season to Ms. Kennedy's work. Other awards include a Guggenheim award, the Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and the American Book Award for 1990. Her published works include In One ActAlexander Plays, and Deadly Triplets, all published by University of Minnesota Press, and People Who Led to My Plays (a memoir), originally published by Knopf and now in paperback by Theatre Communications Group, which also published Sleep Deprivation Chamber. A study of her work, Intersecting Boundaries: The Theatre of Adrienne Kennedy, was also published by University of Minnesota Press. Her plays are taught in colleges throughout the country, in Europe, India, and Africa. She has been a visiting lecturer at Yale University, New York University, and University of California at Berkeley, where she was Chancellor's Distinguished Lecturer in 1980 and 1986. She was also commissioned to write plays for Jerome Robbins, the Public Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Juilliard School, and the Royal Court in England. Ms. Kennedy has lived in Africa, Italy, and London and last fall was a visiting professor in Harvard University's English Department.