The Language Issue
No. 3
Vol. 18
Jan/Feb 2016

This edition of The Dramatist, guest edited by Tina Howe, investigates how dramatists use language. As Howe asks in her Editor's Note, "How do you, dear reader approach language in your work? With tweezers, an embroidery needle, buzz saw, or divining rod?" Howe also leads a conversation with Anne Washburn and Chisa Hutchinson on Inventing Language, Johnna Adams and David Hirson discuss Writing Verse, and Caridad Svich curates a roundtable on the influence of David Mamet's use of language. Additionally, Kristin Idaszak answers Ten Questions about her writing process, Dan O'Brien discusses The Craft, David Johnston shares some of his creative Inspiration, and Arthur Kopit explains Why I Joined the Guild.

THE DRAMATIST is made possible by funding from the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America, a generous gift from the JOHN LOGAN FOUNDATION through a grant from the Dramatists Guild Foundation, and contributions from Guild members LIKE YOU.

Colorful illustration of circus performers on a stage riding unicycles on tightropes while juggling letters and a dancer in arabesque standing on a computer keyboard.

Guest Editor

Tina Howe
Tina Howe

(born Mabel Davis Howe; November 21, 1937 – August 28, 2023) was an American playwright. In a career that spanned more than four decades, Howe's best-known works include Museum, Painting ChurchesThe Art of Dining, Costal Disturbancesand Pride’s Crossing, among others. Among her many accolades, she won the 1993 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature; 1998 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best American Play; 2015 PEN/Laura Pels Theater Award, Master American Dramatist; the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Lillys; inducted into the 2017 American Theatre Hall of Fame; and 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dramatists Guild.

Cover Illustration and Artwork

Color photograph of a smiling white woman with short gray hair and wearing large, dangling circular earrings
Martha Ives

studied art at Antioch College, the School of Visual Arts, and the Art Students League. During her career in publishing and advertising, she designed and illustrated greeting cards, book jackets, and children’s books. She is now primarily a printmaker and you can view her art at She is married to playwright David Ives.

Spalding University - Playwrights Thrive Here -

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