In memoriam: Playwright Lanford Wilson dies at 73

Lanford Wilson

Very sad news from yesterday — that playwright Lanford Wilson died of pneumonia at the age of 73.

Some of my favorites of Wilson’s plays were not among his biggest hits (Redwood Curtain comes to mind) and, as you won’t read in the New York Times obituary, he had a long and varied career in regional theaters outside New York City. His play Book of Days won the American Theatre Critics Association’s top new-play prize in 1999, after a first production at the Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, Mich.; I was the lucky person who got to call Wilson on the phone and tell him he’d won. (He was brushing his teeth at the time.)

Here’s Chris Jones’ obituary from the Chicago Tribune.

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3 responses to “In memoriam: Playwright Lanford Wilson dies at 73

  1. How lucky for you that you had that opportunity and what a great memory! Seminole State College is presenting his play, THE RIMERS OF ELDRITCH. It will open April 8th at 7:30 p.m. and directed by John DiDonna.

  2. Mark Edward Smith

    BOOK OF DAYS is on my wish list of plays to direct. Lanford Wilson was one of the most gifted and humane playwrights working in my lifetime.

  3. Bill Lefkowitz

    Two of my earliest roles were as the Judge and the Preacher in Wilson’s “The Rimers of Eldritch.” What a wonderful challenge for a young actor, especially since we performed in a natural little amphitheater next to a pond. At the sound of my voice, the pond’s frogs would start chirping. We had to round them up and move them to a nearby lake. I look forward to seeing the upcoming production.