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Lee Blessing, Playwright

As the 30th Ralph L. Collins Memorial Lectures guest, Lee Blessing conducted two public lectures in April, 1994. The first, A Walk Through the Mill: A Playwright’s Experience on Broadway, explored the trails and exaltations of bringing his own play to life on Broadway. Getting Rid of the Dialogue, his second lecture, focused on the differences between screenwriting and TV writing versus playwriting.

Playwright Lee Blessing made his Broadway debut in 1988 with A Walk in the Woods. It has been produced in London and Moscow and appeared on American Playhouse on PBS. The Signature Theatre Company devoted its entire 1992-93 New York season to Blessings work, including the world premiere of his play Patient A.

Other plays include Fortinbras, Down the Road, and Two Rooms, all commissioned by the La Jolla Playhouse; Cobb, which premiered at the Yale Repertory Theater; Eleemosynary, produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club; Riches, Independence, Oldtimers Game, and Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music, all of which premiered at The Actors Theatre of Louisville. His play Lake Street Extension premiered at the Ensemble Theatre Company of Cincinnati. Most recently, The Rights was co-commissioned by the Ensemnble Theatre Company and the Theatre on the Square of Marietta, Georgia.

Blessing received an MA in both poetry and playwriting from the University of Iowa Graduate Writers Workshop. His plays have won the American Theatre Critics Award and the George and Elisabeth Marton Award and have been nominated for Tony and Olivier Awards and the Pulitzer Prize. His TNT film, Cooperstown, won the 1993 Humanitas Prize for PBS/Cable as well as three nominations for 1993 Cable Ace Awards, including Best Writing.