Tony Kushner

Acclaimed as one of the most celebrated playwrights of his generation, Tony Kushner was best known as the writer of "Angels in America," a play about a number of characters grappling with the AIDS crisis during the Reagan era. Born in New York in 1956 but raised in Louisiana, Kushner attended Columbia University and later earned his MFA from Tisch School for the Arts. He staged his first play, "The Age of Assassins," at New York's Newfoundland Theatre in 1982 and quickly became a successful and prolific presence in the New York theater scene. He garnered praise after producing his play, "A Bright Room Called Day," at the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco, though the play became much better known after it was produced at New York's Joseph Papp Public Theater in 1991. That same year, Kushner saw part one of "Angels in America" produced at the Eureka Theatre Company of San Francisco. This was quickly followed by a production in London. After unveiling part two of the play, "Perestroika," in a similar fashion, the entirety of the two-part play debuted on Broadway in 1993. An epic and often metaphoric work, "Angels in America" earned Kushner massive praise-as well as a Pulitzer. The following year, he staged the play "Slavs!: Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue and Happiness," on Broadway. He would continue to write successful plays over the coming years, eventually branching into screenwriting in 2003, when he adapted "Angels in America" into a landmark HBO miniseries. Kushner would go on to pen the screenplays for the period film "Munich" (2005) and the biopic "Lincoln" (2012).