Press release from Western Carolina University:
Tony Kushner is acclaimed worldwide with plays such as Angels in America and Caroline, or Change, and screenplays of movies such as Munich and Lincoln. Kushner will be interviewed on stage by Beth Huber, associate professor of writing, rhetoric, and critical studies (a program in the WCU English Department.) This event is a joint presentation by the Bardo Arts Center, WCU Literary Festival, and is one of the featured events in the WCU College of Fine and Performing Arts 10th Anniversary, “Celebrating 10 Years of Inspiring Art.”
In 2007, WCU brought together programs in art, design, music, and theater into a new college at the university – The College of Fine and Performing Arts. This year, we celebrate a decade of inspiration that has changed the lives of our students and patrons forever. In fall 2017, the WCU School of Stage and Screen presented a powerful production of Kushner’s Angels in America. As a follow-up, “An Evening with Tony Kushner,” will give audiences the opportunity to explore his plays and other projects through an onstage interview and discussion.
Kushner gives voice to characters who have been rendered powerless by the forces of circumstance — a drag queen dying of AIDS, an uneducated Southern maid, contemporary Afghans — and his attempt to see all sides of their predicament has a sly subversiveness. He forces the audience to identify with the marginalized — a humanizing act of the imagination. Kushner rejects ideology in favor of what he calls “a dialectically shaped truth,” which must be “outrageously funny” and “absolutely agonizing,” and must “move us forward.”
Kushner is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, an Emmy Award, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, an Arts Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a PEN/Laura Pels Award, a Spirit of Justice Award from the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, a Cultural Achievement Award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, a Chicago Tribune Literary Prize for lifetime achievement, the 2012 National Medal of Arts, and the 2015 Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater Award, among many others.
Huber spent thirteen years writing and acting for theater companies in Kansas City and throughout Europe for the USO before returning to the University of Missouri to obtain a bachelor’s degree in creative writing, a master’s in writing and rhetoric, and a doctorate in rhetoric and history.
This evening also serves as the final event of the Spring Literary Festival by the WCU English Department, running April 2-5. The mission of the festival is to foster reading, cultivate the arts, and enrich our community through the best humanities education possible.
Tickets to the performance are $25 for the general public, $20 for WCU/SCC faculty and staff, and $5 for WCU/SCC students. For tickets and further information, please visit arts.wcu.edu/tony-kushner or call 828-227-ARTS.