Tony Kushner, "West Side Story"
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Host Geri Cole kicks off a new year, and a new season of OnWriting, in conversation with celebrated screenwriter, playwright, and author Tony Kushner—the screenwriter behind the recent adaptation of WEST SIDE STORY. Geri and Tony discuss the process of adapting one of the most famous musicals of all time, how in-depth research about New York's West Side added historical context and deeper meaning to the script, and how even the likes Tony Kushner get anxious looking at a blank page. Tony Kushner is a celebrated playwright, author, and screenwriter who is perhaps best known for writing the acclaimed play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes—and its TV miniseries adaptation—as well as for his collaborations with Steven Spielberg as screenwriter for MUNICH and LINCOLN, both of which earned him Oscar nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay. Angels in America earned Tony both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play in 1993, and he received Emmy and Writers Guild Awards for its onscreen adaptation. He also received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama in 2013. His latest screenplay (and most recent collaboration with Spielberg) is the musical romantic period drama WEST SIDE STORY. The film—based on the 1957 stage musical and a follow-up of the acclaimed 1961 film adaptation—explores forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds, as they explore the ever-shifting (and never-changing) landscape of New York. WEST SIDE STORY was released in December 2021 and is now showing in theaters. --- Before it was a podcast, OnWriting was a print publication. Check out OnWriting: The Print Archives. Read shownotes, transcripts, and other member interviews: Follow the Guild on social media: Twitter: @OnWritingWGAE | @WGAEast Facebook: /WGAEast Instagram: @WGAEast
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Published 05/06/22