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Domino Theatre
Pablo Picasso

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"The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls."

Pablo Picasso

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Who Writes This Stuff?

The playwrights behind Domino's 67th season:

Neil Simon (Barefoot in the Park) was born in New York in 1927. He started his career in the 1940s writing scripts for radio and television with his brother Danny, then moved on to writing for the New York theatre. His first Broadway play, Come Blow Your Horn, opened in 1961. His best-known plays since then include The Odd Couple, The Goodbye Girl, Lost in Yonkers and the autobiographical trilogy Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound. Simon won three Tony awards (for The Odd Couple and Biloxi Blues plus a special Tony for contribution to theatre in 1975) and has had more plays adapted for film than any other American playwright. Simon died in August 2018.

Born in New York in 1929, Ira Levin (Deathtrap) attended Drake University and New York University, then began writing scripts for radio and television as well as training films. His first produced play was No Time for Sergeants, an adaptation of a novel by Mac Hyman, mostly notable for launching Andy Griffith's career. It was later made into a movie and a TV series. Deathtrap, written in 1978, is Levin's best-known play, but he is also known for several novels that were made into movies, including Rosemary's Baby and The Stepford Wives. Ira Levin died in New York in 2007.

Charles Ludlam (A Christmas Carol) was born in Floral Park, N.Y., in 1943. His interest in theatre started early, with performing in community theatre and working backstage at a summer-stock company. In his senior year of high school he and a group of friends formed the Students' Repertory Theater in Northport, N.Y. Ludlam then studied dramatic literature at Hofstra University, then joined a New York theatre company before forming his own Ridiculous Theatrical Company in 1967. He wrote many plays, often adaptations or mashups of gothic novels. His best known play, The Mystery of Irma Vep, a gothic drama in which two actors play seven roles. In addition to a number of fellowships, he won six Obie Awards, and the Rosamund Gilder Award for distinguished achievement in the theatre in 1986.

Christopher Sergel (To Kill a Mockingbird) was born in Iowa City in 1918. His interests and talents led him on many adventures throughout the world. As captain of the schooner Chance, he spent two years in the South Pacific; as a writer for Sports Afield magazine, he lived in the African bush for a year; as a lieutenant commander during World War II, he taught celestial navigation; as a playwright, his adaptation of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio was seen on Broadway. He also wrote adaptations of To Kill a Mockingbird, Cheaper By the Dozen, The Mouse That Roared, Up the Down Staircase, Fame, Black Elk Speaks and many more. He was president of the New York play publisher Dramatic Publishing from 1970 until his death in 1993.

Madhuri Shekar (In Love and Warcraft) was born in California and grew up in India, and after a couple of quick detours in Singapore and London, made her first grown-up home in Los Angeles. Her play Queen had its world premiere in April 2017 at Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago, was nominated for a Jeff Award for Best New Play and made the 2017 Kilroy’s List. She is the 2013/14 winner of the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting contest held by the Alliance Theatre for In Love and Warcraft, which The Alliance Theatre produced, followed by two further plays – Bucket of Blessings and Antigone, Presented by the Girls of St. Catherine’s. Other plays include A Nice Indian Boy and House of Joy.

Jeffrey Hatcher (Holmes and Watson) grew up in Steubenville, Ohio. His many plays have been performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and across the U.S. and elsewhere. They include Three Viewings, Scotland Road, A Picasso, Neddy, Korczak's Children, Mercy of a Storm, Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright (with Eric Simonson), and Lucky Duck (with Bill Russell and Henry Kreiger). Hatcher wrote the book for the Broadway musical Never Gonna Dance and the musical, ELLA, and co-wrote the stage adaptation of Tuesdays with Morrie with author Mitch Albom. He wrote the screenplays Casanova and The Duchess, and has written for the TV series Columbo and E! Entertainment Television.

Jack Neary (Kong's Night Out) has had plays produced all over the United States and in Canada. His work includes Trick or Treat, Auld Lang Syne, Jerry Finnegan's Sister, First Night and The Porch, as well as adaptations of classic stories such as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Fall of the House of Usher. He is co-founder of New Century Theatre in Northampton, Massachusetts and the Greater Lowell Music Theatre based at UMass Lowell. As an actor, he has appeared on television on Spenser for Hire, Law and Order and Brotherhood, and in the films The Town and Black Mass.

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