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Asheville School News

Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright to Speak at Asheville School
Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright to Speak at Asheville School

Margaret Edson, who won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play "Wit," will address the Asheville School community at the annual Founders' Day convocation. She will speak in the Walker Art Center's Graham Theater on Thursday, April 27 at 7:15 p.m.

Called "the Harper Lee of playwrights," by the New York Times, Margaret Edson is a long-time public school teacher and administrator who lives and teaches in Atlanta, Georgia.

In addition to winning the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, her play, "Wit" also won the 1993 Drama League of New York Playwright Award, numerous March 1996 Los Angeles Drama Critics' Circle Awards, numerous June 1998 Connecticut Drama Critics' Circle Awards, the 1998 Berrilla Kerr Foundation Playwrights Award, and the 1999 Fellowship of Southern Writers Drama Award (pulitzer.org).

Associate Head of School Jay Bonner is no stranger to Edson's work. He and former trustee and past parent Dr. John Lawrence teach "Wit" to students in their team-taught Honors Humanities Seminar.

"The play resonates with our students because it deals with a highly successful academic who has lived a life without human connections. As Edson herself has said, 'Smart is not bad, but kind is good,'" said Bonner.

"At Asheville School, we want to graduate young people with good hearts—even as they also graduate with academic skills important for college and life success like critical thinking, reading, writing, and problem-solving," he said. "Sharing her wisdom with our students and with alumni on Founders' Day reminds us of what our founders wanted to develop in the young people they hoped would attend—and who have attended—Asheville School."

You can read a transcript of Edson's 1999 interview on PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer here and read the 2012 New York Times article about her, "Changing Gears but Retaining Dramatic Effect" here.
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