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Winner, 2013 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History
Winner, 2014 Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play Mogadishu, 1993. Paul is a Canadian photojournalist who is about to take a picture that will win him the Pulitzer Prize. Princeton, the present day, Dan is an American writer who is struggling to finish his play about ghosts. Both men live worlds apart but a chance encounter over the airwaves sparks an extraordinary friendship that sees them journey from some of the most dangerous places on earth to the depths of the human soul. Flying from Kabul to the Canadian High Arctic, The Body of an American sees two actors jump between more than thirty roles in an exhilarating new form of documentary drama. It urgently places these two men's battles - both public and private -against a backdrop of some of the world's most iconic images of war. "A feisty docu-drama about Paul Watson...a fascinating mix of troubled and troubling biography and autobiography...holds you in a steely grip." - Time Out "An engrossingly subjective docu-drama which feels psychologically acute and politically important...a really superb piece of theatre." - The Stage "The Body of an American is a play about writing a play but it's also an intricate meditation on the nature of memory and guilt." - Evening Standard "A play that tightens its grip as it probes where war lives, and discovers we each carry it inside ourselves." - Guardian "Provides ample food for thought... Moment by moment the livewire, oddly introspective theatrical experience keeps us on our toes, and accumulatively it presents us with a debate about where we should draw the line between observation and involvement, what's good about curiosity and what's bad." - Telegraph Dan O'Brien is a playwright and poet from New York, currently living in Los Angeles. His play The Body of an American premiered at Portland Center Stage, directed by Bill Rauch, and received the inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, as well as the PEN Center USA Award for Drama. His debut poetry collection, War Reporter, published in the UK and the US, received the 2013 Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. O'Brien's previous plays have been produced off-Broadway and regionally in the US at Second Stage Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and elsewhere.
About the Author
Dan O'Brien's current projects include The Body of an American, which also received the PEN Center USA Award for Drama and the L. Arnold Weissberger Award, and premiered at Portland Center Stage in 2012. O'Brien's debut collection of poetry entitled War Reporter was published in 2013 from Hanging Loose Press in Brooklyn and CB Editions in London. War Reporter is currently on the shortlist for the UK's Forward Prize for Best First Collection.