SMITH AND KRAUS: Every Act of Life

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 5:00pm

This documentary, as well as the book, was written, edited & designed by Jeff Kaufman

“Theater is collaborative, but life is collaborative. We need more of that spirit more than ever in the days ahead. We need what connects us, what makes us human beings. We need to bring the barriers down, not build walls, but tear them down. I really hope we’re very aware of the decisions we’re being asked to make as a country, but it starts with the individual. We need to start loving one another more, and seeing how connected we all really are. The stakes are really high now, higher than ever. And I think that’s the message of art.” - TERRENCE MCNALLY

Terrence McNally is one of the world’s most renowned, risk-taking playwrights, but he wakes up every day with the spirit of an ambitious and romantic young man. It’s that attitude, mixed with a quiet courage, that empowered him in the early 1960s to be the first proudly open major American gay playwright. 

The son of an alcoholic beer distributor in southern Texas, Terrence traveled the world as tutor to John Steinbeck's children (Steinbeck’s only advice was, "Don't write for the theater, it will break your heart”); suffered an infamous Broadway flop in 1965 at age 24; and went on to write dozens of groundbreaking plays and musicals about sexuality, homophobia, faith, the power of art, and finding meaning in every moment of life. He won four Tony Awards; had long relationships with Edward Albee and Wendy Wasserstein; lost a lover and many friends to AIDS; stopped drinking through the intervention of Angela Lansbury; helped launch the careers of Nathan Lane, F. Murray Abraham, Audra McDonald, Doris Roberts, Patrick Wilson, and Joe Mantello; was an early champion of marriage equality and faced violent protests for his play Corpus Christi; survived a brutal fight with lung cancer; and finally found lasting love with his now-husband, producer Tom Kirdahy.

Terrence’s plays, books for musicals, opera librettos, and screenplays include: And Things That Go Bump in the Night (1964), Next (1969), Where Has Tommy Flowers Gone? (1971), Bad Habits (1974), The Ritz (1975), The Rink (1984), Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (1987), It's Only a Play (1986 and 2014), Andre's Mother (1988), The Lisbon Traviata (1989), Lips Together, Teeth Apart(1991), Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993), A Perfect Ganesh (1993), Love! Valour! Compassion! (1995), Master Class (1996), Ragtime (1998), Corpus Christi (1998), Dead Man Walking (2000), The Full Monty (2000), Unusual Acts of Devotion(2008), The Visit (2001 / 2015), And Away We Go (2012), Mothers and Sons(2014), and Anastasia (2017). He is currently working on three new plays.

Featuring interviews and performances with: F. Murray Abraham, Lynn Ahrens, Jon Robin Baitz, Christine Baranski, Zoe Caldwell, Dominic Cuskern, Tyne Daly, Edie Falco, Stephen Flaherty, John Glover, Anthony Heald, John Benjamin Hickey, Sheryl Kaller, John Kander, Roberta Kaplan, Tom Kirdahy, Larry Kramer, Nathan Lane, Angela Lansbury, Paul Libin, Joe Mantello, Marin Mazzie, Audra McDonald, Terrence McNally, Peter McNally, Lynne Meadow, Rita Moreno, Jack O’Brien, Billy Porter, Chita Rivera, Doris Roberts, Don Roos, John Slattery, Micah Stock, Richard Thomas, John Tillinger, Stanley Tucci, and Patrick Wilson, plus the voices of Dan Bucatinsky, Bryan Cranston and Meryl Streep

Event date: 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Event address: 

Arthur Seelen Theatre