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Doug Wright


Douglas Glenndenning Wright

Mr. President, I have the honor of presenting Douglas Glenndenning Wright, one of America’s greatest living playwrights.

Mr. Wright, your career in the theatre has been and continues to be exemplary. You are that rare commodity: a writer who is gifted in a number of different mediums. And your accomplishments in each are extraordinary. You have been produced four times on Broadway and your work has been seen in over 30 countries. You have won the highest honors offered by the American theatre, yet somehow you also find time to support countless up-and-coming artists, working always to improve the strength of the theatre community.

To describe your work as broad in scope would be an understatement. You take on topics that other writers shy away from. You have written books for a number of musicals, including “Grey Gardens,” which untangles the complicated dynamics of a dysfunctional mother/daughter relationship, and “War Paint,” which focuses on the lives of and rivalry between 20th-century female entrepreneurs Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein. You wrote both the play and screenplay for “Quills,” imagining the final days of the Marquis de Sade.

At the same time, you have given us lighter fare, such as the delightful musical “The Little Mermaid.”

It is hard to believe one writer has taken on such different topics so effectively.

You are, of course, best known for your play “I Am My Own Wife,” which examines the life of Charlotte von Mahsldorf, a transgender woman who somehow survived the Nazi and Communist regimes in East Berlin. It is no surprise that for this iconic work, you won the Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award, and the Pulitzer Prize.

Doug, you consistently give back to the playwriting community, mentoring artists at many levels, and as head of the Dramatists Guild, you show tremendous leadership and foresight.

You are a treasure to the American Theatre and an inspiration to us all.

Mr. President, on behalf of the trustees, faculty, students, and staff at Clark University, it gives me great pleasure to request that the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, be conferred on Mr. Douglas Glenndenning Wright.