Paula Vogel speaks to a group of constituents at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage on January 22, 2012. Photo by Jaime Alvarez.
"There are two things we need to say as artists. We need to say, from the heart, thank you [...] and also, I'm sorry. I'm sorry when I get it wrong."
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel first came to national prominence with her AIDS-related serio-comedy The Baltimore Waltz, which won the Obie Award for Best Play in 1992. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for her play, How I Learned to Drive, which examines the impact and echoes of child sexual abuse and incest and has been produced all over the world. During her two decades leading the graduate playwriting program and new play festival at Brown University, Vogel helped developed a nationally recognized center for educational theater, culminating in the creation of the Brown/Trinity Repertory Company Consortium in 2002. She formerly served as chair of the playwriting department at the Yale School of Drama, and is now currently the Eugene O'Neill Professor (adjunct) of Playwriting at the Yale School of Drama and the Playwright-in-Residence at Yale Repertory Theatre.
Vogel visited the Center in early 2013, to speak with a group of constituents who had recently seen the New York Theatre Workshop production of her play A Civil War Christmas. Vogel's current playwriting project is a Center-funded commission for Philadelphia's Wilma Theater, based on Don Juan Returns from the War. She has conducted interviews with local veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to inform her eventual script. In 2011, the Center supported one of Vogel's playwriting "boot camps," hosted by Philadelphia Young Playwrights. The event was designed to spark the creativity of participants and to generate spontaneity and ingenuity in playwriting.