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Christopher Durang

Christopher Durang


1/2/1949, Montclair, New Jersey (USA)

Birth Name



Also Known As

Chris Durang
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Christopher Durang is primarily known as an award-winning playwright, although he has has several successful turns as an actor. He has appeared on stage, the small screen, and in film. Christopher Durang grew up in New Jersey where both of his parents were interested in creativity. His mother…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Christopher Durang's play, Sister Mary Ignacious Explains It All For You, inspired protests outside of theaters by Catholic groups who considered the play to be blasphemous and anti-Catholic.

    • Christopher Durang was hired as an actor for a bit role in the movie The Secret of My Success. However, the director, Herbert Ross, quickly realized that he had a treasure on the set and hired Durang to write dialogue for the movie. Ross gives credit to Durang for most of the movie's funniest lines.

    • Of all his plays, Durang claims that The Marriage of Bette and Boo is his favorite because it is semi-autobiographical. He likes that it takes the most painful moments of his childhood and makes them funny.

    • Christopher Durang has been nominated for three Drama Desk Awards: one for Outstanding Actor in a Musical (1980 -- Das Lusitania Spongspiel), one for Outstanding New Play (1986 -- The Marriage of Bette & Boo), and one for Outstanding Play (1999 -- Betty's Summer Vacation).

    • Since 1994, Christopher Durang has co-chaired the Julliard School's Playwriting Program.

    • On May 5, 2006, Durang received the 12th annual Harvard Arts Medal.

    • Christopher Durang claims that some of his primary influences are Noel Coward, Joe Orton, and Monty Python.

    • Christopher Durang wrote his first play in the second grade. It was a spoof of I Love Lucy.

    • In 2007, Durang was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for Miss Witherspoon.

    • Christopher Durang is openly gay.

  • Quotes

    • Christopher Durang: I've had some small acting parts in movies and I actually find it relaxing how little responsibility I have. I think to myself: "I'm just responsible for making my part in this scene work." It's very different than when I'm a writer, and if a scene isn't working, due to writing or directing or acting, I know I have to address it and do my best to make sure it's solved.

    • Christopher Durang: I'm obviously not in a position to judge … I do like the fact that my plays are popular in high schools and colleges. I just find that very interesting that my plays are more popular in high schools and colleges than my New York mixed success might imply.

    • Christopher Durang: I usually start with an idea and discover where it's heading as I go along... this has been giving me problems working in Hollywood, where they want you to pitch an idea with a conclusion before you start work.

    • Christopher Durang: I like actors, and I have an almost embarrassing ability to laugh at my own work. In rehearsals I'll laugh my head off, but by about the third week I just can't laugh any more. I've learned that I have to warn the actors about that. Otherwise they'll think, oh, he doesn't like it anymore.

    • Christopher Durang: I don't try to offend people. In life, I feel very diplomatic. Obviously in my writing, at least in some plays, I'm not.

    • Christopher Durang: I only graduated to being an agnostic. My biggest problem with organized religion is that God has been imagined as a human being with emotions. I feel if you let go of that, then it's possible to see God as a force, to connect to him or her spiritually.

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