Arthur Kopit

Personal Information
Arthur Kopit’s repertoire includes: Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad (Vernon Rice Award, Outer Circle Award); Indians (Tony Nominee); Wings (Tony Nominee, Prix Italia for radio version of play); End of the World with Symposium to Follow; a new translation of Ibsen’s Ghosts; Road to Nirvana; the book for the musical Nine (Tony Award for Best Musical, 1982); the book for the musical Phantom, based on Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera (music and lyrics by Maury Yeston); and, most recently, the book for High Society, a musical based on Philip Barry’s The Philadelphia Story, with music by Cole Porter. Phantom, written prior to the Lloyd Webber version, is currently playing in theaters around the country, and has had long-running successful tours in Germany and Scandinavia. Also, various one act plays, including Chamber Music, The Day the Whores Came Out to Play Tennis, Conquest of Everest, The Questioning of Nick, The Hero, Success, and Good Help is Hard to Find. Television films include the NBC mini-series Hands of a Stranger, the NBC mini-series of his Phantom of the Opera, the CBS mini- series In a Child’s Name, and Roswell. His current projects include: a new play, BecauseHeCan (formerly entitled Y2K), which had its premiere as part of Actors Theatre of Louisville’s annual Humana Festival and was presented in New York by Manhattan Theatre Club and recently at the McCarter Theatre (upcoming productions in Germany and Scandinavia); an original musical, Tom Swift and the Secrets of the Universe, for which he is writing the book, and Maury Yeston the music and lyrics; and a new play, Discovery of America, based on the journals of the Spanish explorer, Cabeza de Vaca. Mr. Kopit is the recipient of numerous awards, including: Shaw Traveling Fellowship, Harvard, 1959; Guggenheim Fellow 1967; Rockefeller grantee 1968; Award for Literature, American Institute of Arts and Letters, 1971; N.E.H. grantee, 1974. From 1974 to 1975 he was a Fellow at the Center for Humanities at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and from 1975-1976, Wesleyan’s Playwright- in-Residence. He has also taught playwriting at the Yale School of Drama (from 1976-1980), where he was a CBS Fellow; at Columbia University; at NYU; and, from 1981-1994, at CCNY. He is a member of the Dramatist Guild, the Dramatists Guild Council, the Writers Guild of America, and PEN. Mr. Kopit is married to the writer, Leslie Garis. They live in New York City and have three children: Alex, Ben, and Kathleen.
External Links: Primary Stages Oral History Project
Playwrights' Sidewalk: Arthur Kopit has a star on the Playwrights' Sidewalk.