Artist Bio

Adrienne Kennedy

(Bio as of May 2021)

Adrienne Kennedy (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright, lecturer and author. Her plays include Funnyhouse of a Negro (Obie Award), June and Jean in Concert (Obie Award), A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and WhiteA Rat’s MassThe Owl AnswersMotherhood 2000Electra and OrestesShe Talks to BeethovenAn Evening with Dead EssexA Lesson in a Dead Language and The Lennon Play.  She is the recipient of an Obie Award for Sleep Deprivation Chamber, which she co-authored with her son Adam. Other awards include a Guggenheim award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, the 1990 American Book Award and induction into the Theater Hall of Fame. Her published works include In One ActAlexander PlaysDeadly Triplets, He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box and Other Plays and the memoir People Who Led to My Plays. She was also commissioned to write plays for Jerome Robbins, the Public Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Juilliard School and the Royal Court in England. She has been a visiting lecturer at Yale University, New York University, Harvard University and University of California at Berkeley, where she was Chancellor’s Distinguished Lecturer in 1980 and 1986. In 2018, Kennedy was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater.