Artist Bio

Margaret Edson

(Bio as of June 2001)

Margaret Edson was born in Washington, D.C., in 1961 on the fourth of July. She studied Renaissance history at Smith College. After graduating magna cum laude, her jobs were, in order: selling hot dogs on the street in Iowa City; waitressing at a hog-farmers’ bar; painting the walls (white) of a contemplative French Dominican convent in Rome; scooping ice cream in Washington; working as a physical therapy aide in a hospital; as a unit clerk on the cancer and AIDS inpatient unit of a major research hospital (during the first clinical trials for AZT); as a pol­icy Intern at a philanthropy-issues lobbying orga­nization; as a fundraiser for a community-based mental health organization addressing psychoso­cial aspects of HIV, where she wrote and designed the training manual Living with AIDS: Perspec­tives for Caregivers; and selling bikes in a bike shop (Wit was written at this time). In 1991-92 she attended Georgetown University on a full scholarship for a master’s degree in English. She worked for six years in the D.C. public schools teaching English as a second language. She became particularly interested in teaching read­ing and taught first grade for one year at Myrtilla Miner Elementary School in Northeast D.C. Wit, written in 1991, is her first play. Since its world premiere at South Coast Repertory in 1995 and subsequent successful off-Broadway runs, it has earned a number of playwriting awards, includ­ing: 1999 Pulitzer Prize; Drama Desk, Dramatists Guild, Drama League of New York; New York Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics Circle; Lucille Lortel; Fellowship of Southern Writers; Berilla Kerr Foundation; Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (finalist); and Los Angeles Drama Critics. In August 1998 she moved to Atlanta, where her part­ner, Linda Merrill, was the curator of American art at the High Museum and is now at home with their son, Timothy. Ms. Edson now teaches kindergar­den in downtown Atlanta.

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