Lee Blessing

Lee Blessing

1992-93 Residency 1 Playwright

Lee Blessing was born in Minneapolis in 1949. He received his B.A. from Reed College in Portland, Oregon and a double M.F.A. in poetry and playwriting from the University of Iowa.

His plays include: Fortinbras, Down The Road and Two Rooms (commissioned and produced by the La Jolla Playhouse); Cobb (Yale Repertory Theatre); Eleemosynary (Manhattan Theatre Club); Lake Street Extension (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati), Riches, Independence, Oldtimers Game and Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music (all at Actors Theatre of Louisville).

A Walk in the Woods opened on Broadway in 1988 and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Best Play, and its subsequent West End production in London starring Sir Alec Guinness was nominated for the Olivier Award. It has since been produced worldwide and on PBS’s "American Playhouse."

Mr. Blessing’s Signature Season presented four productions, including the World Premiere of Patient A, which drew widespread attention for its re-exploration of the Kimberly Bergalis AIDS case. Signature’s New York Premiere of Two Rooms won Time Magazine’s "Best Play of the Year." Mr. Blessing has developed works at the Eugene O’Neill Center National Playwrights Conference, the Sundance Institute, New Dramatists, the New Harmony Project and the Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis. He has received grants from the NEA and the Guggenheim, Bush, McKnight and Jerome Foundations.

His original screenplay Cooperstown, starring Alan Arkin and Graham Greene, aired in January 1992 on TNT in its Screenworks series. His play, Chesapeake, premiered in the summer of 1999 at New York Stage and Film and then in a production at Second Stage in New York in October 1999. His play Thief River received its world premiere as part of Signature Theatre's 10th Anniversary All-Premiere Celebration.

Past Productions

Thief River
Lake Street Extension
Two Rooms
Patient A
Lee Blessing photo courtesy of STC.

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