Adrienne Kennedy. Since Funnyhouse of a Negro blazed a trail in the American Theatre, Adrienne Kennedy's work has had a profound influence on American playwrights. Her plays The Owl Answers, Ohio State Murders, A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White, and her remarkable short plays: An Evening With Dead Essex, The Film Club, A Lesson in Dead Language, She Talks to Beethoven, and A Rat's Mass have enriched our concept of the possible on stage for the past thirty years and given us a vocabulary of dramatic technique no other writer has explored: the fragmentation of identity, the haunting use of repetition, the creation of elegiac language, an alienation of/and from canonical literature, and the journeys of race, gender, and sexual ruptures from the scripted and policed behaviors that a dominant culture has enforced. But her dream logic, her steadfast persistence, her witnessing to a vibrancy beneath the surface, feels triumphant. With a passion, a courage, a personal investment and visibility in her work, Ms. Kennedy continues to change the landscape of American drama with a wealth of plays whose importance will continue to inspire all in this field.
Ms. Kennedy is a three time Obie-award winner. Among her many honors are the Guggenheim fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters award, PEN/Laura Pels Award for Master American Dramatist, and Anisfield-Wolf Book's Lifetime Achievement Award.