College of Education > News and Publications > News: Jan. - March 2010 > Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Edson to Speak April 5

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Edson to Speak April 5

News release about Margaret Edson visiting campus

Edson_Maggie.jpgby Joe Savrock (March 2010)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Margaret Edson will present a public lecture Monday, April 5 at 4:00 p.m. in Stuckeman Family Building on the University Park campus. Her talk is titled "The Insubstantial Pageant: Orality, Literacy, and Writing for Performance."

Edson’s weeklong visit to Penn State, April 5–9, is part of the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program, a service of the Council of Independent Colleges. Wilson Fellows are prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders, and other nonacademic professionals who visit campuses across the United States for weeklong residencies of teaching and dialogue with students and faculty members.

Edson won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Wit, which portrays a college professor facing a personal battle against cancer. Hundreds of productions of the play have been staged worldwide, including Off Broadway. Wit has also won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Oppenheimer Award, and the Drama Desk Award, among other honors. HBO’s production of Wit won the 2001 Emmy Award for best film.

Notwithstanding her high accomplishment as a playwright, Edson has chosen teaching to be her primary vocation. She has been teaching elementary school for the past 17 years. She currently teaches in Atlanta.

During her stay at Penn State, Edson will be attending seminars as well as visiting classes and meeting with student groups.

“We are so pleased Maggie Edson has agreed to join us as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow,” said Jacqueline Edmondson, associate dean for undergraduate and graduate studies in the College of Education. “Maggie’s dedication to her students and teaching is clearly her top priority—she would agree to spend time with us only during her school’s spring break so that she would not be away from her second-grade class. I am eager for our students and faculty to meet her and to learn more about how she balances her life as a teacher with her creative work as a writer.”

Edson’s visit is sponsored jointly by the College of Education and the College of Arts and Architecture.