Not to be outdone by Hollywood, playwrights now have their own "Walk of Fame." On Oct. 26, actress and producer Lucille Lortel will dedicate the "Playwrights' Sidewalk," which will adorn the cement outside her namesake theatre on Christopher Street. The stretch of pavement will feature several rows of metal stars honoring a wide variety of scribes, both living and dead, from Eugene O'Neill to Douglas Carter Beane. The only criterion is that the dramatist's works must have been performed Off Broadway at one time or another.
Lortel, long known as the "Queen of Off-Broadway," conceived of the idea and selected the first set of honorees. The long list includes: Edward Albee, John Arden, Douglas Carter Beane, Samuel Beckett, Lee Blessing, Marc Blitzstein, Bertolt Brecht, Caryl Churchill, Michael Cristofer, Mart Crowley, Horton Foote, Athol Fugard, Jean Genet, A.R. Gurney, William M. Hoffman, Langston Hughes, William Inge, Eugene Ionesco, Adrienne Kennedy, Arthur Kopit, Larry Kramer, Ring Lardner, Archibald MacLeish, Norman Mailer, David Mamet, Terrence McNally, Arthur Miller, Yukio Mishima, Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema, Marsha Norman, Sean O'Casey, Eugene O'Neill, Norman Rosten, Murray Schisgal, Sam Shepard, Paula Vogel, Derek Walcott, Wendy Wasserstein, Michael Weller, Tennessee Williams, Lanford Wilson and Paul Zindel. Donald Saddler will direct the ceremony.
The dedication will take place at 6:45 PM. Several playwrights are expected to attend, including Foote, Hoffman, Weller and Zindel.
New writers will be added each year, chosen by committee. The nature and number of the committee members is yet to be decided.
--By Robert Simonson