Eclectic Playwright

A transgender woman trying to survive in Nazi Germany and a mermaid yearning to live on land may not seem like they have much in common.

But, for starters, Doug Wright wrote both their stories. Wright won the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for his 2003 play, I Am My Own Wife, about the transgender woman, and penned the musical The Little Mermaid, as well as Grey Gardens and Hands on a Hard Body.

Wright will discuss his eclectic career, work with students and conduct research for upcoming works as the 2015-16 artist-in-residence for UNT's Institute for the Advancement of the Arts. Wright, who lives in New York City, visited UNT in the fall and will return in the spring.

He says he's enjoyed the diversity of his career.

"I think that I just pursue stories that move me," the Dallas native says, noting Wife and Mermaid have surprising similarities on the surface.

"Both stories are about people who are out of the dominant culture," he says. "As different as they seem on the surface, they each teach us about human longing and the desire for inclusion."

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Brian McFarlin