Doug Wright is an American playwright and librettist known for plays and musicals based on real events and people. Born in Dallas, Texas, in 1962, Wright had an early aptitude for theatre. He was the president of the Thespian Club at Highland Park High School and graduated from Yale University before earning his Master of Fine Arts from New York University. He gained acclaim in the mid-1990s for his play Quills, about the final days of the Marquis de Sade. In 2000, the play was adapted into a film for which Wright wrote the screenplay. In 2003, he wrote I Am My Own Wife, a one-man show about the life of German transgender antiques collector Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. The play became one of Wright's most famed works, and earned him the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award for Best Play. In 2009, he directed his adaptation of August Strindberg's Creditors at the La Jolla Playhouse.
In addition to his eight plays, Wright has written three musicals, the most noted of which is Hands on a Hardbody, based on a documentary of the same name about an endurance contest in Longview, Texas, in which contestants must keep their hand on a pickup truck for as long as possible. The contestant that lasts the longest wins the truck. Wright also wrote the book for the musicals Grey Gardens and War Paint, also based on documentaries and real people. In 2020, Wright taught playwriting as a visiting professor at Texas Tech University. He has served as the president of the Dramatists Guild of America and has received prestigious fellowships from Yale University, the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and Princeton University.
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