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Wendy Wasserstein

In 1989, Wendy Wasserstein not only won the Pulitzer Prize for The Heidi Chronicles, she became the first woman playwright to win a Tony Award. In 1973, Wasserstein joined the MFA program at The Yale School of Drama. Not only was she the only woman in the playwriting program, she studied no plays by women, met no female directors, and was told by a fellow student that he couldn’t get into her work because it was about women. Her thesis, Uncommon Women and Others, depicting five women friends over several years, was produced at the Phoenix Theater in New York in 1977. Wasserstein resolved to buck the stereotypical representation of women in drama as insane or overwrought by devoting her career to depicting intelligent, talented, nuanced women, such as the middle-aged protagonists of her 1992 The Sisters Rosensweig. While she is mainly known for her dramas, she also wrote three musicals, various comedy skits for the television series Comedy Zone, and essays published in the New Yorker, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, and other magazines.

Wendy Wasserstein
Full image
Wendy Wasserstein.
Courtesy of Jill Krementz, Lincoln Center Theater.
Date of Birth
October 18, 1950
Place of Birth
Brooklyn, New York
Date of Death
January 30, 2006

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Wendy Wasserstein." (Viewed on February 19, 2019) <>.


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