Writing with Sondheim
A Conversation with John Weidman and Graham School Instructor Douglas Post
About the Event
Join Graham School Instructor Douglas Post for a conversation with John Weidman, librettist and television writer, as they discuss Mr. Weidman's collaboration as book writer with composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim on their musicals Pacific Overtures, Assassins and Road Show. This discussion will also preview Douglas Post's forthcoming course, The Songs of Stephen Sondheim.
Writer's Studio Instructor
Douglas Post is a Founding Member of the Victory Gardens Playwrights Ensemble. His plays and musicals have been produced in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Canada, England, Wales, Germany, Austria, Russia, China, and South Africa. He has received the L. Arnold Weissberger Playwriting Award, the Midwestern Playwrights Festival Award, the Cunningham Commission Award, the Blue Ink Playwriting Award, and three Playwriting Fellowship Awards from the Illinois Arts Council, and has been nominated for three Jeff Awards and an Emmy Award.
John Weidman has been writing for the musical theater as a librettist, book writer, and legal advocate for almost thirty years. He is the son of librettist and novelist Jerome Weidman, the co-author (with George Abbott) of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Fiorello!. John has written three scripts in collaboration with Stephen Sondheim, those for Pacific Overtures (1976), Assassins (1990), and Bounce (2003, variously titled Wise Guys and Road Show 2008). With choreographer/director Susan Stroman he co-created the Tony Award®-winning musical Contact in 1999. He has been nominated three times for the Tony Award® for Best Book of a Musical, and three of the shows for which he has written the book have won Tonys® for either Best Musical or Best Musical Revival. From 1999 to 2009 he was president of the Dramatists Guild of America.
Weidman graduated with a B.A. from Harvard University and completed studies for a J.D. at the Yale Law School. He has never practiced law, however, nor has he studied music formally, but he has taught elementary school, edited the National Lampoon, and written material for Sesame Street (a show to which he was introduced by his daughter when she was two) since 1986. He has won roughly a dozen Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for a Children’s Program.