Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage ’86 came to Brown thinking she wanted to be a doctor. To meet the requirements, she took an organic chemistry class, and when the professor announced that the scores on the midterm went from 32 and up, she assumed she scored in the upper range. Instead, she turned out to be the one who got the 32. “That was the transformative moment when I knew I was not going to be a doctor,” Nottage, the author of Ruined and Intimate Apparel as well as a recipient of the MacArthur genius award, said.
The panel on Brown playwrights and their work also included Adam Bok ’89 AM , who won a 2006 Obie award for his play, The Thugs. He said his transformative moment came when he wrote a gay-themed adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to compete with the traditional version of the play staged every year at Providence’s Trinity theater. While watching his show, he said he realized, “Oh, okay, this is why I’m supposed” to be in the theater. “Theater is about providing my community something that it didn’t have.”
Watch a video of the forum here.