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Terrence McNally Honored With NYU Doctor of Fine Arts Degree

Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon currently star in a new Broadway production of McNally's Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.

Frankie and Johnny playwright Terrence McNally is now a Doctor of Fine Arts from New York University
(© David Gordon)

Playwright Terrence McNally was honored with a Doctor of Fine Arts degree, honoris causa, at New York University's 187th commencement exercises at Yankee Stadium on May 22.

"You have created over the past half-century an eclectic and prolific body of work — literally scores of plays, musicals, opera libretti, and scripts for film and television," Andrew D. Hamilton, president of NYU, said. "Your razor wit and complexities of character largely explain how you created theatre that functions as family, launched the careers of great actors, and helped audiences cope with the AIDS crisis that engulfed them. You placed your unique stamp on American drama by probing the urgent need for connection that resonates at the core of human experience. From an expansive mind and generous spirit, you have created masterful and enduring art and in the process have celebrated and uplifted humankind."

McNally is currently represented on Broadway with a new production of his 1987 play Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, starring Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon, and directed by Arin Arbus. Some of his other plays include Love! Valour! Compassion!, Master Class, and Lips Together, Teeth Apart. He has also written the books for musicals Kiss of the Spider Woman and Ragtime.

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