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Press Release

The Writer Returns:

HP Literary Festival welcomes Doug Wright and other HPHS alumni for 2011

Doug Wright, playwright, author, screenwriter, actor, director and Highland Park High School graduate will be the keynote speaker at the 15th annual HP Literary Festival on February 17-18, 2011.  Mr. Wright continues the legacy of internationally known authors who have taken part in the Literary Festival throughout the years. The entire community is invited to hear Mr. Wright at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 17th in the Highland Park High School large auditorium, 4220 Emerson. Following the event, Mr. Wright will be available for book signing in the lobby. This community event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.  

Doug Wright received Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations for his 2006 book written for the Broadway musical Grey Gardens.  In 2004, Mr. Wright was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, a Tony Award for Best Play, the Drama Desk Award, a GLAAD Media Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Drama League Award, and a Lucille Lortel Award for his play I Am My Own Wife.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Wright won a 1996 Obie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Playwriting and the 1995 Kesselring Award for Best New American Play for Quills.  In 2000, he went on to write the screenplay adaptation for the film version of Quills, which starred Geoffrey Rush as the Marquis de Sade.  The film was named Best Picture by the National Board of Review and nominated for three Academy Awards.   In collaboration with director Rob Marshall, Mr. Wright penned the television special Tony Bennett: An American Classic which received seven Emmy Awards.   Mr. Wright adapted Disney’s The Little Mermaid as a Broadway musical, which opened in 2007.  For career achievement, Mr. Wright was cited by the American Academy of Arts and Letters and awarded the Tolerance Prize from the Kulturforum Europa.  

Other talented Highland Park alumni will be joining the Literary Festival stage for student workshops on February 18th: playwright, Carol Hall; novelist, Hillary Jordan; singer/songwriter, Eddie Coker; and journalist, Kirk Dooley and others will be joining perennial favorites such as storyteller, John Owhonda, and slam poet, Joaquin Zihuatanejo.    

The goal of the HP Literary Festival is to inspire and encourage students to celebrate language in its artfully written, spoken and sung formats. The two-day festival will offer special student assemblies with noted speakers, the free community event and over 75 small group workshops connecting HPHS students with novelists, journalists, poets, storytellers, playwrights, screenwriters and songwriters.  The festival also includes an exciting student-run Open Mic Nite where students share readings, musings, poetry and musical performances.  The festival concludes with a student writing contest and an awards breakfast.  

The HP Literary Festival is made possible with the cooperation of the HPHS English faculty and by generous donations from La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas, HPHS PTA, HP Arts, and HPISD families. For more information or to donate to the HP Literary Festival please visit www.hplitfest.org. 

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