Name: Tony Kushner, 61
Who he is: The Pulitzer Prize-winning and Oscar-nominated writer of Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes as well as Munich, and Lincoln.
Why he matters: One of the greatest works of drama in American history, Angels in America. It deals elegantly with the plight of gay men suffering from HIV during the Reagan Administration’s indifference to their deaths as well as the burgeoning cultural anxiety of the encroaching Millennium. Premiering on Broadway in 1993, it won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and other awards too numerous to list here.
Why we’re proud: Anyone who has seen Kushner’s magnum opus on stage, or the excellent 2003 miniseries starring Al Pacino and Meryl Streep, or this year’s Broadway revival, can attest to its immense power in commenting on a particularly terrible time in American history. The revival has received plaudits for cast members Lee Pace (in his first major role since coming out), Andrew Garfield and especially for Nathan Lane, who tackles the role of diabolical Roy Cohn.
If the success of the various revivals show, Kushner’s seven-hour drama–the two parts of the play are Millennium Approaches and Perestroika–remains prescient to this day, and as applicable to the Trump years as any other period.