Murray Mednick

Murray Mednick is the founder of the Padua Hills Playwrights Festival and Workshop, where he served as Artistic Director from 1978 through 1995. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1939, he was for many years a playwright-in-residence at New York’s Theatre Genesis, which presented much of his early work, including The Hawk, The Deer Kill, The Hunter, Sand, and Are You Lookin’? He was artistic co-director of Theatre Genesis from 1970 -1974, when he emigrated to California. Plays produced since then include Iowa and Blessings (for the PBS series Visions), The Coyote Cycle, Taxes, Scar, Heads, Shatter ‘N Wade, Fedunn, Switchback, Baby Jesus!, Dictator, Freeze, 16 Routines, Mrs.Feuerstein, G-nome, and Joe and Betty. Girl On a Bed, the third in his series of The Gary Plays (following Tirade for Three and Gary’s Walk), was recently made into a film, and the fourth, Out of the Blue, was presented in Los Angeles in 2005. Another play, Clown Show for Bruno, was presented in October of ’06 at the Lost Studio in Hollywood, and then, along with The Destruction of the Fourth World, and the film of Girl on a Bed, at Arts District, Downtown L.A. , as part of a tribute to Mr. Mednick in February, 2009. DaddyO Dies Well is the fifth in the series of Gary Plays.

Mednick is the recipient of two Rockefeller Foundation grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an OBIE, several Bay Area Critics Awards, a 1992 Ovation Lifetime Achievement Award from Theatre LA for outstanding contributions to Los Angeles theatre. He won the 1997 (Dictator) and 2003 (Fedunn) L.A. Weekly Playwriting Awards. His play Joe and Betty received the 2002 American Theatre Critics Association Best New Play Citation. Mednick was awarded the 2002 Margaret Harford Award for Sustained Excellence in Theater by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, and a lifetime achievement award from the L.A. Weekly.

Published plays include: The Hawk, the Deer Kill, and The Hunter, published by Bobbs-Merill, Three Plays by Murray Mednick (Padua Hills Press), Switchback (Sun and Moon Press). The Coyote Cycle, Padua Hills Press; Hipsters in Distress, Are You Lookin’?, and other plays (Padua Hills press). Anthologized plays include Freeze, The Deer Kill, Willie the Germ, The Hawk, Sand, Switchback, Taxes, Coyote Plays, and others.

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