Stephen Adly Guirgis

Stephen Adly Guirgis writes dramatic dialogue with passion and humor, creating characters who live on the edge, and whose linguistic bravado reinvigorates the American vernacular.

Stephen Adly Guirgis is a playwright whose work brings underrepresented voices—the poor, the imprisoned, the traitorous, the betrayed—to vivid, riotous life. Guirgis is a longtime member and former Artistic Director of NYC’s Labyrinth Theater Company, a groundbreaking ensemble of actors committed to writing and staging their own productions. A number of Guirgis’s plays were first produced by Labyrinth under the direction of Philip Seymour Hoffman, including The Little Flower of East Orange (2008), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (2005), and In Arabia We’d All Be Kings (1998). His play The Motherfucker with the Hat, about an ex-convict and a drug addict described in the New Yorker as “one of the most beautifully drawn couples to appear on the stage in years,” premiered on Broadway in 2011 and received six Tony Award nominations. A former violence prevention specialist and HIV educator, Guirgis has facilitated numerous workshops in New York City-area prisons, schools, shelters, and hospitals.

I am truly humbled, inspired, and immensely grateful to receive this extremely generous affirmation and sustenance from the Windham-Campbell Prize and Yale University. I consider this prize to be like a contract: you have chosen to show an incredible amount of faith in me, and I, in turn, hope to reward that faith by using the resources and support given me to create new work for our theater and to be there for our young artists—to aid their process in any way I can. Thank you so much. STEPHEN ADLY GUIRGIS