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Honoré de Balzac

Honoré de Balzac was born May 20, 1799 in Tours, France and died August 18, 1850 in Paris. He produced a vast number of novels and short stories collectively called La Comédie humaine (The Human Comedy). He helped to establish the traditional form of the novel and is generally considered to be one of the greatest novelists of all time. He was also the author of seven plays.

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Miguel de Cervantes

Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra was born in Spain in 1547 to a family once proud and influential but fallen on hard times. His father, a poor barber-surgeon, wandered up and down Spain in search of work. Educated as a child by the Jesuits in Seville, the creator of Don Quixote grew up to follow the career of a professional soldier. He was wounded at Lepanto in 1571, captured by the Turks in 1575, imprisoned for five years, and was finally rescued by the Trinitarian friars in 1580. On his return to Spain he found his family more impoverished than…

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Eduardo De Filippo

Eduardo De Filippo was born on 24 May 1900, the son of actor Eduardo Scarpetta and Luisa De Filippo. He made his debut in 1904 as a Japanese child in LA GEISHA, written by his father. In 1914 he joined the regular staff of his step-brother’s theatre company, where he stayed until 1920 when he was called up for military service. In 1922, on completing his military service, he resumed his acting career in the theatre. In 1931, together with his brother Peppino and sister Titina, he founded the theatre company Teatro Umoristico I De Filippo, an enterprise that…

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Pedro Calderón de la Barca

Born in Madrid, Spain, on January 17, 1600, Pedro Calderón de la Barca would eventually become one of Spain’s most important dramatists. Along with the older playwright Lope De Vega, Calderón would dominate Spain’s Golden Age of theatre. Educated at the Jesuit Colegio Imperial, Calderón studied law at the University of Alcalá (1614 – 15) and the University of Salamanca (1615 – 21), but did not earn a degree. In 1621, he entered the household of the Constable of Castille, Don Bernardino Fernández de Velasco. Two years later, in 1623, he began writing plays for the court. Calderón’s most…

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Tirso de Molina

Tirso de Molina (c. 1579 – 1648) was the nom de plume of friar Gabriel Téllez, Spanish dramatist, poet, and Roman Catholic monk. One of the great playwrights of the Spanish Golden Age, he was the author of EL BURLADOR DE SEVILLA, the first stage play to immortalize the legend of Don Juan, which Mozart used as the basis for his opera Don Giovanni. He is credited with writing over 80 plays, and together with Lope de Vega and Calderón de la Barca, he is part of the golden triad of Spanish Baroque theatre.

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Alfred de Musset

Alfred de Musset (1810 – 1857) was a French Romantic poet, playwright, and novelist. LORENZACCIO, written in 1834 and produced in 1896, was based on the murder of the Florentine tyrant Alessandro de’ Medici by his cousin Lorenzo, known as Lorenzaccio. The author of over a dozen plays, de Musset is considered, along with Racine and Molière, to be among France’s most important dramatists.

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Fernando de Rojas

Fernando de Rojas (c. 1465/73 – April 1541) was a Spanish author and dramatist, known for his only surviving work, LA CELESTINA, first published in 1499. It is considered the last work of the Spanish Middle Ages or the first work of the Spanish Renaissance. LA CELESTINA was never staged during de Rojas’s lifetime, but it enjoyed considerable success and numerous printings, with some 60 editions having been published.

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Christopher Denham

A Chicago native, Christopher Denham’s film credits as an actor include: Ben Affleck’s Argo (Academy Award for Best Motion Picture, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture), The Bay, Sound of my Voice, Forgetting The Girl, Shutter Island, Enter Nowhere, Restive, Duplicity (alongside Julia Roberts and Clive Owen), Charlie Wilson’s War, Camp Hell, and El Camino. He made his feature directorial and writing debut with the IFC Films distributed Home Movie, starring Adrian Pasdar. Television credits include: The Good Wife, The Following, Deception, Person of Interest, Rubicon, Law & Order, and Law…

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Matt DiCintio

Matt DiCintio’s works include adaptations of MOBY-DICK, A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES, and Oscar Wilde’s SALOME (PlayMakers Repertory Company), and his original plays have been seen Off-Off Broadway and around the country. He has served as dramaturg at The Guthrie Theater, The Playwright’s Center, PlayMakers Repertory, Virginia Repertory, among many other companies and universities. He received his PhD in Drama from Tufts University. Matt is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America.

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Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870) was an English Victorian writer, responsible for creating some of the world’s best-known and loved fictional characters. A prolific author of short stories, plays, novellas, novels, fiction, and nonfiction, during his lifetime Dickens became known throughout the world for his remarkable characters, his mastery of prose, and his depictions of the social classes, mores, and values of his times. Among his most famous works are Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, David Copperfield, and A Tale of Two Cities.

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Katy Dierlam

Katy Dierlam was an actress best known for Shadows and Fog (1991), Bugs Bunny’s Lunar Tunes (1991), and Beloved (1998).

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Sally Dixon Wiener

Sally Ann Dixon Wiener (1926 – 2013) was born in Burlington, Iowa. She attended Tucson High School and earned a degree in Journalism from the University of Arizona. Beginning with her “junior year abroad” at Barnard College, she loved New York City and after writing for dailies in the west she returned to work for several papers in New York. She wrote short stories under the name Samuel Devon Warner. She later studied piano and playwriting at the New School and wrote many musicals and plays which were produced at The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse and at Off-Off-Broadway venues in…

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Jeremy Dobrish

Jeremy Dobrish is a stage director, playwright, artistic leader, and teacher whose main focus has been developing and directing new plays and musicals. As a New York City based director, Jeremy has directed at Second Stage, MCC, Amas, WPA, Joe’s Pub, The Westside Arts, The Promenade, The Variety Arts, The Century, Actor’s Playhouse, Soho Playhouse, Zipper, etc. His productions have received several Lortel and Drama Desk nominations, and the New York Times has described his directing as “Adroit, Canny, Comic, Funny, Gleeful, Ingenious, and at Double Espresso Speed.” Jeremy has directed at all of the major New York festivals,…

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Tom Donaghy

Tom Donaghy is the author of the plays EDEN LANE, BOYS AND GIRLS, THE BEGINNING OF AUGUST, MINUTES FROM THE BLUE ROUTE, NORTHEAST LOCAL, and DOWN THE SHORE, among others. His work has been produced by some of the most prestigious theaters in the country, including Atlantic Theater Company, Playwrights Horizons, Lincoln Center Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Philadelphia Theater Company, and South Coast Repertory. The plays are archived on video at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center; available in acting editions through Dramatists Play Service; and published by Grove Press in a collection…

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Fyodor Dostoevsky

Born November 11, 1821, to parents Mikhail and Maria, Fyodor Dostoyevsky was the second of seven children. His mother died of an illness in 1837, and his father died two years later, reportedly murdered by his own serfs. Shortly after his mother’s death Dostoyevsky was enrolled at the Military Engineering Academy at St. Petersburg, which served as a recruiting pool for the Russian bureaucracy. However, even as he was studying the trade of government, he was honing his skills as a writer, inking drafts of what would become his first novel, Poor Folk, which was published in 1846 to…

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