The 2016 Louis Auchincloss Prize

The Museum of the City of New York will present its 2016 Louis Auchincloss Prize to Tony Kushner on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at a gala dinner in the Museum’s Fifth Avenue building. 

Playwright, screenwriter, and author Tony Kushner is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, an Olivier Award, an Emmy Award, two Oscar nominations, and the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, among other honors. In 2012, he was awarded a National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. Kushner's plays include A Bright Room Called Day; Angels in America, Parts One and TwoSlavs!Homebody/Kabul; the musical Caroline, or Change and the opera A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck, both with composer Jeanine Tesori; and The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide To Capitalism And Socialism With A Key To The Scriptures. He has adapted and translated Pierre Corneille's The Illusion, S.Y. Ansky's The Dybbuk, Bertolt Brecht's The Good Person of Szechwan and Mother Courage and Her Children; and the English-language libretto for the opera Brundibár by Hans Krasa.

New York Theater has a long history as one of the city’s principal attractions and exports to the world, and it is fitting for the Museum of the City of New York to honor one of the art’s most esteemed contemporary figures. Kushner has contributed to New York Theater with brilliance and daring, continuing the tradition of creativity, innovation and diversity that has been at the heart of the city’s theater community for generations.

The presentation of the Louis Auchincloss Prize to Mr. Kushner in December is equally fitting as the Museum presents Gay Gotham, an exhibition opening on October 7, 2016 that explores the contribution of LGBT writers and artists to the city’s creative life. Kushner’s landmark Angels in America figures prominently in this story, which traces gay writers and artists who served as visible emblems of the modern metropolis and who emerged from decades of being “hidden in plain sight” into full view, open and proud.

Beyond theater, Kushner has written screenplays for Mike Nichols' film of Angels In America, and for Steven Spielberg's Munich and Lincoln. His books include Brundibar, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak; The Art of Maurice Sendak, 1980 to the Present; and Wrestling With Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict, co-edited with Alisa Solomon.

He lives in Manhattan with his husband, Mark Harris.

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About the Auchincloss Prize 

The Louis Auchincloss Prize is presented to writers and artists whose work is inspired by and enhances the five boroughs of New York City. Disciplines include literature, architecture, art, music, playwriting, and photography. The Prize honors Louis Auchincloss (1917–2010) for his many years of service to the Museum of the City of New York as well as for his literary contributions that established him as one of the leading American novelists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Past recipients of the Auchincloss Prize are jazz musician and composer Wynton Marsalis, composer Philip Glass, composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim; Lynne Meadow, artistic director of the Manhattan Theater Club; lyricist Sheldon Harnick; Ada Louise Huxtable, for her architectural criticism; novelist, essayist, and journalist Pete Hamill; and photographer Elliott Erwitt. Louis Auchincloss accepted the first prize himself in 2007.


For more information or to purchase a table of tickets to the Louis Auchincloss Gala, please contact Claude Barilleaux, Director of Special Events, at 917-492-3326 or

Wynton Marsalis Receives the 2015 Louis Auchincloss Prize.
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