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Gay playwright Tony Kushner to receive National Medal of Arts at The White House

Gay playwright Tony Kushner to receive National Medal of Arts at The White House

Tony Kushner may have lost the Oscar race this year for Lincoln but next week, he will be the recipient of a prestigious National Medal of the Arts.

The White House announced today that Kushner, the winner of a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize for Angels in America, will be honored on 12 July along with director George Lucas, musician Herb Alpert and writer Elaine May.

Kushner will be honored for his contributions to the theater and films.

‘Whether for the stage or the silver screen, his scripts have moved audiences worldwide, marrying humor to fury, history to fantasy and the philosophical to the personal,’ The White House said in a statement.

Angels in America is a seven-hour epic about the AIDS epidemic in Reagan-era New York. The two parts of the play are separately presentable and entitled Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, respectively.

Others being honored by The White House are: Lin Arison, co-founder of the National Young Arts Foundation and the New World Symphony; Joan Myers Brown, dancer, choreographer and founder of the Philadelphia Dance Company; opera singer Renée Fleming; author and teacher Ernest Gaines; painter, sculptor and printmaker Ellsworth Kelly; landscape architect Laurie Olin; composer, producer and performer Allen Toussaint; and the Washington Performing Arts Society.