Scranton native earns author award

Anna Pucci
Staff Writer

The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Memorial Library is honoring the Tony Award- winning playwright and screenwriter Stephen Karam with The Royden B. Davis, S. J., Distinguished Author Award Presentation at the sold out DeNaples ballroom Friday.
Karam is going to be interviewed by Richard Larsen, a theater professor at The University, after he accepts his award that will be televised on WVIA at noon Nov. 20 and 7 p.m. Nov. 21.

Sondra Myers, chairperson of The Royden B. Davis, S. J., Distinguished Author Award and Senior Fellow for International, Civic and Cultural Projects and director of the Schemel Forum at The University, will be introducing Karam during the presentation.

“He just seems to have it in terms of being a playwright,” Myers said.

This award will be given to Karam for his Broadway play The Humans, which won in the category ‘best play’ at the Tony Awards this summer.

The Humans is about a Thanksgiving dinner in New York City hosted by a Scranton native who invited three generations — sister, parents and grandmother — over for the holiday.

“My review of it would say ‘yes…The Humans’ because he has a wonderful way of capturing the value of people with all their faults – its in the context of being not person and he’s not sharp or critical or any of that,” Myers said.

Kaela Farell, a sophomore at The University, saw The Humans and is looking forward to his arrival at The University.

“It’s pretty cool to see someone from around here win a Tony Award based on something we do every year. It was a serious picture of all different aspects of life that I have yet to encounter,” Farell said.
Mariah Hawley, a sophomore at The University, agreed with Farrell on the extent of Karam’s local fame.

“I live in the town over and it is really awesome to see someone so close to my hometown make it big like he has. It’s definitely inspiration for a small town kid to dream big,” Hawley said.

Karam is a Scranton native and graduated from Scranton High School before he graduated from Brown University.
While he was at Brown University, he wrote several plays that were student preformed. One production that he co-wrote with classmate PJ Paparelli was Columbinus, which is one of Myers’ favorites. This production surrounded the idea of adolescent culture around school shootings.
“It was so well written and powerful I wish they would put it on again,” Myers said.
Karam is a professor at The New School in New York City where he teaches playwriting.

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