Steven Levenson

Steven Levenson (born May 1984)[1] is an American playwright and television writer. He won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Dear Evan Hansen.

Steven Levenson
Levenson at BookExpo America in 2018
Levenson at BookExpo America in 2018
BornMay 1984 (age 36)
OccupationPlaywright, television writer
Alma materBrown University
Notable worksDear Evan Hansen
Notable awardsTony Award for Best Book of a Musical
SpouseWhitney May
Children1

Early lifeEdit

Levenson was raised in Bethesda, Maryland and attended St. Andrew's Episcopal School and Brown University. He originally studied theater and English but then turned to playwriting. In discussing his interests in writing, he said: "...it does seem that a lot of my work tends to move in that [family] direction. I do find the dynamics in the family to be fascinating and endlessly variable. Family is, obviously, among the most universal experiences."[2] Although he writes for television as well as the stage, he said: "Theater will always be my first love."[2]

CareerEdit

StageEdit

Levenson wrote the book for the musical Dear Evan Hansen which opened on Broadway in December 2016, after premiering at the Arena Stage in Washington, DC in 2015.

His stage playwriting credits include The Language of Trees (2008, Roundabout Theatre Company Black Box Theatre) and Seven Minutes in Heaven (2009).[3][4]

The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin was produced Off-Broadway by the Roundabout Theatre Company at the Laura Pels Theatre, opening in June 2013. The play was produced under the Roundabout Theatre's New Play Initiative.[5][6]

His play If I Forget opened Off-Broadway at the Laura Pels Theatre on February 22, 2017 and closed on April 30, 2017. Directed by Daniel Sullivan the cast featured Jeremy Shamos, Kate Walsh and Maria Dizzia.[7]

His play Days of Rage opened at the Off-Broadway Second Stage Theater's Tony Kiser Theatre on October 2, 2018 with direction by Trip Cullman. The play concerns activists in the late 1960s.[8] Days of Rage was earlier presented at the Hartford Stage Brand New Play Festival in a reading in November 2011, directed by Darko Tresnjak.[9][10]

TelevisionEdit

He was a writer for the Showtime series Masters of Sex, which ran for four seasons, from 2013 to 2016.[11]

He served as showrunner for the FX biographical miniseries Fosse/Verdon about the lives of director-choreographer Bob Fosse and actor-singer Gwen Verdon. The series premiered in 2019.

FilmEdit

He will pen the screenplay for Lin-Manuel Miranda's film adaptation of Jonathan Larson's biographical musical Tick, Tick... Boom!, which will be produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard.[12] He will adapt his and Pasek and Paul's script for Stephen Chbosky's film adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen, as well as pen the script for the remake of Fiddler on the Roof, which will be directed by Thomas Kail.[13][14]

Personal lifeEdit

Levenson is married to Whitney May, who has worked in art history and design history. They have a daughter, born in 2015.[1]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Work Award Category Result
2016 Dear Evan Hansen Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Book of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway) Won
2017 Tony Award Best Book of a Musical Won
If I Forget Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Play Nominated
2019 Fosse/Verdon Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Limited Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special Nominated

Levenson won the 2014 Outer Critics Circle Award, John Gassner Award for The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin.[15]

He also won the 2016 Obie Award for Musical Theatre[16] and the 2017 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Dear Evan Hansen.[17]

His play If I Forget was nominated for the 2017 Drama Desk Awards: Outstanding Play, Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (Jeremy Shamos), Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play (Kate Walsh) and Outstanding Director of a Play. The play was nominated for the 2017 Drama League Award: Outstanding Production of a Play and Distinguished Performance (Kate Walsh). It was also nominated for the 2017 Hewes Design Award, Scenic Design (Derek McLane).[7]

Levenson received two nominations at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on Fosse/Verdon: one for Outstanding Limited Series for producing and one for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special for co-writing the finale episode.[18][19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Klug, Lisa. "This nice Jewish boy just nabbed 9 Tony nominations" Times of Israel, May 3, 2017
  2. ^ a b Traiger, Lisa."Questions & answers with … Steven Levenson" washingtonjewishweek, July 29, 2015
  3. ^ Amatenstein, Sherry (March 24, 2017). "Steven Levenson on Writing 'Dear Evan Hansen' and 'If I Forget'" Paste Magazine. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  4. ^ Bacalzo, Dan. "Review. 'The Language of Trees'" theatermania.com, October 29, 2008
  5. ^ "Roundabout Opens 'The Unavoidable Disappearance Of Tom Durnin' Tonight" broadwayworld.com, June 26, 2013
  6. ^ The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin broadwayworld.com, retrieved May 7, 2018
  7. ^ a b If I Forget lortel.org, retrieved May 7, 2018
  8. ^ McPhee, Ryan. "Kate Baldwin and Bryce Pinkham to Star in World Premiere of Tom Kitt and John Logan’s 'Superhero' for Second Stage" Playbill, May 9, 2018
  9. ^ Days of Rage adamwgreen.com, retrieved May 9, 2018
  10. ^ "Hartford Stage's Brand:NEW 2011 Runs 11/3-6" broadwayworld.com, November 3, 2011
  11. ^ Gelman, Vlada (November 30, 2016). "Masters of Sex Is Done at Showtime". TVLine. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  12. ^ https://deadline.com/2018/07/lin-manuel-miranda-directing-debut-tick-tick-boom-hamilton-jonathan-larson-steven-levenson-imagine-entertainment-musical-movie-1202429317/
  13. ^ https://deadline.com/2018/11/dear-evan-hansen-film-tony-award-winning-musical-wonder-stephen-chbosky-marc-platt-1202222391/
  14. ^ https://deadline.com/2020/05/fiddler-on-the-roof-mgm-movie-hamilton-director-thomas-kail-steven-levenson-dan-jinks-aaron-harnick-1202945586/
  15. ^ The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin lortel.org, retrieved May 7, 2018
  16. ^ 2016 Winners Obie Awards
  17. ^ " 'Dear Evan Hansen' 's Steven Levenson Wins 2017 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical" broadwayworld.com, June 11, 2017
  18. ^ "71st Emmy Awards Nominees and Winners". Television Academy. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  19. ^ "71st Emmy Awards Nominees and Winners". Television Academy. Retrieved 22 January 2020.

External linksEdit