Before Lanford Wilson was a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, he wrote dozens of short stories and poems, many of which take place in the 1950s small-town Missouri where he grew up. When Wilson died in 2011 at age 73, he left his entire manuscript collection to the University of Missouri. His early work, written between 1955 and 1964, when he was between the ages of 18 and 27, provides a rare look at a young writer developing his style.
Dr. David Crespy, professor of playwriting, acting, dramatic literature and theatre history with the University of Missouri, edited the compilation of these discoveries in Lanford Wilson: Early Stories, Sketches, and Poems. The compositions explore many of the themes Wilson later took up in the theatre, including sexual identity and the rupture of society and families. Join us as Dr. Crespy shares these poignant, never-before-published works providing insight into the origins of some of America's best-loved plays.