NCYPlaywrights: AR Gurney (reprint)

The following is a re-print of a posting on NancyMcLernan’s NYCPlaywrights site   (

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Stalking A.R. Gurney

Last week I received an email from NYCPlaywrights that free tickets were available for members for that night’s Master Class with A.R. Gurney at the Cherry Lane Theatre. I went.

The evening was hosted by Angelina Fiordellisi, Artistic Director of Cherry Lane Theatre. It proved to be very informative for both playwrights and those of us who speak their words as Mr. Gurney genially and generously shared his experience and his insights. There were approximately 10 people invited to sit onstage in a semi-circle with Mr. Gurney as the main part of the open topic discussion while another 20 or so people sat in the theatre seats.

At the end of the 90-minute forum Mr. Gurney generously took time to speak personally to those in attendance, signed autographs, and gave individuals parting words of encouragement. (I just shook his hand and said ‘Thank You.’)

When I arrived at the subway platform for my ride home I saw Mr. Gurney standing by himself several yards away waiting for the same train. No entourage, no bodyguards, no limo, no paparazzi – just another guy waiting for the train. Entirely in keeping with the avuncular man I’d met two hours earlier.

We got on the same train in different cars and I rumbled my way home with everyone else. To my surprise, when I got off at the train at my stop, there he was. We happened to make eye contact and both of us smiled and chuckled at the “Hey, it’s you” irony of it. We spoke briefly on our way up the stairs to street level. I remarked on his comfortable anonymity. He smiled, laughed and said, “Yeah, you’re right”. We waved good-night to each other and set off in opposite directions.

DB Lamberton, jr.

For more info on the Cherry Lane Master Class series go to :

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