Press Release: Pinter Tribute at Graduate Center to Celebrate Nobel Laureate’s Life and Achievements

Participants Include Salman Rushdie, Paul Schrader, John Guare, Emily Mann, Brian O’Byrne

A day-long “Tribute to Harold Pinter” on May 2 at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (365 Fifth Ave. at 34th Street) will celebrate the life and achievements of the Nobel Prize-winning dramatist, screenwriter, political activist, and actor. The tribute, presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center as part of the PEN World Voices Festival, has been curated by British actor-director Harry Burton, a close friend and longtime collaborator of Pinter’s.

The celebration will feature live performances, including a staged play reading; film screenings; poetry and prose; panel discussions; rare audio and video recordings of Pinter in his own plays; the U.S. premiere of Burton’s documentary portrait Working with Pinter; and a screening of Pinter’s Nobel acceptance speech, “Art, Truth and Politics.”

Henry Woolf, a lifelong friend of Pinter’s who is featured in the documentary, is participating in the celebration, along with Burton. Other participants include PEN president Salman Rushdie; movie directors Paul Schrader and Patricia Rozema, who worked with Pinter; playwrights John Guare and Emily Mann; Tony Award-winning actor Brian O’Byrne; Todd Haimes, artistic director of the Roundabout Theatre; actor Jason Isaacs; Charles Grimes, author of Harold Pinter’s Politics; Susan Hollis Merritt, editor of The Pinter Review; and Alistair Macauley, dance critic of The New York Times and former theater critic of The Financial Times.

Four sessions will take place in Proshansky Auditorium, beginning at 11 a.m. with “The Early Days,” followed by “Man of the Theatre,” “Pinter at the Movies,” and “Pinter and Politics.” Performances in the evening, beginning at 7 p.m., will include staged readings of The Dumb Waiter and Monologue. Films will run consecutively throughout the day in the Segal Theatre Center screening room, beginning at 11 a.m. with The Birthday Party, and continuing with The Comfort of Strangers, Krapp’s Last Tape, One for the Road, Voices, and Party Time. All events are free and open to the public. For information, call (212) 817-1860 or visit

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (MESTC) is a non-profit center for theatre, dance, and film affiliated with CUNY's Ph.D. Program in Theatre. Its primary focus is to bridge the gap between the academic and professional performing arts communities by providing an open environment for the development of educational, community-driven, and professional projects in the performing arts. Further information can be found at
PEN American Center is the U.S. branch of the world’s oldest international literary and human rights organization. International PEN was founded in 1921 in direct response to the ethnic and national divisions that contributed to the First World War. PEN American Center was founded in 1922 and is the largest of the 144 PEN centers in 101 countries that together compose International PEN. For one week each spring, the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature showcases the work of more than 50 international writers from across the globe in conversations, readings, performances, and panels together with their American counterparts for a cross-cultural celebration of the written word. Further information can be found at
The Graduate Center is devoted primarily to doctoral studies and awards most of the City University of New York's Ph.D.s. An internationally recognized center for advanced studies and a national model for public doctoral education, the school offers more than thirty doctoral programs as well as a number of master's programs. Many of its faculty members are among the world's leading scholars in their respective fields, and its alumni hold major positions in industry and government, as well as in academia. The Graduate Center is also home to more than thirty interdisciplinary research centers and institutes focused on areas of compelling social, civic, cultural, and scientific concerns. Located in a landmark Fifth Avenue building, the Graduate Center has become a vital part of New York City's intellectual and cultural life with its extensive array of public lectures, exhibitions, concerts, and theatrical events. Further information on the Graduate Center and its programs can be found at

Submitted on: APR 1, 2009

Category: Press Room | Theatre and Performance