An American Daughter

Time and Location

2019, Jun 09

By Wendy Wasserstein

The Story

Set in Washington, D.C., AN AMERICAN DAUGHTER focuses on Dr. Lyssa Dent Hughes, a health care expert and forty-something daughter of a long-time Senator. When the President nominates Lyssa to a Cabinet post, an indiscretion from her past is discovered. The media turns it into a scandal which imperils her confirmation and divides her family and friends. Lyssa is forced to make a decision: continue to pursue the post and face an ugly Senate hearing; or decline the nomination, becoming a sacrificial lamb for the President. Partisan politics in our nation's capital, however, are nothing compared to the personal politics in Lyssa's living room, where complicated relationships unravel with her father, husband and her best girlfriend—not to mention the awkward encounters she has with an exuberant neo-feminist author and a relentless TV journalist.

The Playwright

"Wendy Wasserstein, the author of The Sisters Rosensweig and The Heidi Chronicles [is] one of the few American playwrights since S.N. Behrman to create commercial comedies of manners with moral and social heft." —NY Times

"[we] can rejoice…in watching [Wasserstein] become her own bright, eloquent and great-hearted version of George Bernard Shaw. Wasserstein is at least as funny and observant as ever in this smart-talking living-room family play about the nomination of a female U.S. surgeon general. But the playwright is also electrifyingly reconnected to the bizarre, infuriating and defining contemporary forces beyond personal psychology. She has not merely returned to the broader political concerns of her cherished 1988 Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heidi Chronicles, she has returned with a vengeance, and with her craft honed tough for the task…Wasserstein is beautiful when she's angry…we must not forget to remind you that the play is also enormously moving, with richly written characters…" —NY Newsday.

"With AN AMERICAN DAUGHTER, Wendy Wasserstein gets angry. Or rather, the anger that's always slept beneath her humor wakes up and announces itself…with the playwright's commitment and compassion (and another "c" —craft) that, put together, make for her most ambitious work to date." —Variety.

"Political comedies are unusual if only because dramatists rarely seem to take politics seriously enough to make fun of it. Wendy Wasserstein is obviously an exception, for in AN AMERICAN DAUGHTER she is making a distinct and often amusing attempt to expose that soft underbelly of American political life, its media awareness and its consequent confusion of public opinion polls with democracy." —NY Post.

Disability Accommodations

For disability accommodations, please contact the department presenting the event. Disability access information is available online at Parking Services, and further resources can be found by contacting Western's Disability Access Center.