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Charles Mee with presenter Melody Cooper

2004 Recipient - Charles Mee

Charles Mee is a playwright who writes historical plays. Born in 1938, he grew up in a suburb of Chicago. In the summer of 1953 he contracted polio and was immobilized for months. Polio may have cut short Mee's high school football career, but it ignited a prodigious life of the mind. He went on to Harvard, where he majored in history and literature and wrote plays under the guidance of Archibald MacLeish and Robert Chapman. In the 1960s, he began writing about politics and political history during the Vietnam War. He began writing plays in the 1980s and has written several remarkable productions. His text for Martha Clarke's 1986 movement theatre piece Vienna: Lusthaus drew early attention. He went on to write a series of politically inflected plays including The Imperialists at the Club Cave Canem, The Investigation of the Murder in El Salvador, Full Circle, and Another Person is a Foreign Country. Mee's plays have been produced at such theatres as the American Repertory Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut.