PBS Events Celebrate Playwright Terrence McNally

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McNally with Audra Macdonald

McNally with Audra Macdonald

Actors Nathan Lane, Angela Lansbury, Rita Moreno, Chita Rivera, F. Murray Abraham, Audra Macdonald, Edie Falco, John Slattery, and Billy Porter are just a few theater legends interviewed in the documentary “Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life,” which begins streaming today, June 15, on pbs.org/americanmasters and the PBS Video app, through Aug. 31, 2020.

The streaming is the first in a series of events that have been organized in memory of the life and legacy of the Tony® Award winning playwright Terrence McNally, celebrating his “life, literary excellence, and legacy on the world.”

McNally, in addition to his work as a legendary and beloved playwright, was an LGBT activist. Many of his most famous works (“Master Class,” “Ragtime,” “Love! Valour! Compassion!,” “Frankie and Johnny in the Clare De Lune,” and “Kiss Of The Spider Woman” to name a few) featured gay characters and themes. The film spotlights the remarkable legacy of the prolific McNally, who died of COVID complications on March 24.

Jeff Kaufman

Jeff Kaufman

On Wednesday, June 17, the first of three discussions and talkbacks takes place with Writer-Director-Producer Jeff Kaufman, who will be joined by Tony® Award winning actors André De Shields, John Glover and John Benjamin Hickey.

The film captures McNally’s essence, and acts as a beacon of hope for future generations of writers, LGBTQ+ youth, and storytellers who also dream of living out loud. It premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival to stellar reviews and endearing audience reactions. In June 2019, American Masters broadcast the film nationally on PBS. The film has been submitted for the 2020 EMMYS® consideration in several craft categories including Non-fiction Directing; Non-fiction Editing; and Non-Fiction Sound Mixing.


Upcoming Virtual Discussion – For more information on these events and how to RSVP go to www.everyactoflife.com

Wednesday, June 17 at 5:00 PM PST/8 PM EST

Special Pride Month Celebration with Director, Writer and Producer Jeff Kaufman and
Tony® Award-Winning Actors André De Shields, John Glover and John Benjamin Hickey
Moderated by Lucy Mukerjee of the Tribeca Film Festival

Wednesday, July 1 at 6:00 PM PST/9 PM EST

Panel Discussion with Director, Writer and Producer Jeff Kaufman and
Tony®, Grammy®, Emmy® and Oscar® Award Winner Rita Moreno and Tony®, Grammy® and Emmy® Award Winner Billy Porter
Moderated by IDA Executive Director Simon Kilmurry

Wednesday, July 8 at 5:00 PM PST/8 PM EST

Panel Discussion with Director, Writer and Producer Jeff Kaufman together with
Tony®-Nominated Producer Tom Kirdahy and other guests TBD
Moderated by David Rooney – Chief Film Critic for The Hollywood Reporter

“Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life,” is a production of Floating World Pictures in association with Lakeview Productions and Talu Productions. Marcia S. Ross is producer. Jay Alix and Una Jackman, Suzi Dietz, Tom Kirdahy, Mark Lee, Ted Snowdon and Duffy Violante, and Buddy Steves and Rowena Young are executive producers. Marion Swaybill is consulting executive producer. Asher Bingham is editor with music by Laura Karpman and Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum. Jordan Black, Autumn Eakin and Anthony Lucido are cinematographers. Michael Kantor is executive producer for American Masters.

Funding for the film is provided in part by National Endowment for the Arts, plus The Edward F. Limato Foundation, The Noël Coward Foundation, and The Hunter Ward Foundation.

Journalist Laurie Schenden covers the entertainment industry, with many of her notable celebrity interviews appearing in the Los Angeles Times and other national and international publications. As a longtime columnist and feature writer for the LA Times, she also covered events and California destinations for the lifestyle, Outdoors and Travel sections. Laurie Schenden's international pieces include the long-running Where Are They Now celebrity feature for Spotlight Magazine, published in five languages. Laurie has also contributed to numerous documentary films, and produces content via Saving Grace Films.

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