David Lindsay-Abaire

David Lindsay-Abaire (born November 30, 1969) is an American playwright, lyricist and screenwriter. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2007 for his play Rabbit Hole, which also earned several Tony Award nominations.

David Lindsay-Abaire
BornDavid Abaire
(1969-11-30) November 30, 1969
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
OccupationPlaywright, lyricist, Screenwriter
ResidenceBrooklyn, New York, U.S.
EducationSarah Lawrence College (BA)
Juilliard School (GrDip)
Notable worksFuddy Meers
Kimberly Akimbo
Rabbit Hole
Good People (play)
Notable awardsPulitzer Prize for Drama (2007)
SpouseChristine Lindsay-Abaire

Early life and education

David Lindsay-Abaire was born David Abaire in Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in South Boston. He attended Milton Academy and concentrated in theatre at Sarah Lawrence College, from which he graduated in 1992.[1] He was accepted into the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at the Juilliard School,[2] where he wrote under the tutelage of playwrights Marsha Norman and Christopher Durang from 1996 to 1998.[3]


Lindsay-Abaire had his first theatrical success with Fuddy Meers, which was workshopped as part of the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center in 1998 under Artistic Director Lloyd Richards.[4][5] The play premiered Off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club, running from November 2, 1999 to January 2000[6] and transferred to the Minetta Lane Theatre on January 27, 2000, closing in April 2000 after 16 previews and 78 performances there.[7][8] He returned to the Manhattan Theatre Club in 2001 with Wonder of the World, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, about a wife who suddenly leaves her husband and hops a bus to Niagara Falls in search of freedom, enlightenment, and the meaning of life.[9][10]

Lindsay-Abaire also wrote Kimberly Akimbo (2000),[11] Dotting and Dashing (1999), Snow Angel (1999),[12] and A Devil Inside (Off-Broadway, 1997).[13] Among his early short plays, he wrote The Li'l Plays (1997-1999) which are five comedic plays, each 10–15 minutes in length.[14]

His play Rabbit Hole premiered in 2006 on Broadway with Cynthia Nixon, Tyne Daly, and John Slattery,[15] and won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.[16] It was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play, as well as other Tony awards, and Cynthia Nixon won the 2006 Tony Award as Best Actress.[17]

He wrote the book for the musical High Fidelity, which ran on Broadway in December 2006.[18][19]

He wrote the book and lyrics for the musical Shrek the Musical which ran on Broadway from November 8, 2008 (previews) to January 3, 2010, with Lindsay-Abaire receiving a 2009 Tony Award nomination for Book of a Musical[20] and in the West End in May 2011.[21] The musical ran for 441 performances on Broadway.[22]

Good People officially opened on Broadway on March 3, 2011, with Frances McDormand and Tate Donovan in the lead roles.[23] The play was nominated for the 2011 Tony Award, Best Play and won the 2011 Tony Award, Actress in a Play for McDormand.[24]

His play Ripcord opened Off-Broadway on October 20, 2015 at the Manhattan Theatre Club in a limited engagement. Directed by David Hyde Pierce, the cast features Marylouise Burke, Rachel Dratch, Glenn Fitzgerald, and Holland Taylor. The play focuses on two roommates in a retirement home, who according to Variety "devise dirty tricks...to torment one another."[25]

Among his influences, Lindsay-Abaire said: "I love Chris’s [Durang] work. And I don’t think there’s been a piece written about me that hasn’t mentioned the fact that he and I live in the same world. But I think I’ve also been influenced by John Guare and Tina Howe and older folks like Feydeau and Ionesco and Joe Orton."[26]

Lindsay-Abaire has received commissions from Dance Theater Workshop and the Jerome Foundation.[27] He has received awards from the Berilla Kerr Foundation, the Lincoln Center LeComte du Nuoy Fund, Mixed Blood Theater, Primary Stages, the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, the Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival, and the South Carolina Playwrights Festival.


Lindsay-Abaire has written six screenplays: Robots (2005),[28] Inkheart (2008),[29] and Poltergeist (2015).[30] He wrote the screenplay of the 2010 film adaptation of his play Rabbit Hole, in which Nicole Kidman starred. She produced the film, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, and was well received.[31] He wrote the screenplay for DreamWorks Animation, titled Rise of the Guardians (2012),[32] based on a story by co-director William Joyce. He co-wrote the screenplay for Oz the Great and Powerful (2013).[33]

Personal life

Lindsay-Abaire and his wife Christine live in Brooklyn, New York.[3] In 2016, Lindsay-Abaire was named co-director of Juilliard's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program.[34]

Theatre works (selected)


  1. "Alumni News and Announcements". Sarah Lawrence College. 2007–2008.
  2. "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. September 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. David Lindsay-Abaire (Playwrights ’97)
  3. Marks, Peter (March 12, 2000). "Finding the Humor and the Hope in Fractured Lives". The New York Times. Retrieved December 25, 2008.
  4. David Lindsay-Abaire, Fuddy Meers, Dramatists Play Service Inc,, 2000, ISBN 0822217511, p. 2
  5. Lefkowitz, David. "O'Neill Center Playwrights Conference in Full Swing Through Aug. 1" Playbill, July 17, 1998
  6. Jones, Kenneth. "Lindsay-Abaire's New Comedy, 'Fuddy Meers', Opens Nov. 2 at MTC" Playbill, November 2, 1999
  7. Jones, Kenneth. "Off-Broadway's 'Fuddy Meers' Folds, April 16" Playbill, April 16, 2000
  8. "'Fuddy Meers' Listing" Archived 2014-02-01 at the Wayback Machine lortel.org, accessed September 1, 2015
  9. "Wonder of the World Listing" Archived 2015-04-05 at the Wayback Machine lortel.org, accessed September 1, 2015
  10. Jones, Kenneth and Simonson, Robert. "Sarah Jessica Parker Beholds 'Wonder of the World', Opening in NYC Nov. 1" Playbill, November 1, 2001
  11. Shirley, Don (April 16, 2001). "How a Teen Copes in a World Thrown 'Akimbo'". The Los Angeles Times.
  12. Lindsay-Abaire, David (2003). Snow Angel. Playscripts, Inc.
  13. Bruckner, D. J. R. "Theater in Review" The New York Times, January 23, 1997
  14. Bryer, Jackson R. and Hartig, Mary C. "Lindsay-Abaire, David (1969-)", The Facts on File Companion to American Drama, Infobase Publishing, 2010, ISBN 1438129661, p. 313
  15. " 'Rabbit Hole' Listing" ibdb, accessed September 1, 2015
  16. "Pulitzer Prize Winner, Drama, 2007" pulitzer.org, accessed September 1, 2015
  17. "Just the Facts: List of 2006 Tony Award Winners and Nominees" Playbill. June 11, 2006
  18. High Fidelity at the Internet Broadway Database
  19. "'High Fidelity' Broadway Production" Archived 2015-05-30 at the Wayback Machine playbillvault.com, accessed October 20, 2015
  20. '"Shrek the Musical" Broadway Production" Archived 2015-10-26 at the Wayback Machine playbillvault.com, accessed October 20, 2015
  21. Shenton, Mark. "'Shrek the Musical' Begins Performances at West End's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane May 6" Archived 2014-08-12 at the Wayback Machine, Playbill, May 6, 2011
  22. Healy, Patrick (2009-10-21). "Shrek the Musical to Close January 3". The New York Times.
  23. Jones, Kenenth (November 9, 2010). "Becky Ann Baker, Estelle Parsons, Renée Goldsberry Join World-Premiere Cast of Broadway's Good People". Playbill.com. Archived from the original on February 4, 2011.
  24. '"Good PeopleLisa. " Broadway Production" Archived 2015-10-29 at the Wayback Machine playbillvault.com, accessed October 20, 2015
  25. "Review Roundup: David Lindsay-Abaire's RIPCORD Opens Off-Broadway" broadwayworld.com, October 20, 2015
  26. Wren, Celia. "'Fuddy Meers'. Lost in the Funhouse. An Interview with the playwright" Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine Originally published in American Theatre magazine (July/August 2000), accessed September 1, 2015
  27. "David Lindsay-Abaire to Reimagine POLTERGEIST for MGM?". Broadway World. 7 June 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  28. Robots at AllMovie
  29. Inkheart at AllMovie
  30. Poltergeist imdb
  31. Kilday, Greg. "Lionsgate takes trip down 'Rabbit Hole'" The Hollywood Reporter, September 16, 2010
  32. Rise of the Guardians at Rotten Tomatoes
  33. Kennedy, Lisa. "Movie review: 'Oz the Great and Powerful' more amusing than great" Denver Post, March 8, 2013
  34. "Pulitzer Prize Winner David Lindsay-Abaire to Join Juilliard as Co-Director of Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program". Broadway World. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
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