David Auburn Biography


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

David Auburn (AW-burn) began to achieve critical and popular success toward the end of the twentieth century. Though his writing career started in Chicago, he began to establish himself on the East Coast in 1994, while he was a member of the Juilliard playwriting program. The son of an English professor and college administrator, he grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and Little Rock and Jonesboro, Arkansas. After high school, he attended the University of Chicago from 1987 to 1991. There he joined a student improvisation troupe, in which he experimented with short comedy sketches that would influence his writing style in the years to come. He also reviewed plays for the University of Chicago’s student newspaper, The Chicago Maroon, which gave him exposure to professional theater. After college, associates of Amblin Entertainment, the company of film producer Steven Spielberg, recognized his talent through a writing competition and offered him a screenwriting fellowship. After this experience in Los Angeles, he moved to New York City, where he joined another improvisation troupe called Atomic Pile before attending the Juilliard School from 1994 to 1996.

Some of the shorter scripts he wrote in the 1990’s were produced in New York City, upstate New York, and Aspen, Colorado. Also, the New England Review and the Dramatists’ Play Service published much of his early work. These pieces, except for Three Monologues, engage the audience with humor and fast-paced narratives. Often, Auburn’s narratives are driven by a character’s awkward timing or false assumptions about other people. Shown best in Damage Control and Miss You, verbal and physical skirmishes ensue when certain characters voice...

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(Drama for Students)

David Auburn was born in Chicago in 1969. Raised in Ohio and Arkansas, he attended the University of Chicago where he studied political...

(The entire section is 456 words.)


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Mesic, Penelope. “The New Math.” Chicago 51 (March, 2002): 40-43. Combines a discussion of Proof with some biography and insight into the character of its author.

Rockmore, Daniel. “Uncertainty Is Certain in Mathematics and Life.” The Chronicle of Higher Education 46 (June 23, 2000): B9. Written by a mathematics professor, the article provides a perceptive look at the relationship between the idealism of math and the reality of life in Proof.

Weber, Bruce. “A Common Heart and Uncommon Brain.” The New York Times, May 24, 2000, p. E1. A review of Proof, published the day after it opened.