Discipline: Theatre – playwriting

Dorothy Heyward

Discipline: Theatre – playwriting
MacDowell Fellowships: 1920, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1937, 1938, 1940, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1959

Dorothy Heyward (née Kuhns; 1890-1961) was an American playwright. In addition to several works of her own, she co-authored the play Porgy (1927) with her husband DuBose Heyward, adapting it from his novel by the same name. Their work is now known best in its adaptation as the opera Porgy and Bess (1935), with music by George Gershwin. In 1922, the former Dorothy Kuhns traveled to MacDowell, where she met DuBose Heyward. They married the following year. When her husband was writing his novel Porgy, Dorothy Heyward saw dramatic possibilities in the story. She convinced him that it would work as a play. They collaborated to adapt it to the stage. The 1927 Theatre Guild production ran for 367 performances. Their play was later adapted as the opera Porgy and Bess (1935), with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by DuBose Heyward. This was adapted as a film by the same name in 1959.


Irving Fine

Dorothy Heyward worked in the Irving Fine studio.

Youngstown Studio was given to MacDowell by friends of Miss Myra McKeown in Youngstown, OH, where she promoted both art and music. It was renamed Irving Fine Studio in 1972 in honor of Irving Fine, a distinguished composer, conductor, and teacher who was a MacDowell Fellow during the 1940s and 1950s. The simple interior of the studio…

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