Arthur Laurents passed away while I was on my hiatus, so I wanted to make sure to mention him on the first Theatre Thursday when I returned. While he is known for some great screenplays (Rope being one of my favorites), he is probably best-known as the book writer on such great musicals as West Side Story, La Cage Aux Folles, and Gypsy.
Laurents also directed many of his own shows on Broadway, and in 2010, he set up the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation, which awards a cash stipend to produce a new work of social significance by an emerging playwright. The Foundation is co-named for Laurents's partner Tom Hatcher who passed away in 2006. The couple had been together for 52 years.