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An American Daughter is a play written by Wendy Wasserstein. The play takes place in a living room in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.marker

Production history

An American Daughter opened under the New Play Workshop Series at Seattle Repertory Theatremarker in June 1996. Directed by Daniel J. Sullivan (then-Artistic Director), the cast featured Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Penny Fuller, Adam Arkin, and Liev Schreiber.

The play premiered in a Lincoln Center Theatermarker production on Broadwaymarker at the Cort Theatre on April 13, 1997 and closed on June 29, 1997 after 89 performances and 27 previews. Directed by Daniel J. Sullivan, the cast featured Kate Nelligan, Elizabeth Marvel, Lynne Thigpen, Penny Fuller, and Hal Holbrook. There were also recorded voices of several real-life "Television/Radio Personalities" such as Charlie Rose. Lynn Thigpen won the 1997 Tony Award, Best Featured Actress in a Play.

Critical response

New York Times critic Ben Brantley wrote: "Themes (big themes), relationships (deep and confusing ones), plot complications (of the melodramatic variety) are piled to the toppling point, most of them never satisfactorily defined. Neither Dan Sullivan's chipper, keep-it-moving direction nor Ms. Wasserstein's justly famed ear for dialogue and bone-deep sense of craft can conceal the feeling that she doesn't know entirely where she's heading or how to get there."

Film adaption

The play was made as a TV film released in June 2000, starring Christine Lahti.


  1. Wasserstein, Wendy. An American daughter (1999), Dramatists Play Service, Inc., ISBN 0822216337, pp. 4-5
  2. Brantley, Ben. In the Hostile Glare of Washington, the Media Define and Defy",The New York Times, April 14, 1997

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