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Acclaimed American playwright Arthur Kopit will be the commencement speaker at Colby College in Maine on May 26, President William D. Adams announced. Kopit has been a finalist twice for the Pulitzer Prize in drama, and the musical Nine, for which he was the book author, won the 1982 Tony Award for best musical.

Kopit’s timely and topical plays are known for their biting satire and bitter humor. Kopit was first regarded as a theatrical innovator in the 1960s for his parodies such as Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad and The Day the Whores Came Out to Play Tennis. Kopit is the author of Indians and Wings, both Tony Award nominees and Pultizer Prize finalists. He also has written scripts for several television miniseries.

Kopit recently adapted the script of his information-age thriller BecauseHeCan into a screenplay. His current projects include Discovery of America, a play based on the journals of Spanish conquistador Cabeza de Vaca, and the musical Tom Swift and the Secrets of the Universe. In 2003 Nine will be revived in New York with actor Antonio Banderas in the lead role.

At Colby’s commencement honorary degrees will be presented to Kopit; Ana Castillo, Chicana poet, novelist and essayist; Elizabeth Farnsworth, senior correspondent for Public Broadcasting’s The News Hour; and Robert Gelbard, former U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia and to Indonesia and a member of the Colby Class of 1964. The public is invited to commencement, which begins at 10 a.m. on May 26 on the lawn of Miller Library.