Winnie Holzman ’76 is an accomplished television and theater writer who has earned critical acclaim for her work on thirtysomething, My So-Called Life, Once and Again, and the hit Broadway musical Wicked. Her husband, Paul Dooley, is an accomplished character actor, best known for his roles in Sixteen Candles and Runaway Bride. For nearly three decades, the two have been developing an idea for a play, off and on — but mostly off.
“We’ve been fortunate with our employment record,” Holzman told the Times of Trenton earlier this month. “One or both of us has been working most of our marriage, but whenever we had time together, like when we were driving somewhere, we’d talk about our play and what it should include and what we wanted it to say. We wanted to do it together, to come from us.”
The project was rejuvenated a few years ago, when Holzman and Dooley found their original typewritten notes and got back to work. A brief stretch of unexpected downtime, courtesy of the havoc that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City in 2012, helped to bring a full draft to fruition. The story includes four roles, played by two actors, and deals with themes of love, communication, and aging (its original title was “Assisted Living”).
Holzman and Dooley recently co-starred in the resulting production, One of Your Biggest Fans, which completed a month-long run at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, N.J., on Feb. 23. The New York Times gave a mixed review but found redeeming qualities in the comedy’s witty writing and its willingness to “take a chance and delve into unhappy, hard-luck situations.”
Read More: A Moment with Winnie Holzman ’76, from PAW’s March 21, 2012, issue.