Paul Vogel

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Paul Vogel's Biography and Contributions to Playwriting

Paul Vogel is one of the academics who work in the world of acting and play. These individuals' contributions have been influential in shifting the audience's outlook on plays and films, as well as their view of the material. Vogel's performance has been due to her willingness to use diverse styles in catching the interest of the audiences over the years. She is well-known for her activism on topics such as AIDS, female sexuality, and domestic abuse. This paper includes an evaluation of Paul Vogel's biography as well as her contribution to playwriting.


Paul Vogel is multi-talented and works as a university professor and a play writer. She was born in the city of Washington in 1951 to Phylis Rita and Stephen Vogel. Her parents always believed that she would one day change the lives of people in the society and they did everything to ensure that she attained her goals. During her early life, she experienced a lot of challenges ranging from family to social class issues. Her parents were best of friends, but this hardly lasted long since they ended up in a divorce marking one of Vogel's lowest points in her life. Her dad went on separate ways, and she was left under the care of her mother (Paula Web). She was also faced with identity issues, and at the age of seventeen, she publicly came out as a lesbian. According to her, the challenges that she experienced while growing up gave her the resilience she enjoyed as a writer. In 2004, she married the love of her life, Anne Fausto-Sterling, a Brown University Professor.

She started her college career at Bryn Mawr but later lost her scholarship, and she was forced to transfer to the Catholic University of Washington, where she completed her undergraduate. Her application to the Yale school of drama was rejected, and she joined Cornell University for a Ph.D. program. She, however, left in 1977, having failed to complete her dissertation. Her playwriting career had by then began flourishing, and she believed that a little effort in the field would have made her reach full potential (Marowitz 55). Her first theatrical success came in 1977 with the Meg play, an act that focuses on the life of Thomas More, a Catholic saint whose episodic life is narrated from her daughter’s perspective. The play ended up winning the American College Festival Award in the same year in the category of best new play. Her interest in the exploration of traditional male characters from the female vintage point is evident in Desdemona, and this she based on the book by Shakespeare. In her play, she turns the innocent young girl, a character in Shakespeare’s book into a wicked and deceitful person that is hated by her peers and the community.

Vogel’s next play to hit the stage was “Apple Brown Betty,” and this was produced in 1979 in Louisville but hardly received a lot of recognition. Her national prominence surfaced with her AIDS-related seriocomedy “The Baltimore Waltz” that ended up winning the best play award in 1992 (Barnes 37). During that time, AIDS pandemic was on the ravage, and it was felt in various parts of the globe and led to the loss of several lives because people lacked awareness and knowledge. The play was a tribute to her brother who she helped during his final stages of battling with AIDS. Based on her play, all victims of the disease require attention, and none of them deserves stigmatization from the society.

One of his plays that made the biggest splash in the theater world was “How I Learned to Drive,” and this was produced in 1997. The play received numerous awards and was one of the most produced plays across the U.S. However, her next play, “And Baby Makes Seven” was met with a lot of criticism, especially from those persons against’ gay marriages. In 2013, her play “The Long Christmas Ride Home” was applauded for its connection with the real world happenings. Vogel has over the years sealed her name as one of the best playriters around the world.

In her plays, she uses humor and various tones to capture the attention of the audience. The combination of various emotions ranging from sadness, sympathy, and happiness drags the viewers to the world of fantasy, and this makes it interesting for them. As a university professor, she is an excellent narrator, and this helps in bolstering her playwriting. She also uses her past experiences and real-world happenings in coming up with captivating plays.


Based on the above information, it is clear that Paul Vogel remains a household name in playwriting. The award she has collected over the years, and her several plays is a confirmation of her talent and capabilities. She uses different styles and real-world happenings in her plays with the aim of making them comprehensible to the viewers. Paul is a perfect example of an individual that has gone against all the odds to succeed in life.

Work Cited

Barnes, Clive, and John Gassner. Best American plays. Crown, 1993.

Marowitz, Charles, et al. Four American plays. Penguin Book, 1985.

"Paula Vogel: Biography & Plays | Study.Com." N.p., 2017. Web. 28 Oct. 2017.

August 18, 2021

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