He has spent his life dramatising America’s angels and demons. As his civil rights musical returns to Britain, the playwright reveals all about revamping West Side Story for Spielberg – and writing a play about Trump
‘I hate watching my plays,” Tony Kushner says. “They’re all so long and they take for ever and the only one that’s not true of is Caroline. It’s two hours with intermission and I could listen to that music for ever.”
Caroline is Caroline, Or Change, Kushner’s only musical. Written with the composer Jeanine Tesori (who wrote the music for Fun Home) in 2003, it won an Olivier award in 2007 and it’s now enjoying a run in London’s West End. Caroline, the African-American maid at its centre, spends most of her days in a basement, vibrating to the rhythms of the radio, the washing machine, and her own sorrowing heart. Kushner works from a basement, too, in a room beneath an apartment building in Manhattan’s East Village.
Tony Kushner: 'Trump has a sinkhole instead of a soul'