Act Three

Wendy Wasserstein enters midlife with a new play and a novel

She just published a book on sloth, assuring readers they have "the right to be lazy," but playwright Wendy Wasserstein doesn't claim that right for herself. Her new play, Third, opens next month at New York City's Lincoln Center. A musical based on her children's book Pamela's First Musical debuts in April. And her first novel, Elements of Style, comes out in May. Wasserstein talked to TIME's BARBARA ISENBERG about what fuels all that prose.

What prompted your new play?

Unbeknownst to me, it was spawned by the death of my father. It's about a literature professor teaching King Lear from...

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