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Winnie Holzman (Book Writer for Wicked)

Wicked's book writer Winnie Holzman

Holzman-related DVDs available in UK

TV: Once and Again: Season 1 (REGION 1) (NTSC)

Once and Again: Season 2 (REGION 1) (NTSC)

My So-Called Life (REGION 1) (NTSC) - 2000

My So Called Life (5pc) (REGION 1) (NTSC) - released in 2002

Screenplay by Winnie Holzman Til There Was You [1997]

About Winnie Holzman

Carol's notes about Winnie: Winnie Holzman as a person seems to be as cheery as her scripts. She laughs a lot and plays with words. She also listens well, especially to slang expressions that she hears people use, and then she works them into in her writing.

I watched from the front row when she spoke at a Barnes and Noble book signing in New York City with Gregory Maguire, the two of them conversing cheerily without script while sitting up on a platform in front of a couple hundred people. She teased the audience when she described her studies during the first year of New York University's musical theatre masters program to this gathering of theatre enthusiasts. "And just to make you jealous and hate me, the teachers were Sondheim, Prince, Arthur Laurents, Betty and Adolph, Leonard Bernstein..."

Holzman was born in New York City and raised on Long Island. She attended Princeton University where she majored in English & creative writing. She received numerous poetry awards, including the Academy of American Poets Prize and the Ward Prize. After college, Winnie moved to New York City, studied acting and collaborated on several plays.

Although she was trained for musical theatre, she spent her early career in television. The executive producer of Thirtysomething liked the script she submitted and immediately hired her. Her career took off from there. In 1997 or 1998, Stephen Schwartz asked her to be the book writer for Wicked. She was thrilled.

From her bio:

For television: Winnie Holzman created "My So-Called Life" (Emmy nomination). Also wrote for "thirtysomething" (WGA Award nomination) and executive produced (again with Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick) "Once and Again" starring Sela Ward. For theatre: Birds of Paradise (with composer David Evans). For features: 'Til There Was You. Ms. Holzman can be seen in Jerry Maguire (if you look really close.) She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, actor Paul Dooley.

Winnie Holzman, along with Stephen Schwartz and Joe Mantello, is involved with casting for the Wicked production on London's West End.

Winnie Holzman interviews

Broadway.com: Winnie Holzman interview

Playbill.com - Highlights from an interview:

Prior to Wicked, Winnie Holzman did not know Schwartz, but their friendship has developed during the four years they've worked on the musical. "I love him so much! He's incredible! He says that we met once when I was a student, when I was in my twenties. But we really met through a mutual friend who was working at Disney and had the idea that we would write an animated feature together.

"Over lunch, Stephen mentioned the book 'Wicked.' He had tried for maybe a year to get the rights to do it on Broadway. I said, 'That would make an incredible musical.' A few months later, he called and said, 'I've convinced them to let me do "Wicked." Maybe we should talk about doing it together.' I live in L.A. and Stephen's in Connecticut. We started talking on the phone to see if we, or our ideas, were compatible.

"Beat by beat, we started outlining the show — how we were going to unfold the plot. That took a very long time. I was very fortunate to have Stephen as a collaborator. He understands musicals intrinsically. He understands structure, the nature of the beast — and I use that word specifically. [Laughs] To get an outline we felt really comfortable with took almost a year. When Joe [Mantello, who directed] came in, a lot of things changed, but basically that outline is the shape of the show."

The experienced Schwartz "tried to warn me how intense it would be," Holzman recalls. "I thought I was listening, but you never really listen to someone trying to warn you. You have to live it yourself."

For full interview read: Playbill June 04

See Holzman being interviewed: visit photos and clips

wickedwestend.co.uk
Carol's Wicked UK Site. Carol is also webmaster for the official fan site for Wicked's composer Stephen Schwartz

Screenplay by Winnie Holzman

Holzman created "My So-Called Life"