Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman have written extensively for theatre and television.
Their most recent collaboration is a musical stage adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel, Travels with My Aunt. With a score by Olivier Award winning composer and lyricist, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, it will open the Chichester Festival Theatre’s 2016 season in April.
Prior to that, they wrote the book for the musical, Betty Blue Eyes. Based on the film, A Private Function, from a screenplay by Alan Bennett, also with a score by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, it was produced in the West End at the Novello Theatre by Sir Cameron Mackintosh and directed by Sir Richard Eyre. It opened to rave reviews from all of the major London critics, as well as from Ben Brantley of the New York Times. It was short-listed for the prestigious Evening Standard Award for Best Musical, and received three nominations for the 2012 Olivier Awards, for Best Musical, Best Actress and Best Actor.
For television, Cowen and Lipman were the creators, executive producers and writers of the American version of Queer as Folk, the ground-breaking series which ran for five seasons on Showtime.
They were also the creators, executive producers and writers of the Emmy Award winning and Golden Globe nominated drama series, Sisters, which starred Swoosie Kurtz, Sela Ward, George Clooney, Ashley Judd and Paul Rudd. It ran for six seasons on NBC.
Prior to that, Cowen and Lipman received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for their teleplay of An Early Frost, which they also associate-produced. The highly acclaimed NBC drama was the first film – for television or features – about AIDS, and starred Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara, Aidan Quinn, Sylvia Sidney and John Glover. Nominated for a total of 14 Emmy Awards, it also won the coveted Peabody Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Movie.
The team also wrote and co-produced the NBC telefilm, THE LOVE SHE SOUGHT, which starred Angela Lansbury, Denholm Elliot and Cynthia Nixon, for which they won the Christopher Award, and were nominated for a Writers Guild Award for Best Teleplay.
In addition, Cowen wrote adaptations for the PBS series, The American Short Story, of Sherwood Anderson’s I’m a Fool, starring Ron Howard and Amy Irving, and of Willa Cather’s Paul’s Case, starring Eric Roberts, for which he also received a Peabody Award.
Cowen and Lipman met and began their careers as playwrights at the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights’ Conference in Waterford, Connecticut.
Cowen’s first play, Summertree, originally performed at the O’Neill Conference where it was directed by Lloyd Richards, was subsequently produced by the Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center, starring Blythe Danner and David Birney. It won the Drama Desk Award and was one of the plays considered that year for the Pulitzer Prize. The play was later revived Off- Broadway and made into a film for Columbia Pictures starring Michael Douglas.