On November 11, some Millburn High School drama and film students learned firsthand about playwriting and screenwriting from the 2010 Tony Award winner, John Logan. Logan, a 1979 graduate of Millburn High School, was invited back to his alma mater by student Ben Lippman, whose mother Janice was a college classmate of Logan’s at Northwestern University.
 
Logan looked around the chorus room, and noted, “It is 30 years since I was in this school where I loved English and Drama classes and took part in the plays and musicals. I was always going in to New York where I fell in love with theater. Being here today is coming back to where my life in the theater began.”
 
Mr. Logan told students from Ms. Suzanne Snyder’s Modern Drama class and Ms. Regina Conlon’s Film and Society class about his ten years of being a struggling playwright in Chicago.  In 1999 when his screenplay about football, Any Given Sunday, caught the attention of director Oliver Stone, his career took off. Logan said, in the words of Byron, “I awoke one morning to find I was famous.”
 
In the years that followed, Logan earned Academy Award nominations for Best Picture winner Gladiator in 2000 and 2004's The Aviator.  Other notable films written by Logan include Star Trek: Nemesis, The Time Machine, The Last Samurai, and most recently Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. This year, Logan went back to the theater writing a new play Red, about artist Mark Rothko, for which he won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Play.
 
In speaking about writing for a living, Logan told the students, “You must have incredible drive. I am on this planet to tell stories, and those who are driven to tell stories will do whatever they must to tell them.” “It is hard work,” he said, and “the time involved in a project can be mind boggling. The Aviator took 8 years and Sweeney Todd took 5 from start to finish.” 
 
Ms. Snyder thanked him for sharing his passion with the students and says, “I was so impressed with his humility and his love of words.  It was a real treat. I wished the class was two hours long.”