Some may say that Kenneth Lonergan is carrying on the tradition of such directors as John Cassavetes with his affection for small, character-driven dramas. With a successful career as a playwright preceding his turn as a screenwriter and director, Lonergan seems to have come from the perfect background in creating sympathetic characters in universal, recognizable situations, a key component in what he terms the "salvation of the ordinary."
A native of the Bronx, Lonergan began to develop his writing skills in high school, later graduating from the NYU Playwriting Program and penning stories that, though not necessarily autobiographical, reflected situations he had experienced that affected his life. Lonergan was inspired early on to pen Waverly Gallery, based on his grandmother's Greenwich Village Gallery. More success came with his next youth-inspired off-Broadway play This is Your Youth.