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Paula Vogel is taking a semester off from her position as chair of the playwriting department at the Yale School of Drama, planning to use the time to work on a new play.

Meanwhile, Doug Wright, the Tony and Pulitzer winner for “I Am My Own Wife,” will join the faculty as a lecturer for fall 2010, the semester Vogel intends to take off.

Vogel — a longtime educator and playwright who picked up the Pulitzer for her 1997 outing “How I Learned to Drive” — will work on a new play commissioned by Yale Rep through the Yale Center for New Theater.

Wright will mentor students and lead the weekly workshop for playwrights. Also in Vogel’s absence, the department’s associate chair, Kenneth Prestininzi, will serve as acting chair.