Thursday, September 22, 2016

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: September 23, 1954 - George C. Wolfe














From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -
(Accessed September 22, 2016) 

George Costello Wolfe (born September 23, 1954) is an American playwright and director of theater and film. He won a Tony Award in 1993 for directing Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and another Tony Award in 1996 for his direction of the musical Bring in 'da Noise/Bring in 'da Funk. He served as Artistic Director of The Public Theatre from 1993 until 2004. 

Early life and education
Wolfe was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, the son of Anna (née Lindsey), an educator, and Costello Wolfe, a government clerk.[1] He attended an all-black private school where his mother taught. After a family move, he began attending the integrated Frankfort public school district. 

He attended Frankfort High School where he began to pursue his interest in the theatre arts, and wrote poetry and prose for the school's literary journal. After high school, Wolfe enrolled at the historically black Kentucky State University, the alma mater of his parents. Following his first year, he transferred to Pomona College in Claremont, California, where he pursued a BA in theater. Wolfe taught for several years in Los Angeles at the Inner City Cultural Center and later in New York City. He earned an MFA in dramatic writing and musical theater at New York University in 1983. 

Career
In 1977, Wolfe gave C. Bernard Jackson, the executive director of the Inner City Cultural Center in the Los Angeles, the first scene of a play he was working on. Rather than suggest that he finish writing it, Jackson said, "Here's some money, go do it." The name of the play was Tribal Rites, or The Coming of the Great God-bird Nabuku to the Age of Horace Lee Lizer. Wolfe stated in an article he wrote about Jackson for the Los Angeles Times that "this production was perhaps the most crucial to my evolution" as an artist.[2] 

Among Wolfe's first major offerings—the musical Paradise (1985) and his play The Colored Museum (1986)--were off-Broadway productions that met with mixed reviews. In 1989, however, Wolfe won an Obie Award for best off-Broadway director for his play Spunk, an adaptation of three stories by Zora Neale Hurston. 

Wolfe gained a national reputation with his 1991 musical Jelly's Last Jam, a musical about the life of jazz musician Jelly Roll Morton; after a Los Angeles opening, the play moved to Broadway, where it received 11 Tony nominations and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical. Two years later, Wolfe directed Tony Kushner's Angels in America: Millennium Approaches to great critical acclaim, as well as a Tony award. Wolfe also directed the world premiere of the second part of "Angels", entitled Perestroika, the following year. 

From 1993 to 2004, Wolfe served as artistic director and producer of the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, where in 1996 he created the musical Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk, an ensemble of tap and music starring Savion Glover; the show moved to Broadway's Ambassador Theatre. His work won a second Tony Award for direction and was an enormous financial success. 

In 2000, Wolfe co-wrote the book and directed the Broadway production The Wild Party.

In late 2004, Wolfe announced his intention to leave the theater for film direction, beginning with the well-received HBO film Lackawanna Blues. 

Despite this move, Wolfe continues to direct plays, such as Tony Kushner's Caroline, or Change and Suzan-Lori Parks' Pulitzer Prize-winning play Topdog/Underdog. In the summer of 2006, he directed a new translation of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park; it starred Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and Austin Pendleton. 

His latest movie, Nights in Rodanthe, opened in theatres in September 2008.

Wolfe is bringing his artistic talent to the design of the upcoming Center for Civil & Human Rights in Atlanta as its new chief creative officer. 

Wolfe is openly gay.[3] 

In 2013, he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.[4] 

Theater works

Broadway

Year
Title
Credit
Venue
1992
Jelly's Last Jam
Director, writer (book)
Virginia Theatre
1993
Angels in America: Millennium Approaches
Director, producer
Walter Kerr Theatre
1993
Angels in America: Perestroika
Director, producer
Walter Kerr Theatre
1994
Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992
Director, producer
Cort Theatre
1995
The Tempest
Director, producer
Broadhurst Theatre
1996
Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk
Director, producer, lyrics, idea
Ambassador Theatre
1998
Golden Child
Producer
Longacre Theatre
1998
On the Town
Director, producer
George Gershwin Theatre
2000
The Ride Down Mt. Morgan
Producer
Ambassador Theatre
2000
The Wild Party
Director, producer, writer (book)
Virginia Theatre
2002
Elaine Stritch At Liberty
Director, producer
Neil Simon Theatre
2002
Topdog / Underdog
Director, producer
Ambassador Theatre
2003
Take Me Out
Producer
Walter Kerr Theatre
2004
Caroline, or Change
Director, producer
Eugene O'Neill Theatre
2006
Mother Courage and Her Children
Director
Delacorte Theatre in Central Park
2011
The Normal Heart
Director
John Golden Theatre
2013
Lucky Guy
Director
Broadhurst Theatre
2016
Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Director, writer (book)
Music Box Theatre

Filmography

Year
Title
Credit
Role
1989
Trying Times (TV)
Writer (1 episode)
1993
Fires in the Mirror (TV)
Director
1994
Fresh Kill
Actor
Othello Yellow
2004
Garden State
Actor
restaurant manager
2005
Lackawanna Blues (TV)
Director
2006
The Devil Wears Prada
Actor
Paul
2008
Nights in Rodanthe
Director
2014
You're Not You
Director
TBA
The Hairball
Director, writer
 
 
 
 

References

1.    "George C. Wolfe Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
2.    Wolfe, George C. (1996-07-22). "Recalling C. Bernard Jackson's Gift". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-10.
3.    Anne Stockwell (1 February 2005). "Wolfe's New Direction". The Advocate. Archived from the original on 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
4.    "Cherry Jones, Ellen Burstyn, Cameron Mackintosh and More Inducted Into Broadway's Theater Hall of Fame". www.theatermania.com.

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Hurston, Zora Neale., George C. Wolfe, and Chic Street Man. Spunk : Three Tales. New York, N.Y. (440 Park Ave. S., New York 10016): Dramatists Play Service, 1992. Print.
Fine Arts Library Book Stacks (ML50.C537 S7 1992)

Wolfe, George C., Susan. Birkenhead, Jelly Roll Morton, and Luther Henderson. Jelly's Last Jam. 1st ed. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1993. Print.
Fine Arts Library Book Stacks (ML50.Z99 J45 1993)

Bernstein, Robin. Cast out : Queer Lives in Theater. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan, 2006. Print. Triangulations.
Young Library Books - 4th Floor (PN1590.G39 C37 2006)

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