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ATW - Downstage Center

357 EpisodesProduced by American Theatre WingWebsite

The American Theatre Wing presents Downstage Center a weekly theatrical interview show, featuring the top artists working in theatre, both on and Off-Broadway and around the country.


George C. Wolfe (#303) - January, 2011

Playwright/director Geroge C. Wolfe discusses the seven year development of John Guare's "A Free Man of Color", from approaching Guare with the idea of merging Restoration comedies and life in New Orleans leading up to the Louisiana Purchase, to receiving a script that would have run some five hours, to the just-finished production at Lincoln Center Theater. He also recalls his earliest directing urges as a child in Frankfort KY; provides the details of the first play he ever wrote, "Up for Grabs", while a student at Pomona College; recounts the "horror" of his first professional productions, his musical "Paradise!" in both Cincinnati and New York; describes the sudden success of "The Colored Museum" and the subsequent development of "Spunk", the latter being the first time he directed his own work; explains who he sees as his collaborators when he's both writing and directing; recounts his combative but ultimately fruitful work with Gregory Hines on "Jelly's Last Jam"; lays out the whirlwind of work that surrounded the Broadway production of "Angels in America" and his concurrent hiring as artistic director of New York's The Public Theater; acknowledges that his role as The Public's producer forced the artist in him to take a back seat; considers his ongoing artistic relationship with actor Jeffrey Wright; reveals the conceptual work that animated the household objects that were so integral to the story of "Caroline, or Change"; and answers the question of whether he will ever write another play. Original air date - January 19, 2011.

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