Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Landford Wilson

Lanford Wilson (born on April 13, 1937 in Lebanon, Missouri) is an American playwright. As an openly gay man, his work has featured many gay themes and characters.

He was raised in the Ozarks until, as a teenager, he moved to California to live with his father, from whom his mother had been long divorced. He began his career as a playwright in the early 1960s at the Caffe Cino in Greenwich Village with one-act plays such as Ludlow Fair, Home Free, and The Madness of Lady Bright. He soon moved to off-Broadway with Balm in Gilead in 1965 and The Rimers of Eldritch in 1965. Wilson was a founding member of the Circle Repertory Company, (better known as Circle Rep) which began in 1969.

Many of his plays were first presented there, with long standing directorial collaborative partner Marshall W. Mason, including Hot L Baltimore, which won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Obie Award, and Fifth of July, which later had a successful production on Broadway. Wilson's 1979 play, Talley's Folly won the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

Fifth of July, Talley's Folly, and Talley and Son are all part of the Talley trilogy cycle of plays, revolving around the Talley family of Lebanon, Missouri.

In 2004, Wilson became a member of the American Academy for Arts and Letters.

In addition to writing plays, Wilson has written the texts for several twentieth century operas, including at least two collaborations with composer Lee Hoiby: Summer and Smoke (1971) and This is the Rill Speaking (1992).


* Ludlow Fair
* Home Free
* The Madness of Lady Bright
* Balm in Gilead (1965)
* The Rimers of Eldritch (1965)
* The Gingham Dog (1968)
* Lemon Sky (1970)
* Serenading Louie (1970)
* Hot L Baltimore (1973)
* The Mound Builders (1975)
* Fifth of July (1979)
* Talley's Folly (1979)
* A Tale Told (1981, later revised and renamed "Talley & Son")
* Angels Fall (1983)
* Burn This (1987)
* Redwood Curtain (1993)
* Sympathetic Magic (1998)
* Book of Days (2000)
* Rain Dance
* Wandering

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