LANFORD WILSON Biography - Writers


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Name: Lanford Wilson                                                                 
Born: 13 April 1937                                                                 
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         
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 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).