Simon Levy (born May 12, 1949) is an award-winning theatre director and playwright, who has been the Producing Director/Dramaturg with The Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles since 1993.
Levy was born in Surrey, England and grew up in San Francisco. He graduated from City College of San Francisco with an AA and San Francisco State University with an MA in Theatre, and began his theatre career as an actor in San Francisco, primarily with the New Shakespeare Company and then the The Alley Theater in Houston, Texas. Prior to studying theatre, he was a music major, played the saxophone, and was a jazz and rock-and-roll musician. He made his debut as a professional stage director in 1980 at One Act Theatre Company in San Francisco, where he focused on the development of new work, directing many of the plays of Michael Lynch, among others, and at the Magic Theatre, directing the plays of Lynne Kaufman, among others. He moved to Los Angeles in 1990 and joined the staff of The Fountain Theatre in 1993. He has taught Playwriting at UCLA Writer's Extension, been a site evaluator for the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council, and is a member of numerous organizations, including the Dramatists Guild, Society for Directors and Choreographers, and Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.
He's currently writing the screenplay for The Wedding Dress for Daniel Wilson Productions. He also holds the options for two projects: the film Kings of the Evening by Andrew P. Jones, which he's adapting into a musical; and the book Bat Bomb by Jack Couffer, which he's adapting into a stage play.
His stage adaptation of The Great Gatsby - published by Dramatists Play Service - authorized and granted exclusive rights by the Fitzgerald Estate - has had over 100 productions around the world, with numerous productions licensed for 2013/2014/2015, including: the Arizona Theatre Company, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and the Grand Theatre in London Ontario. It inaugurated the Guthrie Theater’s new theatre complex, was subsequently produced at Seattle Repertory Theatre, and was a Finalist for the PEN Award in Drama.
He is the recipient of the 2011 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle's Milton Katselas Career Achievement Award in Directing.
Playwright (Scripts and Awards)
- The Great Gatsby - published by Dramatists Play Service - selected as the inaugural production for the Guthrie Theater's new theatre complex - produced at Seattle Repertory Theatre - produced in 2012 at Arizona Theatre Company and the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario, Canada - adaptation courtesy of the Fitzgerald Estate - Awards: Finalist PEN Award in Drama
- What I Heard About Iraq - an anti-Iraq War play adapted from Eliot Weinberger's acclaimed prose-poem - world premiere at the Fountain Theatre for an extended 5 month run 2005/2006 - Edinburgh Fringe Festival, August 2006 - read in 45 cities around the world on March 20, 2006 - Adelaide Fringe Festival, March 2007 - produced as a radio play by BBC Radio 4, May 11, 2007 - 30-city UK tour beginning April 2007, culminating in June at Arts Theatre, London - produced worldwide - official BBC entry, Best Drama Adaptation, for the 2008 Prix Italia -Awards: Official BBC entry 2008 Prix Italia; Nominated for the 2007 Adelaide Drama Critics Award; Winner Fringe Award, 2007 Adelaide Fringe Festival; Winner Fringe First Award, 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Festival; Nominated for Best Adaptation by Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle; Recipient of Back Stage West 2006 Critics' List Honorable Mentions for Adaptation; 2005 Entertainment Today Ticketholder Awards and reviewplays.com, Runners-Up: Top Plays of 2005, Best Adaptation
- Tender is the Night (original adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's acclaimed novel) - published by Dramatists Play Service; Produced: Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles; Published: Modern American Literature Series, Prestige Books - Awards: Winner: PEN West Literary Award for Drama; Winner: 7 Drama-Logue Awards (including Best Production); Winner: Back Stage West "Garland" Award Best Production; Winner: "Best of 7 Productions" L.A. Village View; Nominated for 2 Theatre L.A. OVATION Awards (including Best New Adaptation)
- The Last Tycoon (adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's acclaimed novel)- published by Dramatists Play Service; Produced: Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles - Awards: Winner: 5 Back Stage West/Drama-Logue Awards including Best Adaptation; Nominated for the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle “Ted Schmitt” Award For Original Play
- She-Who-Is-Made-Of-Clay (one-act) (the last man/women of the Yokuts) - Produced: Rites & Reason Theatre, Brown University; Workshopped: Cleveland Public Theatre; Published: Alabama Literary Review; Published: Black Hat Press; Published: American Writing: A Magazine; Broadcast: WFBH-FM, Indiana, 2002; Broadcast: WBAI-FM, NY, 2000 - Awards: Winner: 2nd Place, 2001 Mind's Ear Audio Play Competition; Winner: George Houston Bass Playwriting Award; Winner: Cleveland Public Theatre New Works Festival; Winner: 2004 Shenandoah Top Ten International Plays
- The Beethovens (with Frederick Kurth) (the true story of Beethoven) - Produced: Dynarski Theatre, Los Angeles - Awards: Winner: 2 Drama-Logue Awards (including Original Writing); Nominated: PEN West Literary Award for Drama
- Vivian on the White Wall (one-act) - Awards: Finalist: 2001 Heideman Award, Actors Theatre of Louisville
- Pink Skin (one-act) - Produced: Bloomington Playwrights Project, Indiana (April 2004) Produced: the side project theatre company, Chicago, July 2005
- The Addams Family - (original adaptation from The Addams Family television series) - Produced: One Act Theatre Company, San Francisco
- Act of Betrayal (the true story of Benedict Arnold) - Awards: Honorable Mention: 2002 Writer's Digest Writing Competition; Semi-Finalist: 2001 InterAct Theatre’s Showcase of New Plays; Staged Reading: Blue Heron Theatre, New York, 1999; Semi-Finalist: 1999 Northwest Regional New Plays Conference
- Sessions with a Dead Poet (inspired by Dr. Frederick Kurth's book, "Howling with Sakutaro", about the father of modern Japanese poetry, Hagiwara Sakutaro) - Awards: Honorable Mention, 2005 Writer's Digest Competition
- Love Eternal (one-act) (the love story of Tristan and Iseult) - Awards: Finalist: West Coast Ten-Minute Play Contest
- Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue ("Monster Revue") (with Peter Giordano) Produced: Universal Studios Hollywood
Director (Projects and Awards)
- The Normal Heart - September - November 2013 - Fountain Theatre, Pick of the Week LA Weekly and Critic's Pick BroadwayWorld.com.
- Cyrano - April 2012 - Fountain Theatre - Critic's Choice, Los Angeles Times Recipient of numerous nominations and awards, including the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Production and Best Director
- A House Not Meant to Stand - March 2011 - Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles; - Awards: 9 StageSceneLA.com Awards including Outstanding Production/Comedy, Outstanding Direction/Comedy, Outstanding Ensemble/Comedy; Huffington Post: Top L.A. Theater Productions 2011. Nominations: OVATION Award: Best Season
- Opus - June 2010 - Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles; - Awards: 7 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award: Best Ensemble, Best Writing, Best Sound; LA Weekly Theater Award: Best Director; Back Stage Garland Awards: Best Production, Best Director; StageSceneLA.com Awards including Best Production Comedy-Drama and Best Director Comedy-Drama; nominated for 4 OVATION Awards including Best Season, Best Production and Best Ensemble.; nominated for 4 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards including Best Production, Best Play and Best Ensemble
- Photograph 51 - March 2009 - Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles; - Nominations: 3 LA Stage Alliance OVATION Awards including Best Season and Best Production; 3 L.A. Weekly Awards; Awards: 5 StageSceneLA.com Awards including Best Production and Direction
- The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore - September 2007 - Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles; Awards: 2008 Back Stage West Garland Award for Direction; Recipient of 9 Back Stage West Critics List Honorable Mentions including Best Production
- The Gimmick - September 2006 - Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles; Awards: Winner 2007 LA Stage Alliance OVATION Award Best Solo Performance; Recipient of 5 Back Stage West 2006 Critics' List Honorable Mentions including Direction (twice); ReviewPlays.com: Runner-Up: Best Director
- What I Heard About Iraq - September 2005 - Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles; Awards: 2005 reviewplays.com (Cynthia Citron): Best Director; 2005 Entertainment Today Ticketholder Awards and reviewplays.com, Runners-Up: including Top Plays of 2005 and Best Direction
- Accomplice - February/March 2005 - Colony Theatre, Burbank; Awards: Recipient of 4 Back Stage West 2006 Critics List Honorable Mentions including Best Production and Direction
- Going to St. Ives - August 2004 - Edinburgh Fringe Festival
- Awake and Sing - June 2004 - International City Theatre, Long Beach; Nomination: 2004 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards: Revival of the Year
- Daisy in the Dreamtime - March 2004 - a Fountain Theatre production at INside the Ford at the Ford Amphitheatre, Los Angeles; Awards: 2004 Back Stage West Best of Critics' List including Best Production and Direction; Entertainment Today Ticketholder Awards: Runner-up: Best Director; Beverly Hills Outlook Theatre Awards: Top 5 Productions of 2004; Top 5 Directors of 2004
- Master Class - November 2003-July 2004 - Fountain Theatre and Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Los Angeles; Awards: Winner of the 2004 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award for Best Production; 3 Back Stage West "Garland" Awards including Best Direction; Back Stage West Best of 2003 Critic's List: Best Production; 4 "Maddy" Awards including Best Production and Direction; 3 Entertainment Today Ticketholder Awards including Runner-up Best Production and Best Direction; 2 Easy ReaderAwards including Best Production; 2 reviewplays.com & NoHo LA Awards including Top Ten Best Productions; Nominations: 3 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards including Best Production and Director.
Info prior to 2004 is available at www.simonlevy.com
Currently writing the screenplay for The Wedding Dress for Daniel Wilson Productions.
- The Last Tycoon (F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel)
- Tender is the Night (F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel)
- Act of Betrayal (about Benedict Arnold) - Awards: 5th Place, American Screenwriters Association International Screenwriting Competition; Quarter-Finalist: American Screenplay Competition; Semi-Finalist: Chesterfield Writer's Film Project; Semi-Finalist: Nicholl Screenwriting Competition; Finalist & Honorable Mention: Venice Arts Screenwriting Competition; Quarter-Finalist: FADE IN Magazine Screenwriting Awards; Quarter-Finalist: Writers Network Screenplay & Fiction Competition; Honorable Mention: Writer's Digest Magazine Screenwriting Competition
- Ludwig (with Frederick Kurth) (about Beethoven) - Awards: Semi-Finalist: Chesterfield Writer's Film Project; Finalist: America's Best Screenwriting Competition; Quarter-Finalist: Writer's Network Screenplay & Fiction Competition
- Project Eden (action/adventure) - Awards: Semi-Finalist: Chesterfield Film Writer's Project; Top Finalist: BDR New Millennium Screenplay Contest; Honorable Mention: Writer's Digest Writing Competition; Semi-Finalist: Writers Network Screenplay & Fiction Competition
- Love Eternal (the forbidden romance of Tristan and Iseult) - Awards: Semi-Finalist: Chesterfield Writer's Film Project; 2nd Round Finalist: Austin Heart of Film; Semi-Finalist: Writers Network Screenplay & Fiction Competition
- Crows Landing Gently, Gently (with Michael Lynch) (eerie romance) - Awards: 2nd Round Finalist: Austin Film Festival; 1st Round Finalist: Script Magazine/The Shooting Gallery Open Door Contest; Finalist: Red Inkworks Screenplay Competition; Semi-Finalist: Produce Me Competition; Honorable Mention: Writer's Digest Competition; Quarter-Finalist: Writer's Network Screenplay & Fiction Competition
- Between Livin' and Lovin' (with Michael Lynch) - (family drama) - Awards: Quarter-Finalist: Nicholl Fellowship Screenwriting Competition; Honorable Mention: Writer's Digest Writing Competition; Quarter-Finalist: American Screenwriters Association Screenwriting From the Soul Script Competition; Runner-Up: Hollywood 27 Screenwriting Competition
- Vivian on the White Wall (short film) (ghost story)
- She-Who-Is-Made-Of-Clay (short film) (the last man/woman of the Yokuts)
- Love Eternal - novel-in-progress
- Memory Blue as Sky (Short Story) – Honorable Mention, 2005 New Millennium Writing Awards.
- Love Eternal (Poem) - published National Library of Poetry; Semi-Finalist North American Open Poetry Contest
- Pale Yellow House (Poem) - published Pittenbruach Press “A Scent of Apple"
- Pale Yellow House (Short Story) - published EWG Presents, E-Zine, 1997
- Awarded Writer's Residency Fellowship at the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico
- Awarded Writer's Residency Fellowship at Ucross Foundation, Wyoming
- Awarded Writer's Fellowship for Writing at Hawthornden Castle, Scotland
- Awarded Writer's Residency at the Dorset Colony for Writers
- Awarded Residency Fellowship for Writing at the Edna St. Vincent Millay Colony for the Arts
-  The Fountain Theatre Staff Page
- "Great Guthrie, it's 'Gatsby'" Minneapolis Star Tribune February 10, 2006
- "Literary awards season" LAObserved.com July 31, 2007
- "Simon Levy"  www.doollee.com 2010
-  LADCC Awards
- "On Stage: Seattle Rep superbly mines the essence of Fitzgerald's 'Great Gatsby Seattle Post-Intelligencer November 14, 2006
-  The Fountain Theatre WhatIHeardAboutIraq Page
- "Angeleno's play wows Edinburgh" Los Angeles Times August 27, 2006
-  PEN Center USA
-  The Fountain Theatre Reviews
-  2009/2010 Ovation Award Nominees
-  2010 LADCC Nominations
- "20th Ovation Awards - Red Carpet with Simon Levy and Deborah Lawlor" on YouTube January 16, 2010
- "2004 L.A. Ovation Award Winners Announced" TheatreMania.com November 16, 2004