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Casey Childs is the Founder of Primary Stages, a New York State non-profit, off-Broadway theater company in New York City. Since founding the company in 1984, he has produced over 130 productions of new plays, many of them world premieres and all of them New York City premieres, by such writers as David Ives, Horton Foote, Charlayne Woodard, Melissa Manchester, Jeffrey Sweet, Donald Margulies, Conor McPherson, Terrence McNally, A.R. Gurney, John Patrick Shanley, Tina Howe, Charles Busch, John Henry Redwood, Romulus Linney, Lee Blessing, Michael Cristofer, Mac Wellman, Lynne Alvarez, Willie Holtzman, Athol Fugard, Brooke Berman, Michael Hollinger and Julia Jordan. He produced the commercial moves of David Ives’ ALL IN THE TIMING and MERE MORTALS and oversaw the commercial moves of Charles Busch’s YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY and Colin Martin’s VIRGINS AND OTHER MYTHs.
He conceived, commissioned and directed the commercial off-Broadway show WOMAN BEFORE A GLASS by Lanie Robertson about Peggy Guggenheim with Mercedes Reuhl which ran for seven months at the Promenade Theatre. Other plays he directed for Primary Stages include THE MORINI STRAD by Willie Holtzman, BAREFOOT BOY WITH SHOES ON by Edwin Sanchez, BARGAINS by Jack Heifner, BRUTALITY OF FACT by Keith Reddin, THE PRESERVATION SOCIETY by Wm. S. Leavengood, ELSA/EDGAR by Bob Kingdom, THE DOLPHIN POSITION by Percy Granger, LUSTING AFTER PIPINO’S WIFE by Sam Henry Kass, THE SECRET SITS IN THE MIDDLE by Lisa-Maria Radano, ALGERIAN ROMANCE by Kres Mersky, MADAM ZELENA FINALLY COMES CLEAN by Ron Carlsen, STOPPING THE DESERT by Glen Merzer, IN SEPTEMBER WOODS by David Hill and NASTY LITTLE SECRETS by Lanie Robertson.
Plays produced by Primary Stages have received many nominations and awards from the Obies, the Drama Desk, the Outer Critics Circle; and the Adelco Awards for Excellence in Afro-American Theatre. In 2008, Primary Stages received an award for Outstanding Body of Work from the Lucille Lortel Foundation. Also, Carnegie Mellon University awarded Casey their Commitment to Playwrights Award in 1995.
From 1982 until 1985 Casey was the Artistic Programs Director for the New Dramatists, America’s oldest playwrights’ organization, where he conducted the workshops for over 75 new playwrights in developing over 300 new works. He oversaw the development of new plays by many new playwrights including August Wilson, Amlin Grey, Wendy Kesselman, John Ford Noonan, Emily Mann, John Pielmeier, Steve Carter and Pedro Juan Pietre. Works developed during that time have received productions on and off Broadway and in countless American regional theatres garnering Pulitzer Prizes, Tony Awards and other honors.
Casey spent four seasons directing staged readings of new plays for the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Conference where he worked under Lloyd Richards on scripts by playwrights including Joe DiPietro, Lee Blessing, Bill Bozzone, Joe Pintaro and Deborah Bailey.
Regionally Casey has directed SEXUAL PERVERSITY IN CHICAGO (Edinburgh premiere) at the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland, THE MAGNIFICENT CUCKOLD for the Pittsburgh Museum of Art and GYM RATS (winner of the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award) which was co-produced by New Dramatists and the McDonald's corporation.
For television he produced A.R. Gurney’s FAR EAST (directed by Daniel Sullivan) for the Stage on Screen series for WNET/PBS. He has produced and directed television for over twenty-five years and has worked on such shows as THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, AS THE WORLD TURNS for CBS, HOLLYWOOD HEIGHTS for Sony Pictures, ANOTHER WORLD for NBC and THE CITY, LOVING, ONE LIFE TO LIVE, ALL MY CHILDREN and segments of SPIN CITY for ABC. He senior produced ALL MY CHILDREN for several years. He also directed THE CATLINS for Turner Broadcasting and OUR GROUP for Lifetime. He has won two Emmy Awards for his television directing and over a dozen nominations for both producing and directing in television.
A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA in acting and an MFA in directing, Casey has acted and directed in the United States and Great Britain with such companies as the Metro Stage Company in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia Festival of New Plays, Kenyon Theatre Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Edinburgh Festival and the New Dramatists. He acted in over 100 productions and appeared with Shakespeare festivals in New Jersey, Colorado, Oregon and Texas.
At Primary Stages, he launched the Marvin and Anne Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA)which has grown into a nationally recognized training institution for playwrights, actors and directors. Primary Stages also teamed with Fordham University to create the Fordham/Primary Stages MFA in Playwriting Program. Casey has taught and guest lectured on television and theater at such schools as New York University, Yale, Ithaca College, Duke, Carnegie Mellon, the University of California San Diego, and the University of Georgia Athens, Pratt Institute, and American University Cairo, Skidmore and the University of South Florida Tampa. He spent one year on the faculty of the Columbia Film School as an associate professor. He has made three trips to Russia as a guest of the Federation of Russian Theatre Workers and directed Will Dunn’s Hotel Desperado in 1997 as part of an exchange between the O’Neill and the Shelakova Playwrights Festival.
In 2014 he began work on the Primary Stages' Off Broadway Oral History Project recording the oral histories of the pioneering artists and producers who created Off Broadway.
He has served on the theater panel for the Pennsylvania State Arts Council and for the Affiliated Artists. He served as a panelist and as a site evaluator for the Pew Charitable Trust's Philadelphia Theatre Initiative. He was a governor for two years for the National Academy of Television Arts and Science, New York Chapter, where he headed the Critical Viewing Committee. He has served on the East Coast Directors’ Council of the Directors Guild of America and was a vice president of the DGA National Board for four years. He is a member of Actors' Equity Association, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and the Directors Guild of America.
Television awards and nominations
- Nominated, 2005, Drama Series, All My Children
- Nominated, 2005, Directing, All My Children
- Won, 2003, Directing, All My Children
- Nominated, 2002, Directing, All My Children
- Nominated, 2001, Directing, All My Children
- Nominated, 2000, Directing, All My Children
- Nominated, 1999, Directing, All My Children
- Nominated, 1998, Directing, All My Children
- Nominated, 1993, Directing, Another World
- Win, 1992, Directing, Another World
- Nomination, 2006, Directing, All My Children Ep. #9297
- Nomination, 2000, Directing, All My Children Ep. #7919