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Jeffrey Hatcher is an American playwright and screenwriter. He wrote the stage play Compleat Female Stage Beauty, which he later adapted into a screenplay, shortened to just Stage Beauty (2004). He also co-wrote the stage adaptation of Tuesdays with Morrie with author Mitch Albom, and Three Viewings, a comedy consisting of three monologues - each of which takes place in a funeral home. He wrote the screenplay Casanova for director Lasse Hallström, as well as the screenplay for The Duchess (2008). He has also written for the Peter Falk TV series Columbo and E! Entertainment Television.
Jeffrey Hatcher is the author of Ten Chimneys, Ella and co-author of Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright and Tuesdays with Morrie – all of which have been seen on Arizona Theatre Company's stages. Mr. Hatcher authored the book for the Broadway musical Never Gonna Dance. Off-Broadway, he has had several plays produced, including Three Viewings and A Picasso at Manhattan Theatre Club, Scotland Road and The Turn of the Screw at Primary Stages, Tuesdays with Morrie (with Mitch Albom) at Minetta Lane Theatre, Murder by Poe and The Turn of the Screw with The Acting Company, Neddy at The American Place Theatre and Fellow Travelers at Manhattan Punchline. His plays – among them, Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Mrs. Mannerly, Murderers, Mercy of a Storm, Smash Armadale, Korczak's Children, To Fool the Eye, The Falls, A Piece of the Rope, All the Way with LBJ, The Government Inspector, and Work Song (with Eric Simonson) – have been seen at such theatres as Yale Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, South Coast Repertory, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Florida Stage, The Empty Space, California Theatre Center, Madison Repertory Theatre, Illusion Theater, Denver Center Theatre Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Asolo Repertory Theatre, City Theatre, Studio Arena Theatre and dozens more in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Hatcher wrote the screenplays for Stage Beauty, The Duchess and Casanova, as well as authoring episodes of the Peter Falk series Columbo. He is a member and/or alumnus of The Playwrights' Center, The Dramatists Guild of America, Writers Guild of America and New Dramatists.
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Hatcher spent his youth in Steubenville, Ohio, a gritty Ohio River town better known for its mob connections, houses of ill repute and industrial detritus than for its literary sons and daughters. Hatcher was much influenced by a high school teacher, Glenda Dunlope, an old-school thespian who ran the drama program there. He attended Denison University in Granville, Ohio, and later, as he migrated to New York City and ultimately to Minneapolis, he continued to draw on his home turf for inspiration.
Hatcher believes the best teachers don’t push students into writing in a particular way but encourage them to try working in whatever tradition they enjoy.
His many award-winning original plays have been performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regionally across the US and abroad. Some of his plays include Three Viewings, Scotland Road, A Picasso, Neddy, Korczak's Children, Mercy of a Storm, Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright (with Eric Simonson), and Lucky Duck (with Bill Russell and Henry Kreiger). Hatcher wrote the book for the Broadway musical Never Gonna Dance and the musical, ELLA.
Hatcher adapted Robert Louis Stevenson's novella, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, into a play in which actors play multiple roles, and Mr. Hyde is played by four actors, one of whom is female. The adaptation, which has been called "hipper, more erotic, and theatrically intense...definitely not your grandfather's 'Jekyll and Hyde'", was nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for an Edgar Award for Best Play.
- Scotland Road, 1993
- Miss Nelson is Missing!, 1996, (based on the book by Harry Allard and James Marshall)
- Smash, 1997 (an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's Novel An Unsocial Socialist)
- Pierre, 1998, (adapted from Pierre: or the Ambiguities by Herman Melville)
- What Corbin Knew, 1998
- Mother Russia, 1999
- Compleat Female Stage Beauty, 1999
- The Servant of Two Masters, 1999, with Emilo Paolo Landi (adaptation of the Goldoni commedia dell'arte play)
- Hanging Lord Haw Haw, 2000
- To Fool the Eye, 2000, (an adaptation of Jean Anouilh's Léocadia)
- Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright, 2000, with Eric Simonson
- Good 'n' Plenty, 2001
- Murder by Poe, 2003, (an adaptation of five stories by Edgar Allan Poe)
- A Picasso, 2005, (loosely inspired by actual events surrounding the Nazi persecution of "Degenerate art")
- Murderers, 2005
- The Falls, 2006
- Korczak's Children, 2006
- Armadale, 2007
- Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, 2008, (an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's novella, using 4 actors to play the role of Mr. Hyde)
- The Government Inspector, 2008, (adapted from Nikolai Gogol)
- Cousin Bette, 2009, (an adaptation of Honoré de Balzac's La Cousine Bette)
- Bloody Radio Murders, 2010 (written for a MMW's drama club)
- Mrs. Mannerly, NY premiere 2010
- Ten Chimneys, 2011
- Louder Faster, 2011 (co-authored with Eric Simonson, premiered at City Theatre)
- Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club, 2011 (premiered at Arizona Theatre Company)
- No Name, 2014 (an adaptation of the Wilkie Collins novel, premiered at Carthage College, then Edinburgh Festival Fringe)
- To Begin With, 2015 (an adaptation of The Life of Our Lord by Charles Dickens), premiered at the Music Box Theatre in Minneapolis and starred Gerald Charles Dickens
Awards and nominations
- Christopher Rawson, "Stage Preview: Prolific Writer's 'Work Song' pushes City Theatre's Limits", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sunday, November 21, 2004.