Richard Greenberg

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For other people named Richard Greenberg, see Richard Greenberg (disambiguation).
Richard Greenberg
Born (1958-02-22) February 22, 1958 (age 57)
East Meadow, New York, U.S.
Occupation Playwright
Nationality American
Education Princeton University
BA, Creative Writing (1980)
Harvard University
English and American Literature (1981)
Yale School of Drama
MFA, Playwriting (1985)
Notable work(s) Eastern Standard (1988)
Three Days of Rain (1998)
Take Me Out (2003)
Awards Tony Award for Best Play
New York Drama Critics Circle Award
Drama Desk Award
Finalist, Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Oppenheimer Award

Richard Greenberg (born February 22, 1958) is an American playwright and television writer known for his subversively humorous depictions of middle-class American life. He has had more than 25 plays premiere on and off-broadway in New York City and eight at Los Angeles' South Coast Repertory Theatre, including The Violet Hour, Everett Beekin, and Hurrah at Last.[1]

Greenberg is perhaps best known for his 2003 Tony Award winning play, Take Me Out about the conflicts that arise after a Major League Baseball player nonchalantly announces to the media that he is gay. The play premiered first in London and then traveled to New York as the first collaboration between England's Donmar Warehouse and New York's Public Theater.[2] After its Broadway transfer in early 2003, Take Me Out won widespread critical acclaim for Greenberg and numerous prestigious awards.

Background and education[edit]

Greenberg grew up in East Meadow, New York, a middle-class Long Island town in Nassau County, east of New York City. His father, Leon Greenberg, was an executive for New York's Century Theaters movie chain and his mother Shirley was a homemaker.[3] Greenberg graduated from East Meadow High School in 1976 and later went on to attend Princeton University, where he graduated magna cum laude.[4] At Princeton, Greenberg studied creative writing under Joyce Carol Oates and roomed with future Harvard economics professor Greg Mankiw. He later attended Harvard for graduate work in English and American Literature, but later dropped out of the program when he was accepted to the Yale School of Drama's playwriting program in 1985.[4]


Along with Take Me Out, Greenberg's plays include The Dazzle, The American Plan, Life Under Water, and The Author’s Voice. Recently, his adaptation of August Strindberg’s Dance of Death ran on Broadway, starring Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren and David Strathairn. He is a winner of the Oppenheimer Award and the first winner of the PEN/Laura Pels Award for a playwright in mid-career.[5]

In 2013, Greenberg worked on three shows: on Broadway, an adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Assembled Parties and the book for the musical Far From Heaven which will open in June 2013 at Playwrights Horizons.[6]





  • 1989: "Ask Me Again" (based on "An Old-Fashioned Story" by Laurie Colwin), American Playhouse, PBS.
  • 1989: "Life under Water" (based on his one-act play), PBS.
  • 1989: "The Sad Professor," Trying Times, PBS.
  • 1990: "The Sacrifice," Tales from the Crypt.
  • 1991: "Georgie through the Looking Glass," Sisters, NBC.
  • 1999: "The Time the Millennium Approached," Time of Your Life, Fox.


  1. ^ "Richard Greenberg (1958-)". Doollee's Complete Guide to the Playwright, Plays, Theatres, and Agents. 2003. Retrieved May 10, 2012. 
  2. ^ Brantley, Ben (February 28, 2003). "Theatre Review: Love Affair With Baseball And a Lot of Big Ideas". New York Times. Retrieved May 10, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Richard Greenberg.". Contemporary Authors Online. Gale Biography In Context. Detroit: Gale. 2006. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Witchel, Alex (March 26, 2006). "A Dramatic Shut-In". New York Times Magazine. p. 47. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Richard Greenberg". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. 2012. Retrieved May 10, 2012. 
  6. ^ McNulty, Charles. "A rich season for playwright Richard Greenberg" Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2013

External links[edit]