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 the South Coast Repertory Theatre (Costa Mesa, California), including The Violet Hour, Everett Beekin, and Hurrah at Last.[1][2]

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.[3] 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.[4] Greenberg graduated from East Meadow High School in 1976 and later went on to attend Princeton University, where he graduated magna cum laude.[5] 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.[5]


Along with Take Me Out, Greenberg's plays include The Dazzle, The American Plan, Life Under Water, and The Author’s Voice. His adaptation of August Strindberg’s Dance of Death ran on Broadway in 2002, 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.[6]

In 2013, Greenberg worked on three shows: on Broadway, an adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany's [7] and The Assembled Parties and the book for the musical Far From Heaven which opened in June 2013 at Playwrights Horizons.[8]

His play Our Mother's Brief Affair premiered at the South Coast Repertory Theatre, Costa Mesa, California in April 2009. Directed by Pam MacKinnon, the cast featured Jenny O'Hara, Matthew Arkin, Arye Gross and Marin Hinkle. This was a commission from South Coast.[9][10] The play opened on Broadway at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club, on December 28, 2015 (previews), officially on January 20, 2016, starring Linda Lavin.[11][12]

Awards and nominations[edit]



  • 1984: The Bloodletters. Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York, NY, 1984.
  • 1985: Life Under Water Marathon '85 Series. Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York, NY, 1985.
  • 1986: Vanishing Act. Marathon '86 Series. Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York, NY, 1986.
  • 1987: The Author's Voice & Imagining Brad. Greenwich House, New York, NY, 1999.
  • 1987: The Hunger Artist (based on stories and letters by Franz Kafka) St. Clement's, New York, NY[14]
  • 1987: The Maderati. Playwrights Horizons, February 19, 1987.[15]
  • 1987: Eastern Standard. John Golden Theatre, Broadway, January 5, 1989.
  • 1988: Neptune's Hips. Marathon '88 Series. Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York, NY, 1988.[16]
  • 1990: The American Plan. Manhattan Theatre Club. New York City Center-Stage I. December 4, 1990.
  • 1992: The Extra Man Manhattan Theatre Club. New York City Center-Stage II. April 28, 1992.[17]
  • 1992: Jenny Keeps Talking Manhattan Theatre Club. New York City Center-Stage II, New York, NY. March 22, 1993.
  • 1992: Pal Joey (based on the musical by John O'Hara, revised book). Huntington Theatre Company, Boston, MA, 1992-1993.
  • 1994: Night And Her Stars Manhattan Theatre Club. New York City Center-Stage II, March 29, 1995; South Coast Repertory, March 1994[18][19]
  • 1998: Three Days of Rain. Manhattan Theatre Club. New York City Center-Stage II, November 12, 1997.
  • 1998: Hurrah at Last Roundabout Theatre Company. Gramercy Theater, New York, NY, June 3, 1999.
  • 2000: Everett Beekin. Lincoln Center, Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, November 14, 2001[20] South Coast Repertory, September 2000[21]
  • 2001: The Dance of Death Broadway[22][23]
  • 2002: The Dazzle. Gramercy Theater, New York, NY, March 5, 2002.[24]
  • 2002: Take Me Out. Joseph Papp Public Theater, New York, NY, September 5, 2002.
  • 2003: The Violet Hour Steppenwolf Theater Company, Chicago, IL, 2003; Manhattan Theatre Club. Biltmore Theatre, New York, NY, 2003.
  • 2005: A Naked Girl on the Appian Way
  • 2006: Bal Masque Theatre J, Washington, D.C.[25]
  • 2006: The Well-Appointed Room Steppenwolf Theater Company, Chicago[26][27]
  • 2006: The House in Town Lincoln Center, Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater[28]
  • 2008: The Injured Party South Coast Repertory Theater, Costa Mesa, CA.[2]
  • 2009: The American Plan
  • 2009: Our Mother's Brief Affair South Coast Repertory Theater, Costa Mesa, CA.
  • 2013: The Assembled Parties Manhattan Theatre Club
  • 2015: Our Mother's Brief Affair Broadway, Manhattan Theatre Club


  • 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. ^ a b Hernandez, Ernio. "South Coast Rep Nabs Another Greenberg World-Premiere Comedy, 'The Injured Party'", December 5, 2007
  3. ^ Brantley, Ben (February 28, 2003). "Theatre Review: Love Affair With Baseball And a Lot of Big Ideas". New York Times. Retrieved May 10, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Richard Greenberg.". Contemporary Authors Online. Gale Biography In Context. Detroit: Gale. 2006. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Witchel, Alex (March 26, 2006). "A Dramatic Shut-In". New York Times Magazine. p. 47. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Richard Greenberg". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. 2012. Retrieved May 10, 2012. 
  7. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Broadway's Breakfast at Tiffany's Sets Closing Date", April 15, 2013
  8. ^ McNulty, Charles. "A rich season for playwright Richard Greenberg" Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2013
  9. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Richard Greenberg's Our Mother's Brief Affair Opens April 10 at South Coast Rep", April 10, 2009
  10. ^ McNulty, Charles. "Review. 'Our Mother's Brief Affair'" Los Angeles Times, April 12, 2009
  11. ^ Clement, Olivia. "'Our Mother's Brief Affair', with Linda Lavin, Begins Previews On Broadway Tonight", December 28, 2015
  12. ^ Viagas, Robert. "Verdict: How Were the Reviews for 'Our Mother's Brief Affair'?, January 20, 2016
  13. ^ Portantiere, Michael. "The 2001-2002 Outer Critics Circle Award Winners", April 29, 2002
  14. ^ Rich, Frank. "Theater Review. 'Hunger Artist, Kafka in Life and Work" New York Times, February 27, 1987
  15. ^ Rich, Frank. "Theater review. 'The maderati' by Richard Greenberg" New York Times, February 20, 1987
  16. ^ Goodman, Walter. "Theater Review. Of Baseball, the Infinite and Various Kinds of Curves" New York Times, June 16, 1988
  17. ^ Rich, Frank. "Review/Theater; Stylish and Affluent Extra Man With Dark Views and Dark Plot" New York Times, May 20, 1992
  18. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Theater Review. 'Night and Her Stars', A Different Take On Quiz Scandals" New York Times, April 27, 1995
  19. ^ Richards, David. "Review/Theater; White Knights and Villains In the Quiz-Show Scandals" New York Times, March 16, 1994
  20. ^ Everett Beekin, accessed December 28, 2015
  21. ^ Oxman, Steve. "Review. Everett Beekin Variety, September 20, 2000
  22. ^ The Dance of Death, accessed January 21, 2016
  23. ^ Simonson, Robert. Death, Where Is Thy Closing? Jan. 13, McKellen and Mirren Dance Away", January 13, 2002
  24. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Theater Review. At Home With the Collyer Brothers" New York Times, March 6, 2002
  25. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Richard Greenberg Crashes Capote's Ball in World Premiere, 'Bal Masque', in Busy Season for D.C.'s Theater J", July 13, 2005
  26. ^ Abarbanel, Jonathan. "Review: 'The Well-Appointed Room', February 8, 2006
  27. ^ Columbus,Curt; Murray, Thomas; Nedved, William. "Richard Greenberg: The Mind Lighting 'The Well-Appointed Room'", 2005-2006, Vol. 2
  28. ^ The House in Town, accessed December 30, 2015

External links[edit]