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 BA and MA in Theatre, and began his theatre career as an actor in San Francisco, primarily with the New Shakespeare Company and then 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 the 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 and Chapman University, been a site evaluator for the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council, and is a member of numerous theatre and humanitarian organizations, including the Dramatists Guild, Society for Directors and Choreographers, and Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, among many others.
He's currently writing two plays.
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 and continues to be produced. The play 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.
In November 2015 he directed the West Coast Premiere of Athol Fugard's The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek for The Fountain Theatre, named by the Los Angeles Times as one of the Top Ten Theatre Productions in America in 2015, and winner of other awards.
In June 2015 he produced the World Premiere of Stephen Sachs' stage adaptation of Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric for The Fountain Theatre, named Critic's Choice in the Los Angeles Times, and extended twice by popular demand.
In September 2013 he directed the Los Angeles Revival of The Normal Heart for The Fountain Theatre, winner of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards Best Production (Revival), among numerous other awards.
Playwright (scripts and awards)
Currently working on two new plays.
- 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 Backstage 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: Backstage 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 Backstage 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
- Man for Man (inspired by Leonard Michaels' acclaimed novel, "The Men's Club")
- Love Eternal (one-act) (the love story of Tristan and Iseult) - Awards: Finalist: West Coast Ten-Minute Play Contest
- Voice (with Frederick Kurth) - Awards: Honorable Mention, 2002 Writer's Digest Competition
- Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue ("Monster Revue") (with Peter Giordano) Produced: Universal Studios Hollywood
Director (projects and awards)
- The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek by Athol Fugard - November 2015 - Fountain Theatre, Critic's Choice, Los Angeles Times and named by the Los Angeles Times as one of the Top Ten 2015 Theatre Productions in America, among other recognitions and awards.
- Reborning by Zayd Dohrn - January 2015 - Fountain Theatre, Critic's Choice, Los Angeles Times and named by the Huffington Post as the #1 Top Ten Los Angeles Theatre Productions of 2015.
- The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer - September 2013 - Fountain Theatre, Pick of the Week LA Weekly and Critic's Pick BroadwayWorld.com. Recipient of numerous awards, including Best Production (Revival) by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle.
- Cyrano by Stephen Sachs - 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 by Tennessee Williams - 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 by Michael Hollinger - 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; Backstage 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 by Anna Ziegler - 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 by Tennessee Williams - September 2007 - Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles; Awards: 2008 Backstage West Garland Award for Direction; Recipient of 9 Backstage West Critics List Honorable Mentions including Best Production
- Master Class by Terrence McNally - January 2007 - Santa Barbara Theatre at the Lobero Theatre
- The Gimmick by Dael Orlandersmith - September 2006 - Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles; Awards: Winner 2007 LA Stage Alliance OVATION Award Best Solo Performance; Recipient of 5 Backstage West 2006 Critics' List Honorable Mentions including Direction (twice); ReviewPlays.com: Runner-Up: Best Director
- What I Heard About Iraq by Simon Levy - 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 by Rupert Holmes - February/March 2005 - Colony Theatre, Burbank; Awards: Recipient of 4 Backstage West 2006 Critics List Honorable Mentions including Best Production and Direction
- Going to St. Ives by Lee Blessing - August 2004 - Edinburgh Fringe Festival
- Awake and Sing by Clifford Odets - June 2004 - International City Theatre, Long Beach; Nomination: 2004 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards: Revival of the Year
- Daisy in the Dreamtime by Lynne Kaufman- March 2004 - a Fountain Theatre production at INside the Ford at the Ford Amphitheatre, Los Angeles; Awards: 2004 Backstage 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 by Terrence McNally - 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 Backstage West "Garland" Awards including Best Direction; Backstage 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.
- 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
- Night Eyes II (under pseudonym) - Produced: Prism Entertainment
- 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
- Spindle, Les (March 15, 2011). "Chris Pine, Ed Harris Win L.A. Drama Critics Circle Theater Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
- "Great Guthrie, it's 'Gatsby'" Minneapolis Star Tribune February 10, 2006
- "Literary awards season" LAObserved.com July 31, 2007
- "Simon Levy" doollee.com 2010
- "Past Plays". The Fountain Theatre. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
- Ng, David (March 18, 2013). "Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle announces winners for 2012". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
- Wada, Karen (May 23, 2012). "Gifts of language continue in 'Cyrano'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
- "On Stage: Seattle Rep superbly mines the essence of Fitzgerald's 'Great Gatsby'" Seattle Post-Intelligencer November 14, 2006
- "F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby". Arizona Theatre Company. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
- "F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby". Grand Theatre. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
- "Angeleno's play wows Edinburgh" Los Angeles Times August 27, 2006
- "Winners". PEN Center USA. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
- "2009-2010 StageSceneLA Scenies". StageSceneLA.com. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
- "LADCC Announces Nominations for Last Season". This Stage. January 25, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
- on YouTube January 16, 2010
- "2004 L.A. Ovation Award Winners Announced" TheatreMania.com November 16, 2004