Tom Jacobson is a Los Angeles-based playwright.
Jacobson has had more than 70 productions of his works performed around the country. He studied acting at Northwestern University, and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in 1985 from the playwriting program at the University of California, Los Angeles' School of Theater, Film and Television.
Jacobson has described himself as a "47 year old male Angeleno from Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida and Oklahoma of Norwegian/Swedish/German/Polish/Hungarian/Czech/French/English/Irish/Scottish background who went to college in Chicago and graduate school in Los Angeles and works in a natural history museum and lives in a loft in Koreatown with his husband who is a Latino abstract expressionist artist."
Career as Playwright
A prolific writer, Jacobson has penned more than 33 plays, although not all of these works have been produced at the time of writing. Jacobson's historical references, literary allusions, wit and transitional style have garnered comparisons with fellow playwright Tom Stoppard.
Many of Jacobson's plays deal with homosexual characters and gay history. He has written several works with all-male casts, though his plays The Friendly Hour (2008) and Pipestone (unproduced) are all-female ensembles.
Jacobson has called his 2005 play Ouroboros his best work, citing its powerful emotions and innovative structure.
In 2011, two of Jacobson's plays were performed simultaneously in Los Angeles: The Chinese Massacre (Annotated) at Circle X Theatre, and House of the Rising Son at Ensemble Studio Theatre-LA. Both productions have been favorably reviewed.
all of the following plays have been published by Broadway Play Publishing Inc.
- THE CHINESE MASSACRE (ANNOTATED)
- EAT THE RUNT (written as Avery Crozier)
- THE FRIENDLY HOUR
- HOUSE OF THE RISING SON
- TAINTED BLOOD
- THE TWENTIETH-CENTURY WAY
Jacobson has been nominated for a number of awards, including a 2010 Playwright—World Premier Play or Musical Ovation Award for his work The Twentieth-Century Way. That particular play was nominated for a total of five Ovation Awards, as well as four Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, and a GLAAD Media Award (2010).
Apart from his theatre works, Jacobson has also been a co-literary manager of The Theatre @ Boston Court, artistic director of Ensemble Studio Theatre-LA, and a board member of Cornerstone Theater Company. Jacobson was a founding member of Playwrights Ink, a non-profit association (based at the University of Wisconsin) made up of theater artists dedicated to the development of playwrights and their work.
Jacobson also teaches playwriting and related courses for UCLA Extension. Of his teaching philosophy, Jacobson has said, "Writers learn everywhere – every experience, every person we meet teaches us something about the world, something we can remember, ruminate on, and write down … Perhaps the most important thing I can teach [my students] is how to ask the right questions and really listen to the answers – to find the truth hidden inside the lie."
- Jacobson's personal website
- UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television
- Don Grigware's theatre review website, 2008
- Shirley, Don (November 28, 2004). "He moves in mysterious ways". Los Angeles Times.
- Miller, Daryl H. (September 20, 2017). "He's big in L.A.'s small theaters: Tom Jacobson, master of puzzles, surprises and brain-teasers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 23, 2017. (Subscription required (help)).
- List of Jacobson's plays
- Los Angeles Times Theater Review
- LA Stage Times
- "NEA Awards $100k in New Play Development Grants," Stage Directions 23:10, Oct. 2010
- "GLAAD Media Awards Nominations Announced," Stage Directions 19:3, March 2006
- Jacobson's personal bio
- Playwright's Ink homepage
- UCLA Extension Writers' Program