An unprecedented study of the craft and artistry of one of the most important American stage directors of late twentieth-century theater.
Garland Wright was one of the most important, yet least well known, directors and producers in the American theater between 1970 and his untimely death, at 52, in 1998. An artist of great—albeit sometimes perplexing—vision and intellect, Wright emerged as a leader of the first wave of directors who matured primarily in the evolving American “regional system.”
During his fifteen-plus-year relationship with the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis Wright explored and delivered some of his most significant contributions to the regional landscape. The synthesis between that organization and this leader unveiled some of the most compelling creative and “company” activities of either of their lives.
A unique dynamism in Wright’s work derived from his exploration inside the process: his rehearsal methods were as eclectic as the projects he undertook. With The Tempest as his touchstone, Wright staked a claim for absolute trust in artistry and process, as opposed to popularity or finance, as the heart of his theater.
In Painting the Stage with People: Garland Wright and the American Theater, author Thomas Woldt has sewn together an extraordinary tapestry of facts, intriguing opinions, and Wright’s own compelling words, to yield an unprecedented study of an American director. Readers with all theatrical interests will discover how Garland Wright was, by turns, both “Miranda” and “Prospero” in the tempest of his own theatrical life.