Lanford Wilson

Lanford Wilson is an American playwright who was born on April 13, 1937 in Lebanon, Missouri. He was raised in the Ozarks until, as a teenager, he moved to California to live with his father, from whom his mother had been long divorced. He began his career as a playwright in the early 1960s at the Caffe Cino in Greenwich Village with one-act plays such as Ludlow Fair, Home Free, and The Madness of Lady Bright. He soon moved to off-Broadway with Balm in Gilead in 1964 and The Rimers of Eldrich in 1965. Wilson was a founding member of the Circle Theatre Company which began in 1969. Many of his plays were first presented there, including The Hot L Baltimore, which won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award the Outer Critics’ Circle Award, and the Obie Award, and Fifth of July, which later had a successful production on Broadway. Wilson’s 1979 play, Talley’s Folly won the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

Other plays by Wilson include:

  • The Gingham Dog (1968)
  • Lemon Sky (1970)
  • The Mound Builders (1975)
  • A Tale Told (1981—later revised and renamed “Talley & Son”)
  • Angels Fall (1982)
  • Burn This (1987)
  • Redwood Curtain (1993)
  • Book of Days (2000)



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