|RUTH WOLFF, playwright and screenwriter, a native New Englander now living in New York, educated at Smith College and Yale University, was first represented by the legendary Audrey Wood. In 2010 and 2012 Broadway Play Publishing published nineteen of her plays under the titles NOTABLE WOMEN – AND A FEW EQUALLY NOTABLE MEN and FROM FAUSTIANA TO THE FALL OF ATHENS.
In 1971, the Bristol Old Vic produced the world premiere of Wolff’s THE ABDICATION at the Theatre Royal in Bath, starring Gemma Jones and David Neal. The play, about the abdication of Christina of Sweden, is an exploration of the conflicting masculine and feminine natures of woman. Its American premiere was presented by the Eureka Theatre of San Francisco (1979). THE ABDICATION has been produced throughout the United States and around the world. Wolff’s article about the triumphant Italian production appeared in the New York Times Magazine in December, 1977. The Warner Bros film of THE ABDICATION, with screenplay by Wolff and starring Liv Ullmann and Peter Finch, is available on DVD through Warner Bros Archive Collection.
Roger L. Stevens presented the premiere of SARAH IN AMERICA (1981), Wolff’s play about Sarah Bernhardt’s American tours, at the Kennedy Center starring Lilli Palmer and directed by Sir Robert Helpmann. The play was also produced at the Pasadena Playhouse starring Katherine Helmond and at Hofstra University starring Tovah Feldshuh. Wolff’s film about the early life of Bernhardt, THE INCREDIBLE SARAH (1976), starred Glenda Jackson and Daniel Massey.
EMPRESS OF CHINA, about the Dowager Empress Tzu-hsi, premiered in New York at the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre (1984). Other productions include those at the Cincinnati Playhouse, the East Coast Theatre Company in Sydney, Australia and (in Italian) at the Todi Festival in Italy. THE SECOND MRS WILSON, about the critical last year of the Wilson White House, premiered at the Barter Theatre, the State Theatre of Virginia, in September 2001. GEORGE AND FREDERIC, a play with the music of Chopin, about his love affair with George Sand, premiered at the University of Utah (1983). AVIATORS, where an unraveling marriage mimics that of Anne and Charles Lindbergh, premiered at the New Jersey Repertory Theatre and was subsequently produced at the Barter Theatre (2005).
Wolff’s adaptation of H. Leivick’s dramatic poem, THE GOLEM, appeared Off-Broadway (1959). FOLLY COVE and STILL LIFE WITH APPLES were presented at the O’Neill Theatre Center (1967 & 1968). ARABIC TWO (1969) was seen Off-Broadway and in other productions. The Rhode Island Shakespeare Theatre presented JOSHUA SLOCUM SAILING ALONE AROUND THE WORLD in Newport, Rhode Island (1992).
Staged readings: ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE (1979, Playwrights Horizons), BUFFALOES (1992, Newport, RI, East Hampton, NY, LA, director, John Frankenheimer), THE PERFECT MARRIAGE (1994, East Hampton Playwrights Theatre, Roundabout), THE SHAKESPEARE ROAD (2007, New Jersey Repertory Theatre, East Hampton Playwrights Theatre, variously starring Lisa Harrow, Robert Cuccioli, Harris Yulin and Brian Murray). THE ARDENT PHILANTHROPIST (2007, HB Studio), and THE FALL OF ATHENS (2008, Coffee Club, starring Simon Jones). THE SKY POOL (2007), HOTEL VICTORY (2009) and FAUSTIANA (2011) New Jersey Repertory Theatre. Recent plays: THE SEVEN AGES OF DD (2012), OUTLIERS (2013)
Quotes: Liv Ullmann, star of THE ABDICATION film: "Wolff has written a treasure trove of extraordinary roles for actresses." Richard Rose, Producing Artistic Director of the Barter Theatre, "Wolff is a playwright of great perception and intelligence, with powerful insights into the human condition. A compelling and unique voice in American Theatre."
Wolff is married to architect Martin Bloom (author of ACCOMMODATING THE LIVELY ARTS, AN ARCHITECT’S VIEW)
PLAY COLLECTIONS: (Broadway Play Publishing) NOTABLE WOMEN – AND A FEW EQUALLY NOTABLE MEN Essay: Dramatizing Lives -- The Art of Writing the Biographical Play, THE ABDICATION,THE PERFECT MARRIAGE,HALLIE, EMPRESS OF CHINA,SARAH IN AMERICA,ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE,GEORGE AND FREDERIC ,JOSHUA SLOCUM SAILING ALONE AROUND THE WORLD,THE SECOND MRS WILSON, Essay: We Open in Florence
FROM FAUSTIANA TO THE FALL OF ATHENS Essay: Theatrical Relations -- The Art of Collaborating in this Collaborative Art, FAUSTIANA, ARABIC TWO, AVIATORS, THE SHAKESPEARE ROAD, HOTEL VICTORY, BUFFALOES, THE SKY POOL, THE ARDENT PHILANTHROPISST, STILL LIFE WITH APPLES, THE FALL OF ATHENS