Rob Urbinati

Playwright

Rob Urbinati

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Rob Urbinati

Born
August 12, 1952 (age 67)
Framingham, Massachusetts

Occupation
stage director, playwright, book author

Rob Urbinati (born August 12, 1952) is a freelance playwright, screenwriter, book author and theater director based in New York City. He is also director of new play development at Queens Theatre.

Contents

Background and education

Rob was born in Framingham, Massachusetts and currently resides in New York City[1]. He received a BA from the University of Massachusetts, an MA from the University of Nebraska Omaha and in 1994 was awarded a PhD in theatre arts from the University of Oregon College of Arts and Sciences[2].
Career overview
Plays written by Rob Urbinati include an adaptation of August Strindberg's 1888 play Miss Julie, Miss Julie in Hollywood (1993), produced in Seattle at Northwest Actors Studio in 1994, starring Heidi Schreck; Hazelwood Jr. High (1996), about the Murder of Shanda Sharer, which premiered at The New Group and starred Chloë Sevigny[3]; Cruel and Barbarous Treatment (1999) based on the 1939 Mary McCarthy short story, at Gloucester Stage Company[4]; Karaoke Night at the Suicide Shack (2002)[5] and The Queen Bees (formerly named Shangri-La) (2006) at Queens Theatre[6]; Rebel Voices (2006), an adaptation of Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove's Voices of a People's History of the United States at Culture Project with a rotating cast including Staceyann Chin, Steve Earle, Danny Glover, Lenelle Moïse, Rich Robinson, Lili Taylor, and Wallace Shawn[7]; Murder on West Moon Street (2006) which was based on Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, an Oscar Wilde short story[8] and Cole Porter’s Nymph Errant (2001)[9][10] produced by the Prospect Theatre Company; UMW: University of Mostly Whites (2012) commissioned and produced by Linfield College[11]; Death By Design (2010) written in a mash-up of styles of Noël Coward and Agatha Christie, commissioned and produced by Houston Family Arts Center[12]; Mama's Boy (2013), based on the lives of Marguerite Oswald and Lee Harvey Oswald, which premiered at Good Theater in Maine (2015)[13] and Our Boy (2017) which premiered at the Minnesota Fringe Festival in 2017[14]. Hazelwood Jr. High, Murder on West Moon Street, Mama's Boy and Death By Design (as well as an alternate version with songs by Peter Mills) are published by Samuel French. Cole Porter’s Nymph Errant, UMW: University of Mostly Whites and The Queen Bees are published by Steele Spring Stage Rights. His plays have received over two hundred productions worldwide. His book, Play Readings: A Complete Guide for Theatre Practitioners (2015) is published by Focal Press/Routledge.

In New York, Rob Urbinati directed the world premieres Staceyann Chin’s Border/Clash for the Culture Project[15]; Eric Bogosian’s Griller for the Lincoln Center Director's Lab; James Armstrong's Foggy Bottom, Jan Buttram's The President and Her Mistress and Al Letson’s Summer in Sanctuary at the Abingdon; Kirk Bromley's Syndrome at the Greenwich Street Theatre[16], Bromley and Jessica Grace Wing's Lost at the Connelly Theatre[17]; and Anne DeSalvo's Mamma Roma at Cherry Lane Theatre[18].

Also in New York, Rob directed Villa Diodati for the New York Musical Theatre Festival, (and at York Theatre Company)[19], Angel Street at Pearl Theatre Company[20][21]; 365 Days/365 Plays at The Public Theatre; Springtime at HERE Arts Center, The Man with the Flower in His Mouth at Classic Stage Company, and Minstrel Show, or the Lynching of William Brown at Connelly Theatre, and then in Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Colorado[22].

Rob has directed at universities and colleges across the country including Concordia College in Minnesota, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Doane College in Nebraska, LaGuardia Community College in New York City, Clark University in Massachusetts, University of Oregon, University of Nebraska–Lincoln and New York University, where he directed Jeff Whitty’s Suicide Weather

In Nebraska, he directed for Lied Center for Performing Arts, The Rose Theatre, Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, Nebraska Repertory Theatre, and Blue Barn Theatre, where his adaptation of Toxic Avenger: the Musical premiered[23][24].

Rob is Director of New Play Development at Queens Theatre, where he curates New American Voices (formerly Immigrant Voices Project), a new play program which develops plays by writers who represent the diverse demographic of New York City. IVP/NAV has presented readings, workshops, full productions and co-productions of new work by over eighty writers including , Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, Kristoffer Diaz, Rajiv Joseph, Qui Nguyen, Heather Raffo, Saviana Stănescu, Caridad Svich, Cori Thomas and Lauren Yee. At Queens Theatre, Rob has directed many plays including Marry Me A Little, Angel Street, Master Class, and To Kill A Mockingbird.

Since receiving a Directing Fellowship from The Drama League, he has served on their Nominating Committee and various Selection Committees. For The Drama League, he directed William Inge's The Boy in the Basement, the world premieres of Tom Grady's Global Village and Max Sparber's The Older Gentleman and Cruelties. He wrote the Drama League Benefits honoring James Earl Jones, Bernadette Peters, and David Hyde Pierce.

Recently, Rob directed Al Letson’s The Centre Cannot Hold at the Hot Docs Festival in Toronto and the Five and Dime Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida[25].

Three productions he directed, Lost, Syndrome, and Border/Clash[26], and one that he wrote, Hazelwood Jr. High[27], were videotaped for the Billy Rose Theatre on Film and Tape Archive at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
Affiliations
Rob Urbinati is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.

He is a participating member of the Drama Desk Awards as well as a critic covering New York area theater for EDGE Media Network[28].

Rob has conducted numerous playwriting and directing workshops at various Regions of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and has previously served as Theatre Consultant for Home Box Office, Literary Manager for The Private Theatre and Artistic Adviser for Houston Family Arts Center.
Awards
In 2007 the Prospect Theater Company production of Urbinati's Murder on West Moon Street was nominated for 8 New York Innovative Theatre Awards for Outstanding Full Length Play, Outstanding Production of a Play, Outstanding Director, Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role, 2 for Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role, Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role and Outstanding Costume Design. In the same year, the Queens Theatre production of his musical Shangri La was also nominated for 4 New York Innovative Theatre Awards for Outstanding Production of a Musical, Outstanding Choreography/Movement, Outstanding Sound Design and Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role[29][30].
References

  1. "2007 IT Awards Nominees & Recipients", September 24, 2007

External links