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Ken Ludwig
 
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Biography of Ken Ludwig

Here's an up-to-date bio that theatres can use in their programs.
It's current as of August, 2013
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KEN LUDWIG is an internationally-acclaimed playwright whose work has been performed in more than 30 countries in over 20 languages. He has had 6 shows on Broadway and 6 in the West End. He has won two Laurence Olivier Awards, two Helen Hayes Awards, the Edgar Award, the SETC Distinguished Career Award, and the Edwin Forrest Award for Services to the Theatre. His plays have been commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Bristol Old Vic. His first play on Broadway, Lend Me A Tenor, which the New York Times called "one of the two great farces by a living writer," won three Tony Awards and was nominated for nine. His other best-known Broadway and West End shows include Crazy For You (5 years on Broadway, Tony and Olivier Award Winner for Best Musical), Moon Over Buffalo, Leading Ladies, Twentieth Century, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Game’s Afoot, The Fox on the Fairway, Midsummer/Jersey, The Three Musketeers, Treasure Island and The Beaux’ Stratagem. His plays have starred Alec Baldwin, Carol Burnett, Lynn Redgrave, Mickey Rooney, Hal Holbrook, Dixie Carter, Tony Shalhoub, Anne Heche, Joan Collins, and Kristin Bell. His book How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare was published in June 2013 by Random House, and his work has been published by the Yale Review. He is a McCarter Theatre/Sallie B. Goodman Fellow, and he has degrees from Harvard, where he studied music with Leonard Bernstein, Haverford College and Cambridge University. For more information, please visit www.kenludwig.com



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Download Ken's Full Bio

KEN LUDWIG is an internationally-acclaimed playwright whose work has been performed in more than 30 countries in over 20 languages. He has had 6 shows on Broadway and 6 in the West End. He has won two Laurence Olivier Awards, two Helen Hayes Awards, the Edgar Award, the SETC Distinguished Career Award, and the Edwin Forrest Award for Services to the Theatre. His plays have been commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Bristol Old Vic. His first play on Broadway, Lend Me A Tenor, which the New York Times called "one of the two great farces by a living writer," won three Tony Awards and was nominated for nine. His other best-known Broadway and West End shows include Crazy For You (5 years on Broadway, Tony and Olivier Award Winner for Best Musical), Moon Over Buffalo, Leading Ladies, Twentieth Century, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Game’s Afoot, The Fox on the Fairway, Midsummer/Jersey, The Three Musketeers, Treasure Island and The Beaux’ Stratagem.

Stars who have appeared in his plays over the years include Carol Burnett, Lynn Redgrave, Alec Baldwin, Kristin Bell, Joan Collins, Robert Goulet, Mickey Rooney, Hal Holbrook, Dixie Carter, Frank Langella, Anne Heche, Otto Schenk, and Kristin Bell, Tony Shalhoub and Justin Bartha.

Mr. Ludwig's book How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare was published in June 2013 by Random House, and his work has been published by the Yale Review.

Crazy For You ran for four years at the Shubert Theater in New York, won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Los Angeles Critics Circle and Helen Hayes Awards as Best Musical of the Year, as well as the Olivier Award for Best Musical in London, and was broadcast nationwide on the PBS television series “Great Performances.” After a hit revival at The Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park in summer 2011, it transferred to the Novello Theatre in the West End and won a second Olivier Award for Best Musical.

Lend Me A Tenor, was originally produced on Broadway by Andrew Lloyd Webber, revived in 2010 starring Tony Shalhoub and Justin Bartha, and has proved to be one of the most popular comedies of the past two decades. In London it was nominated for the Olivier Award as Comedy of the Year. On Broadway it was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Play and Best Revival and won three Tonys, four Drama Desk Awards and three Outer Critics Circle Awards. It has been translated into at least twenty languages and produced in over thirty countries around the world.

Moon Over Buffalo was nominated for two Tony Awards and marked Carol Burnett’s triumphant return to Broadway after 30 years, where she starred opposite Philip Bosco. Subsequent Broadway casts included Lynn Redgrave and Robert Goulet. In London it played at the legendary Old Vic starring Joan Collins and Frank Langella.

Twentieth Century, his adaptation of the Hecht-MacArthur comedy, was premiered at Signature Theatre in Arlington, and played to sold-out audiences on Broadway in 2004, where it was produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company starring Alec Baldwin and Anne Heche.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer appeared on Broadway during the 2001-02 season. A one-hour children’s version had a triumphant run at the Kennedy Center, and subsequently toured around the country for two years.

Shakespeare in Hollywood was commissioned by The Royal Shakespeare Company. It premiered at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. and won the Helen Hayes Award as Best Play of the Year.

Leading Ladies premiered at the Alley Theatre in Houston in the fall of 2004 under the author’s direction and is now being performed in theatres throughout the country.

Be My Baby opened the 2005-2006 season at the Alley Theatre starring Hal Holbrook and Dixie Carter, directed by John Rando.

Mr. Ludwig was honored to be asked by the Estate of Thornton Wilder to complete Mr. Wilder’s adaptation of The Beaux’ Stratagem, a new version of the Restoration comedy by George Farquhar. The play received its world premiere production at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. under the direction of Michael Kahn and will be published by TCG.

Mr. Ludwig's adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island premiered in 2007 at The Alley Theatre, directed by Gregory Boyd and designed by Eugene Lee and Constance Hoffman. It later opened at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in London's West End in fall of 2008, starring Keith Allen and directed by Sean Holmes. Treasure Island won the 2009 AATE Distinguished Play Award for Best Adaptation.

Mr. Ludwig was commissioned by The Bristol Old Vic in London to write an adaptation of The Three Musketeers for an 8-week run during the theatre’s 2006 Christmas season. It opened in early December 2006.

Mr. Ludwig’s stage version of An American in Paris with the music of George and Ira Gershwin—in the tradition of their collaboration on Crazy for You—premiered at the Alley Theatre in spring of 2008, directed by Gregory Boyd and designed by Douglas Schmidt.

The Fox on the Fairway, Mr. Ludwig’s new comedy set in the world of golf, premiered in fall 2010 at Signature Theatre in Arlington, directed by John Rando.

The Game's Afoot is Mr. Ludwig’s comedy-mystery about the great actor William Gillette who originated the role of Sherlock Holmes. It premiered at Cleveland Play House in November 2011, directed by Aaron Posner and won the 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Play.

The world premiere of Ken's first play for children, Twas The Night Before Christmas, which chronicles the adventures of a mouse, an elf and a spunky little girl who set off to save Christmas from an evil ex-elf who is trying to double-cross Santa, opened at The Adventure Theatre in November 2011.

Written for high schools and colleges, Ken Ludwig's new play, Midsummer/Jersey is a high-octane re-telling of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream set on the boardwalk of a seaside town in modern-day New Jersey. It received its world premiere in November 2011 at James Robinson High School in Fairfax, VA where it played to sold-out houses.

Other plays include Sullivan & Gilbert (a co-production of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Arts Centre of Canada, voted Best Play of 1988 by the Ottawa critics); a new adaptation of Where’s Charley? for the Kennedy Center; the Off-Broadway hit Divine Fire; and a mystery, Postmortem. For television, he co-wrote the 1990 Kennedy Center Honors for CBS (Emmy Award nomination), and a television pilot for Carol Channing. For film he wrote Lend Me A Tenor for Columbia Pictures and All Shook Up for Touchstone Pictures and director Frank Oz.

Recently, Mr. Ludwig has begun directing. In 2004, he directed the world premiere of Leading Ladies at the Alley Theatre in Houston starring Brent Barrett and Erin Dilly; and he has directed readings of Shakespeare in Hollywood, Treasure Island, The Game’s Afoot, and Baskerville at the Kennedy Center.

Mr. Ludwig is an Associate Artist of the Alley Theatre in Houston. Awards include the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the Edwin Forrest Award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., a founding member of the Board of Trustees of the Shakespeare Theatre of Washington and an Honorary Trustee of the Shakespeare Guild. He has served on the New Play Committees of the National Endowment for the Arts and the American College Theater Festival, where he annually chooses and presents the Mark Twain Award for outstanding comic performance and recently established the Ken Ludwig Playwriting Scholarship. He has lectured on drama at various universities around the country. His work has appeared in The Yale Review, and his book How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare was published in June 2013 by Crown.

Mr. Ludwig graduated from Haverford College (B.A.), Harvard Law School (J.D.) and Cambridge University (LL.B.). He studied music at Harvard with Leonard Bernstein and theatre history at Cambridge. He practiced law for several years with the firm of Steptoe & Johnson, where he remains Of Counsel. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from York College of Pennsylvania. He is married and has two children.


August 2013

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