Hauptman, William, 1942-Alternative names
Playwright and novelist William Thornton Hauptman was born November 26, 1942 in Wichita Falls, Texas. Hauptman has received many grants, and has earned many awards such as a Tony Award for Best Musical Book (Big River, 1985) and the Jesse Jones Award for Best Fiction by a Texas Author from Texas Institute of Letters (for Good Rockin' Tonight and Other Stories, 1986). The Storm Season, originally published by Bantam Books in 1992, was published as a reprint edition by the University of Texas Press in Fall 2000, as part of the Southwestern Writers Collection Series.
From the description of William Hauptman Papers, 1954-1993. (Texas State University-San Marcos). WorldCat record id: 49541719
Playwright and novelist William Thornton Hauptman was born November 26, 1942, in Wichita Falls, Texas, to working-class parents raised in the Midwest. As a child in Wichita Falls, Hauptman attended many plays, readings, and magic shows in the large municipal auditorium there, and saw such actors as Charles Laughton and Gene Autry. He graduated from Wichita Falls Senior High School in 1961, and earned a B.F.A. in Drama from the University of Texas in 1966. His undergraduate degree focused on acting; Hauptman did not decide until graduate school that he wanted to pursue playwrighting. He completed an MFA in playwrighting at Yale University School of Drama in 1973. He then went on to teach playwrighting at Adelphi College in Garden City, NY, 1973-75, and at Yale University School of Drama, 1976.
Soon thereafter Hauptman became the recipient of numerous grants which enabled him to pursue his writing full time. He won playwrighting grants from CBS (1977), the National Endowment for the Arts (1977), and the Guggenheim Foundation (1978). Many award-winning plays followed. The first was a Distinguished Playwrighting/Obie Award for “Domino Courts/Comanche Café” 1978. For “Denmark Vesey” (1981 PBS teleplay) he won a NAACP Freedom Foundation Award and an Emmy Award nomination. For “Big River” (1985), a Broadway musical based on Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, with music written by Roger Miller, he earned a Tony Award for Best Musical Book, Boston Theater Critics Circle Award for Best New Musical, San Diego Theatre Critic’s Circle for Award for Best New Play. For the play Gillette, he won Los Angeles Drama League Award for Distinguished Playwrighting (1986). For Good Rockin’ Tonight and Other Stories (1986), he received the Jesse Jones Award for Best Fiction by a Texas Author from Texas Institute of Letters.
“There is a remarkable wholeness about William Hauptman’s dramatic writing that transcends the working-class milieu in which his plays are set… An awareness of the outdoors, the land, and the forces of nature permeates the writing and generates some striking scenic images. The visual sensibility is supplemented by his strongly imaginistic use of sound: the distant dog bark that ends Domino Courts, the low rumble that seems to comment on Carroll’s line “Now can we have some peace and quiet, right honey?”, in Heat, a passing train, the howl of a coyote, droning cicadas, and specific musical selections that often mock a character’s pipe dreams.” ( Contemporary Dramatists, 6th ed., St. James Press, 1999.)
Hauptman served as Associate Professor at the Texas Center for Writers in 1996, and returned in 2000 to continue teaching. His novel, The Storm Season, originally published by Bantam Books in 1992, was published as a reprint edition by the University of Texas Press in Fall 2000, as part of the Southwestern Writers Collection Series.
From the guide to the William Hauptman Papers, 1954-1993 (Bulk: 1975-1993), (Southwestern Writers Collection, Special Collections, Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos)
- Dramatists, American--20th century--Sources
- Authors, American--20th century--Sources