Horovitz, IsraelVariant names
Israel Horovitz (b. 1939) is an Obie and Drama Desk award-winning American playwright, screenwriter, and director. He was raised in Wakefield, Massachusetts, and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London from 1961 to 1963. In addition to a residency at the Royal Shakespeare Company (1965) and two Rockefeller Foundation fellowships in playwriting (1968 and 1969), Horovitz was also the playwright in residence at the City College of the City University of New York from 1969 to 1974.
Horovitz is the author of more than 70 plays, 4 films, and 1 novel. The Comeback, Horovitz's first play, was produced in Boston when he was 17 years old. His work debuted in New York City at the Astor Place Theatre in 1968 with the production of The Indian Wants the Bronx and It's Called the Sugar Plum, two one-act plays. The Indian Wants the Bronx won an Obie Award for Best Play as well as a Drama Desk award, and featured rising stars Al Pacino and John Cazale. Over the next three years, his plays Rats, Line, Leader, The Honest-to-God Schnozzola, Chiaroscuro, and Acrobats were produced off-Broadway.
Following this success, Horovitz was commissioned by television networks such as CBS and WNET to develop television plays and pilots, resulting in Funny Books and Play for Trees. He also adapted novels, stories, and foreign plays for the stage and screen, including Norman Mailer's The Deer Park and Eugene Ionesco's Man with Bags. His first screenplay was an adaptation of James Simon Kunen's The Strawberry Statement; the film was awarded the Jury Prize at the 1970 Cannes Film Festival. Horovitz's semi-autobiographical screenplay Author! Author!, produced in 1982, drew from his experiences working as a Broadway playwright while raising young children. In addition to writing for the stage, screen, and television, Horovitz has also written poetry and long fiction, as well as essays for Look magazine and The New York Times. His novel, Capella, was published in 1973.
In the early 1970s, Horovitz began work on Alfred the Great, the first installment of The Wakefield Plays, set in Horovitz's Massachusetts hometown. Alfred the Great premiered in 1973, and the following year Horovitz was awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts to complete the trilogy, which included Our Father's Failing and Arthur Dies.
While writing has remained Horovitz's focus since the start of his career, he has also directed his own plays, including the 1968 premiere of Chiaroscuro and the 1989 off-Broadway production of The Widow's Blind Date. As of 2013, Horovitz's plays have been translated and produced in over 30 languages, and a 1974 revival of his play Line is the longest running play in Manhattan.
From the guide to the Israel Horovitz papers, 1962-1989, 1968-1975, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)
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