The Long Version
Over the past twenty years, RICHARD DRESSER’S plays have been widely produced on and off Broadway, in the nation’s leading regional theaters, and extensively throughout Europe.
He has worked in television for many years on a number of series including HBO’s “Vietnam War Stories” for which he won a cable ACE award, “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd” starring Blair Brown, “The Job” starring Denis Leary, “The Education of Max Bickford” starring Richard Dreyfuss, “Madigan Men” starring Gabriel Byrne, and such cult favorites as “Bakersfield P.D.,” and “Keen Eddie.” He created the web series “Life Coach” starring Cheri Oteri for AMC. He has sold pilots to all the major networks.
He has written screenplays for many studios including Dreamworks, Imagine, Disney, and Warner Brothers.
His play BELOW THE BELT, about three American men attempting to work together in a foreign land, started at the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival, ran off-Broadway at the John Houseman Theatre, appeared throughout the country, and was a long-running hit in Berlin, triggering many European productions. It was subsequently made into a film HUMAN ERROR, directed by Robert M. Young, which appeared at the Sundance Film Festival.
Another play, ROUNDING THIRD, which deals with competition in American society through the prism of Little League baseball, premiered at the Northlight Theater in Chicago, ran off-Broadway and has since had hundreds of productions throughout the country. It was recently made into a movie (which was shot in Nashville) starring John C. McGinley and Garret Dillahun which will be released in 2018.
He wrote the Beach Boys musical GOOD VIBRATIONS which started at New York Stage & Film and later ran on Broadway. He also wrote the book for the musical JOHNNY BASEBALL (lyrics by Willie Reale, music by Robert Reale) which premiered at A.R.T in Cambridge and moved on to the Williamstown Theatre Festival in July 2013. His latest collaboration with the Reale brothers is THE HOLLER, a bluegrass ghost musical set in Kentucky which first appeared at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
He recently completed PUBLIC SPEAKING: Three short films starring Treat Williams.
His trilogy of plays about happiness in America, with each play set in a different social class, includes: AUGUSTA (working class), THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (middle class) and A VIEW OF THE HARBOR (upper class).
Other plays include:
SOMETHING IN THE AIR, a contemporary film noir about the very last sure-fire investment left on earth, which started at CATF in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
GUN-SHY, which started at Louisville’s Humana Festival and ran at Playwrights Horizons in New York, about the tumultuous end and subsequent beginning of a marriage
THE DOWNSIDE, which started at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven about a desperate pharmaceutical company betting everything on a new anti-stress drug.
ALONE AT THE BEACH, which started at Actors Theatre of Louisville, about prickly single people attempting to share a summer house without resorting to homicide.
WONDERFUL WORLD, which also started in Louisville, about a family torn apart by demonic in-laws.
THE LAST DAYS OF MICKEY & JEAN about a notorious Boston gangster on the run with his much younger girlfriend, which premiered at the Merrimack Repertory Theater in Lowell, Massachusetts
He has written many short plays, including WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? which is staged in a car with three audience members in the back seat. It started at the Humana Festival and ran in Hamburg Germany for four years. The back seat was frequently sold out. Also NEVERTHELESS SHE PERSISTED about surviving the era of Trump.
TROUBLE COMETH, about two executives locked in an existential struggle against an impossible deadline premiered in 2015 at the San Francisco Playhouse. Another new play, CLOSURE, premiered in the summer of 2015 at the New Jersey Repertory Theatre in Long Branch, starring Gary Cole and Wendie Malick. WOLF AT THE DOOR premiered at Key City Public Theater in 2018.
He is a graduate of Brown University and the University of North Carolina, a former member of New Dramatists and twice attended the O’Neill Playwrights Conference. He teaches at Columbia University and is President and a founding member of the Writers Guild Initiative, which is dedicated to giving a voice to populations not being heard, including veterans, care-givers, exonerated death row inmates, and DREAMERS through writing workshops all over the country.