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Jack Be Nimble: The Accidental Education of an Unintentional Directorby Jack O'brien
Synopses & Reviews
A warm, witty tell-all and history of American regional theater, from one of our best-loved directors
For Jack OBrien, theres nothing like a first encounter with a great performer, nothing like the sound of an audience bursting into applause. In short, theres nothing like the theater.
Following a fairly normal Midwestern childhood, OBrien hoped to make his mark by writing lyrics for Broadway but was instead pulled into the growing American regional theater movement by the likes of John Houseman, Helen Hayes, Ellis Rabb, and Eva Le Gallienne. He didnt intend to become a director, or to direct some of the most brilliant—and sometimes maddening—personalities of the age, but in a charming, hilarious, and unexpected way, thats what happened.
OBrien has had a long, successful career on Broadway and as artistic director of San Diegos Old Globe Theatre, but the history of the movement that shaped him has been overlooked. In the middle of the last century, some extraordinary people forged a link in the chain connecting European influences such as the Moscow Art Theatre and Great Britains National Theatre with the flourishing American theater of today. OBrien was there to see and record it all, in beautifully vivid detail.
Funny, exuberant, unfailingly honest, Jack Be Nimble is the tale of those missing heroes, performances, and cultural battles. It is also the irresistible story of one of our best-loved theater directors, growing into his passion and discovering what he is capable of.
About the Author
Jack OBrien was born in 1939 and is an American director, producer, writer, and lyricist who served as the artistic director of the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego from 1982 to 2007. He has won three Tony Awards and been nominated for seven more, and has won five Drama Desk Awards. OBrien lives in New York City.
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