J.R. Sullivan biography
At Writers Theatre: Damon, Ring & F. Scott
J.R. Sullivan is the founder of Rockford's New American Theater, beginning the company immediately foflowing his graduation from Beloit College in 1972. Mr. Sullivan led N.A.T. as its Producing Director for 22 seasons, stepping down in 1994 to pursue a freelance career in the theater. He has been busy ever since with projectsin Chicago and Milwaukee. His 1995 productions of two Brian Friel works, Faith Healer (Turnaround Theatre) and Wonderful Tennessee (Touchstone Theatre) won honors and popular acclaim in Chicago. Faith Healer especially received critical praise, taking the production from its original home at the Turnaround to the Steppenwolf Studio as the inaugural production of the 95-96 season series. In November and December, Jim appeared at the Victory Gardens Studio in his own adaptation of works by Ben Hecht, Ben Hecht: Child of the Century in a production directed by Sheldon Patinkin. In January, Jim's production of the David Ives' comedy All in The Timing scored for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and that production was revived for a summer tour to Texas several years ago. Sullivan staged the Midwest premiere of Marne Hunt's Unquestioned Integrity: The Thomas/Hill Hearings for the Onyx Theater Ensemble, and followed this with his direction of Lend Me A Tenor for New American Theater in Rockford. In addition to his work in the Chicago and stateline area, Jim has worked overseas on U.S. Information Agency/International Theater Agency projects and cultural exchanges, directing productions of All My Sons and On Golden Pond in Bulgaria, and Fool For Love in the former Soviet Union. After Damon, Ring and F. Scott Jim was with the American Players Theatre repertory in Spring Green, Wisconsin, directing William Wycherley's seventeenth century classic The Country Wife. Later that year he also staged Inspecting Carol for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre's mainstage series. Jim would like to add that he is very happy to be a part of the Writer's Theatre of Chicago's season series and hopes that his love of Runyon, Lardner, and Fitzgerald translates and pleases.
[Bio as of June 1996]