John R. Briggs
2010 saw both Crazy Love, John’s musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming Of The Shrew, produced by Georgia Shakespeare Festival (for the fourth time), and Dracula, A Rock Opera, his musical adaptation of Stoker’s Gothic novel of the same name, produced by Meadow Brook Theatre in Detroit, both to critical acclaim. Samuel French publishes his adaptation, Shogun Macbeth that he directed for Pan Asian Repertory Theatre Company’s production in NYC, which is included in the Lincoln Center Theatre Archive series, as is his translation and production of Doll House, also produced by Pan Asian. He conceived and co-wrote the Broadway Musical, Play Me A Country Song, which opened at the Virginia Theatre. He has created and directed provocative adaptations of Shakespeare for Georgia Shakespeare Festival, including Hamlet, Godfather Of Brooklyn, The Merchant Of Venice: 1938, Macbeth and Richard III. Other provocative adaptations of Shakespeare include the Cowboy Comedy Of Errors, for Clarence Brown Theatre, and Julio Cesar, for Florida Shakespeare Festival, where he received critical recognition in the prestigious Shakespeare Quarterly. After leaving New York, he directed extensively throughout the south at Theatre Three, Theatre Virginia, Barter Theatre, Asolo theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Florida Stage, Florida Studio Theatre, and Clarence Brown Theatre, where he directed such plays as: Our Town, Phantom, Irma Vep, A Winter’s Tale, A Christmas Carol, Henry Vi, Part 1, Time Of Your Life, Mastergate, A Street Car Named Desire, Season’s Greetings and Ah, Wilderness, not to mention many world and American premieres. He directed the controversial M Butterfly, in Atlanta and Ft. Lauderdale, the latter production earning him his fifth Carbonell nomination. As a freelance director, he directed his swing musical Crazy Love for the Springer Opera House, the John Denver revue, Almost Heaven for Barter Theatre and his musical adaptation of Twelfth Night, Illyria, for Virginia Shakespeare Festival, where he also directed The Complete Works Of Shakespeare (Abridged). He has directed his musicals: Crazy Love, Illyria, and Dracula, a Rock Opera, for Gainesville Theatre Alliance, Plymouth State University, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Springer Opera House, and Candlewood Playhouse. In Toronto, Canada, he produced and directed the one and a half million dollar commercial production of Crazy Love, at the Winter Garden Theatre. He received south Florida’s esteemed Carbonell award for directing Stick Wife, for Florida Stage. His musical Crazy Love was voted the best musical of 1994, by the Atlanta and Florida press. He was awarded best director for his production of Calderon’s The Phantom Lady, for the Hispanic Theatre Festival in Miami. John was producing artistic director of Off Square Theatre from 2006 to 2010, where he directed Peter Pan, Romeo And Juliet, Scrooge, Deathtrap, Midsummer Night’s Dream, K2, Jungle Book, Petticoat Rules, Macbeth, Man Of La Mancha and The Wizard Of Oz. He was resident director for Cumberland County Playhouse for four seasons, directing the southern premiere of Honk!, as well as, productions of Annie Get Your Gun, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Midsummer Dreamin’, Little Me, Sleuth, Phantom, Scrooge, and Fiddler On The Roof. He directed a Tuna Christmas for Buffalo Studio Arena, Always Patsy Cline, for Theatre In The Square, and Macbeth for Georgia Shakespeare Festival. While living in Manhattan, Mr. Briggs acted in the national tours of Shenandoah and The Robber Bridegroom. He co-founded and was the first producing artistic director of Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, Massachusetts. In addition to his other experiences, Mr. Briggs wrote the lyrics and sang the vocals to three feature films and had a recording contract with Laurie records. Perry Como recorded his song, Fancy Dancer, on RCA records. Mr. Briggs is married to actress/educator Judith Townsend and they have co-produced their most important work, Townsend Briggs.
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