playwright and director
Robert O’Hara received his Directing MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts in 1996, where he wrote and directed Insurrection: Holding History as his Graduate Thesis and staged the play’s world premiere production at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater in November 1996. In 1995-96 he was Artist-in-Residence at Public Theater and was Assistant to the Director of Bring in Da’ Noise/Bring in Da’ Funk and Blade to the Heat, both directed by George C. Wolfe. He is recipient of the 1995 Van Lier Fellowship at New Dramatists, the Mark Taper Forum’s Sherwood Award, the John Golden Award, and Newsday’s 1996 Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Play. In 1996 he was awarded an NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights at American Conservatory Theater, where he wrote –14: An American Ma(u)l soon to be performed in New York City.
His other plays include Brave Brood (New York, 1999; Berkeley, 2001) and The Square (Los Angeles, 2000; New York, 2001). He has worked on screenplays for Martin Scorsese /Universal Pictures, HBO, on Oscar Micheaux, a biopic of the African American filmmaker, HBO/NYC and Spike Lee, producing, on Boorda, a biopic for New Line/Fine Line Cinema, on Parting the Waters for ABC/Avnet/Kerner, on Decalogue for HBO, and on The Journey is the Destination for SONY.
Recently Robert wrote the book and lyrics for Beowulf, a musical production of the ancient tale, that was performed at the Seattle Repertory Theatre in May of 2002.
This bio/description was originally published in 2001 and updated in 2013. For more current information, please refer to the award recipient's website (if provided).