Born in New York City, New York, United States, Hoffman's earliest works either were mounted in small, experimental off-off-Broadway theaters in New York City or remain unproduced.
It was not until 1985 that he achieved critical acclaim and public recognition when the Broadway-theatre production of his play, As Is, one of the first plays to focus on AIDS, opened in New York City at the Lyceum Theatre, where it ran for 285 performances. Hoffman won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play (1985) and an Obie Award (1984-85 for Playwriting) and nominations for a Tony Award for Best Play (1985). The following year, he adapted the work for a television production directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg.
In 1991, Hoffman was commissioned by The Metropolitan Opera Company to write the libretto for The Ghosts of Versailles first produced in celebration of the company's centennial. A 1993-televised production starred Teresa Stratas, Renée Fleming, and Graham Clark. Hoffman earned an Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Classical Music/Dance Programming.
As an editor at Hill and Wang, Hoffman promoted the careers of Lanford Wilson, Tom Eyen, and Joe Orton, among others, by including their plays in either his New American Plays series or his anthology, Gay Plays: A First Collection.
LUCY SILVAY and WILLIAM M. HOFFMAN on Samuel Barber’s estate, 1963
Hoffman currently is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Lehman College at The City University of New York.
William M. Hoffman, 1985, by Robert Giard (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl_getrec.asp?fld=img&id=1121480)
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digital
Caffe Cino: The Birthplace of Off-Off-Broadway (Theater in the Americas) by Wendell C. Stone
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press; 1st edition (June 8, 2005)
Amazon: Caffe Cino: The Birthplace of Off-Off-Broadway
“It’s Magic Time!” That colorful promise began each performance at the Caffe Cino, the storied Greenwich Village coffeehouse that fostered the gay and alternative theatre movements of the 1960s and launched the careers of such stage mainstays as Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson, Robert Heide, Harry Koutoukas, Robert Patrick, Robert Dahdah, Helen Hanft, Al Pacino, and Bernadette Peters. As Off-Off-Broadway productions enjoy a deserved resurgence, theatre historian and actor Wendell C. Stone reopens the Cino’s doors in this vibrant look at the earliest days of OOB.
Rife with insider interviews and rich with evocative photographs, Caffe Cino: The Birthplace of Off-Off-Broadway provides the first detailed account of Joe Cino’s iconic café theatre and its influence on American theatre. A hub of artistic innovation and haven for bohemians, beats, hippies, and gays, the café gave a much-sought outlet to voices otherwise shunned by mainstream entertainment. The Cino’s square stage measured only eight feet, but the dynamic ideas that emerged there spawned the numerous alternative theatre spaces that owe their origins to the risky enterprise on Cornelia Street.
Still Acting Gay: Male Homosexuality in Modern Drama by John M. Clum
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; Revised edition (June 17, 2000)
Amazon: Still Acting Gay: Male Homosexuality in Modern Drama
Still Acting Gay is a revision and expansion of Clum's celebrated book, Acting Gay. The book focuses on the relationship between American and British dramas written by and about gay men and the changing gay culture those plays reflect, from the carefully enforced closet to liberation politics to AIDS to the qualified security of the present. Still Acting Gay chronicles the transition of the gay man as subject for sensational melodrama to creator of many of the most powerful and celebrated plays of the late 20th century.
More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices
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