Prof. Frank Dwyer

Frank Dwyer


Frank Dwyer is a poet, playwright, director, actor, and translator.  His play, The Affliction of Glory: A Comedy About Tragedy, was commissioned by the J. Paul Getty Museum and premiered at the Getty Center in a joint production with the Mark Taper Forum.


At the Taper, Frank directed Anton Chekhov's The Wood Demon, the premiere production of LA’s classical Antaeus Company, in his own co-translation with the late Nicholas Saunders.  Together, Saunders and Dwyer translated 19 Russian plays, including the five major works of Chekhov, as well as plays by Gogol, Turgenev, Gorky, Bulgakov, and (with Eugene Alper), Ostrovsky.  The Antaeus Company production of Chekhov one-acts won Saunders and Dwyer the 2004 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Translation.  Bulgakov’s Zoya's Apartment was produced on Broadway at Circle in the Square.  The Cherry Orchard was recorded and broadcast nationally by LA Theatre Works.  The Wood Demon, The Sea Gull, Gorky’s The Summer People, and a revised Zoyka’s Apartment are published by Smith & Kraus, The Cherry Orchard by Playscripts.

As an actor, Frank was a member of the company of the Repertory Theater at Lincoln Center (1972-73), appeared on Broadway in the 25th-anniversary revival of A Streetcar Named Desire and in productions at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Roundabout Theater, and Playwrights' Horizons.  At the Classic Stage Company, Frank directed Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and played the role of The Player.  At the Quaigh Theatre, he played the title role in Mrozek's Vatzlav.  A Founding Member of the Antaeus Company (LA), Frank appeared with his wife Mary Stark in the Taper-Antaeus Classic Lab production of Feydeau's A Fly in the Ointment, adapted and directed by Lillian Groag.  For Robert Winter’s Summerfest series at the Getty, with Neal Stuhlberg conducting, he narrated Poulenc’s Babar.  In the summer of 2004, he directed Much Ado about Nothing for the Ojai Shakespeare Festival.  His performance as Falstaff, in an adaptation of both parts of Shakespeare's Henry IV produced at the Odyssey Theater (LA), won Frank an Outlook "Best of the Year" citation.  In his 12 years as Literary Manager and then Associate Artist at the Mark Taper Forum, Frank worked frequently as an actor, director, and dramaturg.

Frank’s poem, “Bible Story,” won a major prize in the prestigious Arvon Foundation competition (London, 1982).  He has had poems published in many literary journals and magazines, and has written young adult biographies of John Adams; Henry VIII, James I, and Danton, all published by Chelsea House (NYC).  He was a principle reviewer for the New York State Council on the Arts for over 10 years.  He was invited by Arianna Huffington to blog on the Huffington Post when it began operation in 2005 and was a frequent contributor to the site.

Frank attended Northwestern University, where he studied with Moody Prior and Harrison Hayford, transfered to NYU, where he studied with Leon Edel and John Mulder and received a BA (with honors in English), and SUNY/Buffalo, where he studied with Leslie Fiedler and C. L. Barber and received an MA in English.  He has taught Shakespeare, Introduction to Theater, and History of World Theater at CalArts and the University of Redlands.  At UCLA, he lectured on theater in the popular cluster course Inside the Performing Arts and at USC the popular Textual Analysis for Performance class for first-year MFA-candidate actors and playwrights.  He currently teaches two courses, Greek Literature and The Novel, at Emeritus.