Working Man/Working Artist

Bob Glaudini has started more theatre companies than you can count on one hand. He’s been a producer, an actor, a writer, a terrazzo grinder, a truck driver, and many, many, other things over the course of his working life. Hailed by The New York Times as “... too honest an observer to stoop to easy moralizing,” he writes about ordinary people encountering complex moral problems.

Glaudini literally stumbled into theatre while still in high school in San Diego:

"One night we found ourselves in Balboa Park ... and [we] went into the Falstaff Tavern ... There were about a 150 or 200 actors there, and they were all excited and talking about acting and theatre. I guess they’d decided to start a theatre workshop at the Globe, and I just wandered in accidentally ..."

Actor Cleavon Little (of Blazing Saddles fame) convinced Glaudini to join that group. Thus a 40-year career, characterized by venturesome work and serendipitous intersections with other influential artists such as playwright Sam Shepard, filmmaker Jon Jost, television producer David Milch, stage and screen actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, and theatre director Peter DuBois began.

A better still from "Jack Goes Boating"

Beth Cole, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Ortiz, and Daphne Rubin-Vega in Bob Glaudini’s Jack Goes Boating (LAByrinth Theater Company, 2007), directed by Peter DuBois; photo: Monique Carboni

After high school, Glaudini found a job pouring cement for the basement Actors’ Quarter Theatre in downtown San Diego. He stayed on to direct plays by Beckett, Genet, Ionesco, Brecht, and Pinter. He founded Theater 5, a company that specialized in producing the work of living American writers including Sam Shepard, Murray Mednick, and Jean- Claude Van Italie. In the mid-1970s, he took his company east to work at the legendary Theatre Genesis in New York’s East Village and landed the job of directing Sam Shepard’s Mad Dog Blues. Theatre Genesis also produced Glaudini’s plays Against the Sun and Borrowed Time. This phase of his career culminated with his directing Sam Shepard and Patti Smith in their cowritten play Cowboy Mouth.

Glaudini left New York, returning to California where he was back to hard labor selling sheepskin seat covers on the streets of South Central Los Angeles and taking on character parts on television and in movies. Eventually, he landed a job writing for and acting in the series “NYPD Blue.” The Mark Taper Forum supported his playwriting, presenting his plays in its New Works Festival and producing The Poison Tree on its main stage.

Glaudini returned to New York in the new millennium, working with LAByrinth Theater Company, of which he is now a member, and garnering some of the best reviews of his career with the plays Dutch Heart of a Man, A View from 151st Street, and Jack Goes Boating. It was at this time that Glaudini began to work with Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois, and it’s that fruitful collaboration that brings this theatrical renaissance man to Boston.

– Lisa Timmel


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