Lloyd George Richards
June 29, 1919
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Died||June 29, 2006 (aged 87)|
|Occupation||Theatre director, actor|
|Barbara Davenport (1958-2006)|
|Children||Scott Davenport Richards|
|Awards||Tony Award Best Direction of a Play|
Regional Theatre Tony Award
1991 Yale Repertory Theatre
Drama Desk Outstanding New Play
1990 The Piano Lesson
National Medal of Arts
1993 Lifetime Achievement
Richards was born in Toronto, Ontario, but was raised in Detroit, Michigan. His father, a Jamaican carpenter turned auto-industry worker, died when Richards was nine years old. Soon after, his mother lost her eyesight, he and his brother Allan kept the family together. He later went on to study law at Wayne University where instead he found his way in theatrical arts after a brief break during World War II while serving in the U.S. Army Air Force.
Among Richards' accomplishments are his staging the original production of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, debuting on Broadway to standing ovations on 11 March 1959, and in 1984 he introduced August Wilson to Broadway in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
As head of the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, he helped develop the careers of August Wilson, Wendy Wasserstein, Christopher Durang, Lee Blessing and David Henry Hwang.
Richards was Dean of Yale School of Drama and Artistic Director of Yale Repertory Theatre, both in New Haven, Connecticut, from 1979 to 1991; he became Professor Emeritus at Yale School of Drama after his retirement.
Richards also taught Moscow Art Theatre acting technique under Paul Mann at the Actor's Workshop in New York alongside Morris Carnovsky.