Tony winner and Asolo Rep director named to Theater Hall of Fame

Franck Galati, the Tony Award-associate artist winner of Asolo Repertory Theateris one of the artists who will be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame this fall at a gala ceremony on Broadway.

Galati won Tonys for his adaptation and direction of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” which originated at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago, where he has been a member of the ensemble since 1985. He has also served as director associated with the Goodman Theater in Chicago and was a long -time professor at Northwestern University.

To be eligible for the Theater Hall of Fame, members must have had at least 25 years of “distinguished service to American theater and, at least, five major production credits on Broadway,” according to the organization’s website. Winners are selected by members of the Theater Hall of Fame and the American Theater Critics Association.

Two-time Tony Award-winning director and playwright Frank Galati, a longtime associate artist at Sarasota's Asolo Repertory Theater, is among eight new honorees to be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.

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This year’s winners also include actors Christine Ebersole, Bill Irwin and Mandy Patinkin, playwrights Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks and Ntozake Shange, and sound designer Abe Jacob.

The winners will be recognized at a ceremony in November at the Gershwin Theater on Broadway, where the walls are engraved with the names of hundreds of past winners. A list of all winners can be viewed at theatrehalloffame.org/members.html

He and his partner, director Peter Amster, became Associate Artists with Asolo Rep after becoming Sarasota Snowbirds. Earlier this year, Galati led the world premiere of the musical “Knoxville”. He also wrote the screenplay, adapted from James Agee’s novel “A Death in the Family” and Tad Mosel’s play and film “All the Way Home”, with a score by Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Flaherty. The three artists had previously collaborated on the musicals “Ragtime” and “Seussical The Musical”.

At Asolo Rep, he has typically led one show a year since the early days of Michael Donald Edwards’ tenure as artistic director of production. Among his productions are “Twelve Angry Men”“My beautiful lady,”“1776”, “Your two houses”,“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” “Rhinoceros” and “The little foxes”.

His 2014 production of Brian Friel “Philadelphia, Here I Am” sparked controversy and a playwright’s agent complaint when Galati’s staging eliminated three characters and two intermissions, prompting Galati to restore the play as Friel wrote it.

On Broadway, he also directed a 1994 production of Tennessee Willliams’ “The Glass Menagerie” starring Julie Harris, Calista Flockhart and Zelko Ivanek; and the short-lived 2007 musical “The Pirate Queen.”

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