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Stephen Porter

Director, Producer, Writer
( b. Jul 24, 1925 Ogdensburg, New York, USA - d. Jun 11, 2013 New York, New York, USA ) Male
From the 1950s to the 1990s, Stephen Porter directed more than 125 plays, at least 30 on Broadway. He contributed to the growing regional theater movement in the 1960s and '70s, directing productions in Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Princeton, N.J., and Providence, R.I. He directed at major Shakespeare festivals throughout North America.

Mr. Porter was particularly praised for successfully reviving tried and true works for repertory theaters, including most of Shakespeare, much of George Bernard Shaw and a 1970 Broadway revival of Harvey, Mary Chase's whimsical play about a mild-mannered man, Elwood P. Dowd, who insists that his best friend is an invisible six-foot-tall rabbit.

Mr. Porter said he strove to avoid "extreme stylization" and "eccentric interpretations," explaining in an interview with The Times in 1977 that classic plays demanded "a kind of orthodoxy." At the same time, he said, his goal was to make them realistic to modern audiences.

Stephen Porter grew up in Philadelphia and New Haven. After earning a bachelor's degree from Yale, he worked briefly as a copy boy at The New York Herald Tribune and the newspaper PM.

He returned to Yale to earn a master's in theater. He then spent seven years as an assistant professor of English at McGill University in Montreal while directing plays for the Montreal Repertory Theater.

In 1956 he made his Off Broadway debut directing Richard Wilbur's translation of The Misanthrope. Ellis Rabb won a Clarence Derwent Award for his performance in that production, and Sada Thompson and Arthur Malet won Vernon Rice Memorial Awards for theirs.

His first Broadway production was Luigi Pirandello's Right You Are if You Think You Are in 1966, which drew mixed reviews and had a short run. His third, The Show Off with Helen Hayes, a revival of a 1924 comedy, was a big hit in 1967.

Source: The New York Times obituary



Productions Date of Productions
Getting Married
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Jun 26, 1991 - Aug 25, 1991
The Miser
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Oct 11, 1990 - Dec 30, 1990
The Devil's Disciple
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Nov 13, 1988 - Feb 19, 1989
You Never Can Tell
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Oct 09, 1986 - Jan 25, 1987
The Misanthrope
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Jan 27, 1983 - Mar 27, 1983
The Man Who Came to Dinner
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Jun 26, 1980 - Sep 07, 1980
Major Barbara
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Feb 26, 1980 - Mar 30, 1980
Man and Superman
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Dec 14, 1978 - Feb 18, 1979
Tartuffe
[Play, Comedy, Farce, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Sep 25, 1977 - Nov 20, 1977
The Importance of Being Earnest
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Jun 16, 1977 - Aug 28, 1977
Days in the Trees
[Play, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Sep 26, 1976 - Nov 21, 1976
They Knew What They Wanted
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Jan 27, 1976 - Mar 06, 1976
The Member of the Wedding
[Play, Revival]
  • Produced by New Phoenix Repertory Co. (T. Edward Hambleton, Michael Montel: managing directors; Harold Prince, Stephen Porter: artistic directors)
Jan 02, 1975 - Jan 11, 1975
The Rules of the Game
[Play, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
  • Produced by New Phoenix Repertory Co. (T. Edward Hambleton, Michael Montel: managing directors; Harold Prince, Stephen Porter: artistic directors)
Dec 12, 1974 - Dec 21, 1974
Love for Love
[Play, Revival]
  • Produced by New Phoenix Repertory Co. (T. Edward Hambleton, Michael Montel: managing directors; Harold Prince, Stephen Porter: artistic directors)
Nov 11, 1974 - Nov 30, 1974
Holiday
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Produced by New Phoenix Repertory Co. (T. Edward Hambleton, Michael Montel: managing directors; Harold Prince, Stephen Porter: artistic directors)
Dec 26, 1973 - Feb 16, 1974
Chemin de Fer
[Play, Revival]
  • Produced by New Phoenix Repertory Co. (T. Edward Hambleton, Michael Montel: managing directors; Harold Prince, Stephen Porter: artistic directors)
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Nov 26, 1973 - Feb 16, 1974
The Visit
[Play, Drama, Revival]
  • Produced by New Phoenix Repertory Co. (T. Edward Hambleton, Michael Montel: managing directors; Harold Prince, Stephen Porter: artistic directors)
Nov 25, 1973 - Feb 16, 1974
Don Juan
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Produced by New Phoenix Repertory Co. (T. Edward Hambleton, Michael Montel: managing directors; Harold Prince, Stephen Porter: artistic directors)
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
  • Book adapted by Stephen Porter
Dec 11, 1972 - Jan 14, 1973
The Great God Brown
[Play, Revival]
  • Produced by New Phoenix Repertory Co. (T. Edward Hambleton, Michael Montel: managing directors; Harold Prince, Stephen Porter: artistic directors)
Dec 10, 1972 - Jan 14, 1973
Captain Brassbound's Conversion
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Apr 17, 1972 - Apr 29, 1972
The School for Wives
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Feb 16, 1971 - May 29, 1971
Harvey
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Feb 24, 1970 - May 02, 1970
Private Lives
[Play, Comedy, Romantic Comedy, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Dec 04, 1969 - May 30, 1970
The Wrong Way Light Bulb
[Play, Original]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Mar 04, 1969 - Mar 08, 1969
The Misanthrope
[Play, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Oct 09, 1968 - Apr 26, 1969
The Show Off
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Sep 13, 1968 - Sep 28, 1968
The Show Off
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Dec 05, 1967 - Jun 22, 1968
The Wild Duck
[Play, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Jan 11, 1967 - Jun 17, 1967
Right You Are If You Think You Are
[Play, Revival]
  • Directed by Stephen Porter
Nov 22, 1966 - Dec 1966
1979 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Director of a Play
 Man and Superman [nominee]
Directed by Stephen Porter
1976 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Director of a Play
 They Knew What They Wanted [nominee]
Directed by Stephen Porter
1974 Tony Award® Best Direction of a Play
 Chemin de Fer [nominee]
Directed by Stephen Porter
1971 Tony Award® Best Direction of a Play
 The School for Wives [nominee]
Directed by Stephen Porter
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