Doric Wilson died on May 7, 2011. Please consider donating any amount to keep his name and his personal website alive on the web. Thank you
Photo: Shen Wei
“If you look at Doric Wilson's work of the last fifty years, you will see that he knows more words than most people and knows how to use them, but there's one word that he's never heard, and this is "compromise." Doric has always told it as it is. He has never believed in playing it safe and the word "sugar-coating" is not in his vocabulary either. His theater is tough, funny and right on target. No pussyfooting for Doric: he doesn't write gay theater; he writes queer theater.’ - Edward Albee
“Doric Wilson's plays are smart, sexy, outrageous and most importantly; tell the truth.” - Charles Busch, Divine Sister, The Tale of the Allergist's Wife
“Wilson has devoted his life to the once-radical notion that gay lives deserved true representation.” - Craig Lucas, Prelude to a Kiss, The Light in the Piazza
“I don't know if Doric set out to inspire several generations of playwrights, but that has been his role. It is largely due to his model that the custom of Off-Off Broadway became for plays to be independent, audacious, individual, and uncompromising -- four words that had rarely been applicable to plays before..Writers in many lands who did not know Doric existed or that he originated this stance took it as rote. His quiet revolution has been reverberatory.” - Robert Patrick, Kennedy’s Children, T-Shirts
“Doric Wilson is a brilliant playwright, a pioneer in queer theater, and a great guy - it's just not fair. He deserves a celebration, a parade, and, if there's any justice, West Street should be renamed Doric Wilson Boulevard. We are all in his debt. - Paul Rudnick, Jeffrey, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, In and Out
“...a quintessentially urban dramatist... Doric Wilson specializes in stylish farce, ironic comedy of wit, and urbane satire... his combination of fantasy and whimsy and his intellectual dialectic suggests the touch of a Giraudoux or a Shaw... yet underlying his often caustic comedy is surprisingly romantic sensibility" - Tish Dace, Contemporary Dramatists (St. James Press, London)
“Doric Wilson first made history at the age of just 22, becoming the first playwright to have new work produced regularly at the now-legendary Caffe Cino, cradle of the 1960s Off-Off-Broadway movement. His witty, satirical plays - with their deft combination of mythic content with bluntly down-to-earth staging and characterization - made a virtue of the Cino's physical and financial limitations, and established a model later imitated by countless others. Doric made history at 22, and has been trying (unsuccessfully) to live it down ever since." - Stephen J. Bottoms, University of Leeds; author, Playing Underground; The Theatre of Sam Shepard: States of Crisis
“Doric Wilson was the first playwright produced by Joseph Cino to have a significant career in the professional theater. Wilson’s Street Theater and his A Perfect Relationship have become standards in the American gay theater canon, and Wilson’s own activism on the part of New York gay theater, led to his formation of TOSOS (The Other Side Of Silence) Theater, which is and was America's first true, proud gay theatre. His play, And He Made A Her...set a model for all of the Cino language plays to follow, and until his falling out with Cino, Wilson was THE Cino playwright and a favorite of Albee’s producer Richard Barr, who at one point considered Doric Wilson to be the next Edward Albee. Doric Wilson’s work, articulate, ornamented, ironic, and biting, became a model for the work which followed. While the Irish may claim Oscar Wilde among their great dramatic poets, America claims Doric Wilson as our Oscar Wilde!” - David Crespy, University of Missouri; author, Off-off-Broadway Explosion; He Had to Hock His House: Richard Barr, the Playwrights' Producer
"...a pioneer of the alternative theater movement." - Marshall W. Mason, director, author, founder of Circle Rep
"This trailblazer literally changed the trajectory of American Theatre." - Bud Coleman, University of Colorado at Boulder, ATHE Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Focus Group
“Doric taught me about gay theatre and off off Broadway theatre, without which knowledge I probably would never have had the career in the theatre that I had. He was my mentor, and I will always be indebted to him for that.” - John Glines, The Glines, producer, Torch Song Trilogy.
“Once upon a time, giants walked the earth, known as "Grand Men of the Theater." There are damned few of them around today, but Doric Wilson undoubtedly ranks as one, for his tireless, effervescent creativity and commitment to both the stage and gay communities. He is a living New York treasure.” - David Noh, veteran gay journalist, Noh Way.
"I admire Doric Wilson for his contributions as a theatre artist and as a social activist, which are immense. But I think I admire him most for his apparently endlessly questing soul and the extraordinary generosity that bursts forth from it every time I see or speak to him. His support of all the independent theater artists who have followed in his pioneering footsteps is inspiring. His welcoming spirit has created an ever-widening community full of talent and energy and amazing karma.” - Martin Denton, founder/editor, nytheatre.com
“Progress toward creating a true gay community and a secure place for that community in the world cannot be won only by political means: it must also be realized by the creation of works of art that reflect the realities of LGBT life. Doric Wilson has been an important pioneer in creating a theater that embraces the humanity of gay people and for this he deserves not only our gratitude but our respect, honor, and affection.” - David Carter, author, Stonewall, The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution
“The plays of Doric Wilson are wondrous portals into the heart, soul and mind of our times. They also reveal essential things about the artist himself: his devotion to social equality and justice, his legendary generosity to fellow artists, his deep reserves of historical recall, his appreciation of good jokes. If you love his plays you love the man whether you’ve been lucky enough to meet him or not. A Wilson play is deeply personal regardless of how fanciful or outrageous. It is extravagantly romantic while somehow feeling freshly modern. A Wilson play tells hard truths while eliciting gales of laughter; charms as it secretly radicalizes; incites a quiet audience to be noisy, a noisy audience to be quiet. It entertains, and that is why, beyond considerable historical importance, Doric Wilson’s name will hold a perennial place on theater marquees everywhere.” - Jonathan Reuning, publisher, United Stages, Inc.
"Being Doric Wilson's director of choice for that last 10 years has been a privilege and an education. Bringing his plays to life is a distinct and unequaled pleasure. I love watching audiences watch Doric's plays. His words, wisdom and wickedness are as fresh and resonant today as when audiences first heard them (I imagine) because the response is always electric. In my book that qualifies them as 'classics'. I've learned more about making theater through working with him than with anyone I've ever known and for that I'll always be grateful. Plus, he's really funny!” - Mark Finley, director, playwright, Artistic Director of TOSOS
Awards and Honors (selected)
* 1994 - The first Robert Chesley Award for Lifetime Achievement in Gay and Lesbian Playwrighting.
* 2007 IT Award (New York Innovative Theatre Award Artistic Achievement Award) for significant artistic contribution to the Off-Off-Broadway community.
* 2009 ATHA (Association for Theatre in Higher Education) Career Achievement Award
* 2009 Elected a member of the National Theater Conference:
* 2010 Honorary Golden Pineapple Award for Lifetime Achievement, presented by NY Artists Unlimited.
* 2010 PassionFruit Award for Enduring and Continuing Pioneer Work in LGBT Theater (from the Fresh Fruit Festival)