Director/Educator Lawrence Sacharow Dies at 68
Born in Brooklyn on October 10, 1937, Sacharow did a stint in the Army and then attended Brooklyn College with the intention of pursuing a career in television, but he soon became involved in the downtown Manhattan theater scene of the 1960s. Among the many venues at which he worked during his career were the Caffe Cino, the Judson Poets Theatre, Café La Mama, CSC, and the Hudson Guild.
Sacharow is considered to have been a pioneer in the field of biographical theater. His play The Concept -- performed by recovering drug addicts from Daytop Village on Staten Island, where Sacharow taught for a time -- ran for three years Off-Broadway beginning in 1967, and was also presented at the White House and the United Nations. In 1994, a new version played the Moscow Art Theatre and the Gorky Theatre in St. Petersburgh under the auspices of the U.S. State Department.
In addition to Three Tall Women, Sacharow's most notable credits include Len Jenkin's Five of Us (for which he received an Obie Award), Beckett/Albee at The Century Theatre, Dylan's Line at the McCarter Theatre, and The Golem at Manhattan Ensemble Theatre. In 1999, Sacharow revisited the biographical theater form with The Road Home: Stories of Children of War, a multi-media performance piece based on interviews with people who had experienced violence in Bosnia, Cambodia, urban areas of the United States, and elsewhere. First presented at the Asia Society, the show later toured nationally and internationally.
Outside of New York, Sacharow directed plays at such venues as The Kennedy Center, the Alley Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum, the Dallas Theatre Center, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. He was the founding artistic director of River Arts Repertory, which operated for 14 years in Woodstock, N.Y.; there, he helmed such productions as The Seagull with Joanne Woodward and several U.S. premieres, including those of Three Tall Women and Derek Walcott's Viva Detroit.