Radio Wolinsky

Jack O’Brien, “Jack in the Box, or How to Goddamn Direct,” 2023

Jack O’Brien, theatre director and author of Jack in the Box, or How to Goddamn Direct, in conversation with Richard Wolinsky.

Jack O’Brien has won three Tony Awards and has been nominated seven times. The former artistic director of The Old Globe in San Diego, from 1981 to 2007, he’s one of the premier directors working in America today. Among his Broadway shows are The Full Monty, Hairspray, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Catch Me If You Can and The Coast of Utopia. He directed the much lauded 2018 revival of Carousel on Broadway. Most recently, in 2021, he directed Hairspray in London.

This book, his second after a memoir, Jack Be Nimble, discusses some of the lessons he has learned as a director, but quickly changes into reminiscences about such performers as Marsha Mason, Jerry Lewis and John Goodman, playwright Tom Stoppard, and fellow director Mike Nichols.

The interview focuses on his early career, the future of theatre after the pandemic, directing Shakespeare, and other issues.