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Wynn Handman Dies Of COVID-19: American Place Theatre Co-Founder, Teacher Of Future Stars Was 97

Wynn Handman, co-founder of American Place Theatre, the Off Broadway non-profit firm that championed a younger playwright named Sam Shepard and solid such actors as Dustin Hoffman, Rául Juliá, Faye Dunaway, John Leguizamo and Robert de Niro early of their careers, died of issues from the coronavirus Saturday, April 11, at his dwelling in New

Kelvin Farr
Apr 13, 2020

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    Wynn Handman, co-founder of American Place Theatre, the Off Broadway non-profit firm that championed a younger playwright named Sam Shepard and solid such actors as Dustin Hoffman, Rául Juliá, Faye Dunaway, John Leguizamo and Robert de Niro early of their careers, died of issues from the coronavirus Saturday, April 11, at his dwelling in New York. He was 97.

    His demise was introduced by daughter Laura Handman.

    Handman co-founded APT in 1963 with Michael Tolan and Sidney Lanier, and the theater would shortly grow to be an important participant on the New York theater scene. In 1964, the theater staged its first full manufacturing: the Obie-winning The Previous Glory by Robert Lowell, directed by Jonathan Miller (Past the Fringe) and starring Frank Langella, Lester Rawlins and Roscoe Lee Browne.

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    APT quickly constructed a repute as a theatrical launching pad for writers (Shepard, Steve Tesich, Emily Mann, Richard Nelson, Frank Chin), writer-performers (Leguizamo, Aasif Mandvi, Eric Bogosian) and a outstanding assemblage of actors (Hoffman, Juliá, Dunaway, de Niro, Morgan Freeman, Richard Gere, James Caan, Joel Gray, Michael Douglas and Olympia Dukakis, amongst many others).

    Handman’s impression as an appearing instructor was equally impactful, with college students together with Alec Baldwin, Mia Farrow, Allison Janney, Christopher Walken, Denzel Washington, Susan Lucci and Burt Reynolds, as only a sampling.

    A director of many APT productions, Handman advised biographer Jeremy Gerard (Wynn Place Present) about his motivations for beginning the theater. “I wished to direct,” Handman stated. “I grew to become acutely conscious that if a play wasn’t business — that’s, for Broadway — there was no place for it.”

    Till 2002, APT was positioned on W. 46th Avenue, the venue then taken over by the Roundabout Theatre Firm and renamed the Laura Pels Theatre. Handman continued educating, on a restricted foundation, till falling in poor health in early March. Director Billy Lyons’ documentary on Handman, It Takes A Lunatic, premiered on the 2019 Tribeca Movie Pageant and is airing on Netflix.

    Handman is survived by daughters Laura Handman and Liza Handman, and their households. A life celebration might be deliberate when public gatherings are secure.


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