George C. Wolfe

American playwright

George Costello Wolfe (born September 23, 1954) is an American playwright and director of theater and film.

Wolfe in 2013


  • Smashing things together. Because, culturally, that’s America at its most interesting. It’s things connected, awkwardly, that produce the brilliance. It’s not absoluteness that produces the brilliance; it’s when things that don’t belong together collide, and in that collision, something springs forth, and that becomes extraordinarily fascinating to me.
    • On how he explores the revue as a playwriting form in “GEORGE C. WOLFE” in Interview Magazine (2016 May 9)
  • Every play is rhythmic control. If you want an audience to go on a journey, it’s rhythmic control. You’re crafting when they lean in, when they push back, when they breathe, when they surrender. It takes you probably five to six minutes to build trust with an audience. A musical you can build trust in three notes. Boom, boom, boom, you’re instantly seduced. So musicals have this easy potency, but generally, in my opinion, they waste them, because a musical is incredibly hard to do…
  • I think it’s that a musical must maintain buoyance. Most musicals are informed by very rigid archetypes. If you get a very sophisticated mind writing them, you sense something else, but it’s a folk-art form, really, at its best…
    • On what’s needed to make a musical successful in “GEORGE C. WOLFE” in Interview Magazine (2016 May 9)
  • There are fundamentally two schools: You stand where you are and demand that actors come to you, or you go to where they are. It’s not just with actors, it’s designers, too. You go to where they are and you try to cajole, woo, seduce, engage, empower them to go on the journey that you think they should. I generally employ [those methods], because I really believe that if you force an actor to do something, there’s a piece of them you never get back…
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