Dr. Jonathan Levy and
Katherine Krzys, Curator
of the Child Drama Collection
Dr. Jonathan Levy is an award-winning playwright, Distinguished Teaching Professor at SUNY Stony Brook and Visiting Scholar at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. He has numerous publications in the fields of: theatre for youth history, criticism and theory; playwriting; arts assessment; and aesthetics. He received his doctorate from Columbia College in New York City in 1966. His dissertation titled Carlo Gozzi: Three Fables for the Theatre has translations for the following Gozzi fables--Turandot, The Little Green Bird and The Serpent Queen.
Levy has written over 40 theatrical pieces. These include: full-length and one-act plays; monologues; a commedia; concert pieces for symphony orchestra and actors; an adaptation of an operetta; an opera; and a cantata for tenor, tape and chamber orchestra. His plays have been produced: in New York City Off-Broadway by groups, such as The Impossible Ragtime Theatre, the Manhattan Theatre Club, the HB Studio and the New York Stageworks; in Los Angeles by the Theatre East; and in Westport, Connecticut by the Theatre Artists Workshop. His playwriting honors include playwright-in-residences with the Albee-Barr Playwrights Unit, the Manhattan Theatre Club and the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference. His plays have been published in The Best Short Plays of 1983 and 1966, in New England Review, in Charlie the Chicken and Other Plays, and by Dramatists Play Service and New Plays Incorporated. His translation of Carlo Gozzi's Turandot appeared in The Genius of the Italian Theatre, which was edited by Eric Bentley.
His plays for young audiences include: Louise: The Rhinoceros Who Was Born to Dance (1995); Dragonetti (1983); The King's Shilling (1976); Marco Polo: A Fantasy for Children (1976); The Kennedys (1972); The Marvelous Adventures of Tyl (1971); The War Between the Amazons and the Baboons (1968); and The Play of Innocence and Change (1967). In 1979 he received AATE's (American Alliance for Theatre & Education) Charlotte B. Chorpenning Playwright Award for his body of outstanding plays for children. As a theatre educator, Levy has worked with ARTS PROPEL, a cooperative research project funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and led by personnel from the Pittsburgh Public Schools, Harvard College's Project Zero and the Educational Testing Service. Levy helped to develop the curriculum for the playwriting program for junior and senior high school students while he was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard working with Project Zero.
Levy has worked with the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) to develop theatre curricula that is used by secondary school students internationally. He also initiated and coordinated similar programs in the fields of film and dance. As Chief Examiner in Theatre Arts, he reviews and evaluates student work and teacher practices and regularly participates in symposia sponsored by IBO on international issues in education. Part of Levy's theatre for youth research included creating a bibliography of early printed children's plays written in English from 1780-1919. A Preliminary Checklist from 1780-1855 created by Levy and Martha Mahard, Assistant Curator of the Harvard Theatre Collection, was published in 1987 by the Theatre Library Association. Both Levy and Mahard received the AATE Research Award in 1986 for this publication. The sequel with plays to 1919 created in collaboration with Floraine Kay is available for searching on the Jonathan Levy Collection website. Other publications include: a chapter titled The Dramatic Dialogues of Charles Stearns in Spotlight on the Child: Studies in the History of American Children's Theatre; Practical Education for the Unimaginable: Essays on Theatre and the Liberal Arts; A Theatre of the Imagination: Reflections on Children and the Theatre; and The Gymnasium of the Imagination: A Collection of Children's Plays in English, 1780-1860.
Levy is a Distinguished Bibliographer for ASU Libraries. In this capacity, he consults with the Child Drama Collection Curator and identifies new acquisitions, especially monographs published before 1900, to be added to his ASU book collection. He is in residence at ASU for one week yearly and meets with graduate students and faculty in the Department of Theatre on these visits.