Chicago Theatre Giant Frank Galati Dies At 79!

Frank Galati Dies: Frank Joseph Galati was an American director, writer, and actor. He was born on November 29, 1943, and died on January 2, 2023. He was a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and an assistant director at the Goodman Theatre. He worked as a teacher at Northwestern University for a long time.

Galati was born in an area near Chicago called Highland Park, Illinois. He went to Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois, where he competed in speech and won a state championship in the Original Comedy event in 1961.

He went to Western Illinois University for one year before switching to Northwestern University. In 1965, he got a Bachelor of Science in a speech focused on interpretation. He taught at the University of South Florida, then went to Northwestern and got his M.S. in speech in 1966 and his Ph.D. in performance in 1971. During this time, he led and acted in several plays.

Chicago Theatre Giant Frank Galati Dies At 79!

Frank Galati, who worked at the Steppenwolf and Goodman theatres in Chicago as an actor, director, and adapter, has died. The Steppenwolf Theatre Company told CBS 2’s Noel Brennan on Tuesday that Galati was killed in Florida on Monday evening. He was 79.

Frank Galati Dies
Frank Galati Dies

Roche Schulfer, the CEO of Goodman, said of him, “He was the joy of life.” “At least, in my opinion, the most important theatre artist to come out of Chicago in the past 50 years.” Galati used to be the Goodman’s associate director, and he worked with Schulfer.

“He used to act. He ran the show. He wrote things. He taught and brought new ideas to the theatre,” Schulfer said. Galati became a member of the Steppenwolf in Lincoln Park’s group in 1985. The following year, he became the associate director of the Goodman downtown, a job he held until 2008.

His version of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” opened at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago and then moved to New York’s Broadway. Gary Sinise played the part of Tom Joad in the play. Galati won two Tony Awards in 1990, one for best play and one for best director for this production.

“He’s been in shows on Broadway. “He was up for an Academy Award,” Schulfer said. “There is a long list of accomplishments.” Galati was also nominated for a Tony Award for “Ragtime.” “The Accidental Tourist” was up for an Oscar for best screenplay.

In 1993, he was credited with writing the teleplay for the play “The American Clock” by Arthur Miller. The Steppenwolf said that Galati was also known for his stage acting, which he did for the Steppenwolf in shows like “The Drawer Boy” and “The Tempest.”

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Galati directed adaptations of “After the Quake,” a collection of short stories by Haruki Murakami, and “Kafka on the Shore,” a novel by Haruki Murakami, at the Steppenwolf. He also directed his version of “The March,” a book by E.L. Doctorow.

The Steppenwolf said that some of the plays he put on at the Goodman were “The Visit,” “She Always Said Pablo,” “The Winter’s Tale,” “The Good Person of Setzuan,” and “Cry the Beloved Country.” Galati was also an artistic associate at the Asolo Repertory Theater on the Ringling Museum campus in Sarasota, Florida.

Galati directed the Asolo Rep’s 2022 world premiere of the musical “Knoxville,” which was based on the novel “A Death in the Family” by James Agee. Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, who wrote “Ragtime,” also wrote “Knoxville.”

Galati had a long career that included directing at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He also taught performance study at Northwestern University for almost 40 years. Sinise told the Los Angeles Times in 2007: “He seems to have five big productions going on simultaneously.

He is constantly juggling, always busy, and always happy to be doing them all.” “I’ve asked him how he does it several times, but he says he doesn’t know.” Galati had both highs and lows on Broadway. In 2007, his production of “The Pirate Queen” was panned by critics and became one of the most expensive flops in Broadway history.

In 2001, he was fired as the director of “Seussical.” Galati had a resume that any artist would be jealous of and a laugh everyone liked. “It was one of the best laughs I’ve ever heard, and there were many of them,” Schulfer said.

Galati won several Joseph Jefferson Awards for his work in Chicago theatre. He also won two directing awards from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, an Artistic Leadership Award from the League of Chicago Theatres, and an NAACP Theatre Award.

“Over the years, Frank greatly affected Steppenwolf and all of us. Steppenwolf’s co-artistic directors, Glenn Davis and Audrey Francis said in a statement, “For some, he was a teacher, a mentor, a director, an adapter, a writer, a fellow actor, and a visionary.”

“No matter what kind of relationship he had with someone, Frank’s presence always made them feel cared for, valued, and inspired.” The Steppenwolf said that Galati was put into the Theater Hall of Fame earlier this year.

“There isn’t one of us who worked with him and wasn’t changed by him. Anna D. Shapiro, a member of Steppenwolf and a Broadway director, said, “He made us all better, and no one else will ever be like him.”

Schulfer thinks back on how Galati brought and shared happiness. Schulfer said, “Frank took the word “play” literally and thought it was a privilege to tell these stories.” Now, a light taken from the Chicago Theatre still shines in people’s minds.

Schulfer said, “There’s so much talk going on.” “Such a lot of memories. So much love. So many deaths.” Please share this with your friends if you find it interesting. Visit for more celebrity updates and breaking news.

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