Frank Galati Biography


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Frank Joseph Galati (gah-LA-tee) was born in Highland Park, Illinois, and attended Glenbrook North High School, where he appeared in many musicals. Galati was influenced by Ray Raynor, a Chicago television celebrity, to pursue a career in theater. He attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he received his B.A. (1965), M.A. (1967), and Ph.D. (1971) from the School of Speech. It was while attending Northwestern and taking a class in chamber theater taught by Robert S. Breen, the definer and developer of chamber theater, that Galati honed his craft of adapting narrative literature for the stage. His fame primarily resides in his ability to take works of literature not originally intended for the stage and make them stageworthy. He says he is able to find the “play” in a novel—like John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1939)—and release it in his adaptation. A professor of performance studies at Northwestern, he teaches a seminar in Samuel Beckett, classes in solo performance recitals, and classes in presentational aesthetics, in which students learn to make their own adaptations. In addition to his talents for directing, acting, and adapting, he coauthored with Charlotte Lee (a former Northwestern colleague) the fifth edition of the seminal text Oral Interpretation.

In 1986 Galati became the associate director of the Goodman Theater and an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theater, both in Chicago. Goodman and Steppenwolf are acclaimed venues which offer everything from world premieres to classic revivals which often move to Broadway. The Goodman is a not-for-profit resident, professional theater company which prides itself on casting Chicago-based actors. Steppenwolf is an international theater committed to ensemble collaboration and risk-taking. Its members include established stars who perform on...

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(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

“Frank Galati.” In Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television. Vol. 21. Detroit: Gale, 1999. A summary of Galati’s biographical and career information, including a detailed list of credits.

Nichols, David C. “Grapes of Wrath Looks into the Faces of Poverty.” Los Angeles Times, October 4, 2002, sec. F, p. 21. Review of The Grapes of Wrath discusses Galatti’s “compressed narrative.”