I was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Great Neck, went to college in Ohio, and have lived in California for most of my adult life.
I can’t say I remember much about Brooklyn since we moved out to Great Neck on Long Island when I was four. I do know we lived in the Flatbush area on Avenue H. Dad owned and operated a small trucking company. Occasionally in the summer he would take me to Ebbetts Field to see the Dodgers. My love of baseball, which is reflected in some of the books and plays I have written, began there.
In Great Neck I attended Great Neck South High School, was very involved with the Boy Scouts, played some Little League, and Pony League baseball, and a lot of stickball.
I went out to Ohio to attend Wilmington College. It was there that I became interested in theatre, when rather by accident I got roped into a production of Romeo and Juliet. After my sophomore year I transferred to The Ohio State University where I joined the Strollers Dramatic Society and met Karen who would become my wife.
At Ohio State I designed and produced shows for Strollers, and majored in Theatre History. After receiving my B.A., I stayed on to earn the Ph.D.
My first teaching job was at San Jose State University where I taught various courses in Dramatic Literature and Theatre History. I also directed a few plays, and wrote my first—The Author of The Iliad Was Either Homer or Somebody Else of the Same Name.
While still teaching there, I joined with Anthony Zerbe and formed Cameo Entertainments. For several years we toured productions with television and film stars including Valerie Harper, Roscoe Lee Browne, Lee Meredith, Michael Learned, and Roy Dotrice. We also produced a show, Behind the Broken Words, off-Broadway in New York.
I moved on to become Artistic Producing Director of the Hilberry Theatre in Detroit and the Chair of the Theatre Department at Wayne State University. In three years there I produced some 35 shows, including two that I wrote--Georgia Peach, and Whistler’s Play which was nominated for a national critics award.
I returned to California to start California Repertory Company and to chair the department of Theatre Arts at California State University, Long Beach. With Cal Rep I produced more than 150 shows including 23 which I wrote. Among the most successful were Article 24, The Boys of Summer, The Puccini Project, The Third Lie, The Miracle of Piaf, On the Beach, and Willie, Mickey & The Duke. We were able to take several productions on international tours.
My most successful show to date has been An O. Henry Christmas. First produced at Cal Rep, it has since been done by numerous theatre companies around the country.
It was while at Long Beach that I wrote my first novel, A Story Told by Two Liars.
I have traveled extensively in Europe and Asia and I have been a Fulbright scholar in Taiwan. For many years, I lived part time in Switzerland and then for a few years, in Ireland.
Now Karen and I live in Felton, California, a little town in the mountains south of San Francisco. Our son, Ty, our daughter, Kerry, and our granddaughters, Gabrielle and Lucy live nearby.