Director and co-founder of the American Place Theatre Wynn Handman died April 11 in his Manhattan home as a result of complications from the Covid-19 virus at the age of 97.

He served as the APT artistic director and chief financial officer from 1963 until 2001 when it became strictly an educational organization.

An acting teacher, producer, and a pillar of Off-Broadway, continued to work well into his 90’s. His former students include Richard Gere, James Caan, Joel Grey, Denzel Washington, Michael Douglas, Mia Farrow, Allison Janney, Alec Baldwin, Frank Langella, and Chris Cooper.

Alumni of the American Place Theatre include Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Morgan Freeman, Roscoe Lee Browne, Mrian Selders, Bill Irwin, Olympia Dukakis, and John Leguizamo.

His directorial endeavours include “Manchild in the Promised Land”, “I Stand Before You Naked”, “Oates, Words, No Music”, “Drinking in America”, “A Girl’s Guide to Chaos”, “Free Speech in America”, and “Bibliomania”

Handman’s accomplishments include an Obie Award for Sustained Achievement, a Lucille Lortel Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Rosetta LeNoire Award, two Audelco for Excellence in Black Theatre Awards, the Carnegie Mellon Drama Commitment to Playwrighting Award and the Sanford Meisner Service Award from the Working Theatre.

Predeceased by his wife of 60 years Barbara, Handman is survived by his daughters Laura and Liza and their families.


By WynnHandmanStudio – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,