Peter Ullian is the author of the play BIG BOSSMAN, produced by the Cleveland Public Theatre and published by Broadway Play Publishing. It has been hailed by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as “a cross between David Mamet and the Marx Brothers.” Two monologues from BIG BOSSMAN will appear in the forthcoming Smith & Krauss anthology, “The Best Women’s Stage Monologues Of 2015,” and four monologues from BIG BOSSMAN will appear in Smith & Kraus’s “The Best Men’s Stage Monologues Of 2015.”
Peter’s play THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN OF BLACKBIRD FLYNT, also originally produced by the Cleveland Public Theatre and subsequently produced by Vertigo Theatre Factory, is also forthcoming from Broadway Play Publishing. Peter’s play BLACK FIRE WHITE FIRE was presented as part of Jewish Play Project’s OPEN Festival of New Jewish Theater. His follow-up play, SPIRIT IN THE SKY, has been developed at Hollins Playwrights Lab and Jewish Plays Project. In May 2015, he will be directing the world premiere of his latest (as yet untitled) play for the University of Wisconsin Green Bay’s Forward Phoenix New Play Project.
Peter is the librettist for the musical drama, SIGNS OF LIFE, which received praise from audiences and critics; attacks from neoconservative John Podhoretz, and was named one of “2010’s Ten Memorable Theater Moments You Might Have Missed” by Michael Dale of Broadway World.Com, who called the show “daring” and “ambitious.” SIGNS OF LIFE has also been presented at Symphony Space and at the Village Theatre near Seattle. Its off-Broadway run was produced by AMAS Musical Theatre and supported by an NEA grant. SIGNS OF LIFE made its Chicago debut in the Fall of 2013 at Victory Gardens, and was number two in the Chicago Tribune’s “Top Ten Most Memorable Moments In Chicago Theater in 2013.”
Peter is also the librettist for the popular musical comedy, FLIGHT OF THE LAWNCHAIR MAN, which premiered at the Prince Music Theatre in Philadelphia, directed by Harold Prince, receiving a Barrymore Award nomination for Outstanding New Play. FLIGHT OF THE LAWNCHAIR MAN was subsequently produced at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, also with Harold Prince as director. The Ahmanson production tied with DEATH OF A SALESMAN for the best play of the Los Angeles theatre season that year in a Downtown LA Weekly readers’ poll. The full-length version of LAWNCHAIR MAN premiered at Goodspeed Musicals (supported by an NEA grant). The musical received its NYC premiere at 37 Arts Theatre.
Peter’s awards for dramatic writing include two Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Musical Theater Foundation Commendation Awards, and a Roger L. Stevens Award from the Kennedy Center/Fund for New American Plays for IN THE SHADOW OF THE TERMINAL TOWER, which served as the basis for his libretto for the musical ELIOT NESS IN CLEVELAND (produced at The Directors Company, the Denver Theatre Center, and the Cleveland Playhouse). Peter’s play HESTER STREET HIDEAWAY was produced off-Broadway by En Garde Arts.
He has received commissions from the Iowa Cultural Council, En Garde Arts, the Prince Music Theatre, the Denver Theatre Center, and Snap Two Productions.
His other plays include: THE BIG CONSPIRACY (HOME; Moveable Feast), HAWKEYE! (Iowa’s University Theatres), STUCK IN LUXEMBOURG (Theatre Winter Haven), and NEW AMERICAN CENTURY (developed at the Lark Play Development Center).
Peter’s screenplays include: Justice (Paramount); Denial (Zeal Pictures); and A Beginner’s Guide to Armed Robbery (Hollywood Pictures/Windancer Films). His original screenplay Survivors was optioned by Oscar-winning producer Mark Johnson, and subsequently optioned by actor Alfred Molina and director Mark Rydell.
Peter is also a contributor to The Field Guide to Poetic Playwriting, forthcoming from Rose Metal Press.
Peter is a member of the Dramatists Guild, and a graduate of Oberlin College and the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. He has taught playwriting, creative writing, and musical theatre writing at SUNY Old Westbury, the MFA Playwrights Lab at Hollins University, and Western Michigan University. He will be an associate lecturer and guest artist at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay in the Spring of 2015.