From the Archives: Playwright Lanford Wilson

1979 file photo of Lanford Wilson as he makes last minute script changes on play. This photo appeare
Playwright Lanford Wilson makes last minute script changes.
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

This 1979 portrait of Lanford Wilson was taken during pre-production of his plays “Talley’s Folly” and “The Fifth of July.” The two plays launched the 1979-80 season at the Mark Taper Forum.

Sylvie Drake wrote in the Aug. 12, 1979, Los Angeles Times:

Only in the Byzantine geography of Bible Belt Missouri could Lebanon lie east of Cartage, southwest of Troy and northeast of Sparta. Nor has this Ozark haven of what playwright Lanford Wilson calls “mountains, lakes, creeks and green, green, green” spawned anything much more legendary that the Dogpatch Chronicles.

But Lebanon, MO., has a surprising native son in Wilson, whose “Talley’s Folly” and “The Fifth of July,” currently in previews at the Mark Taper Forum, are related plays performed in repertory and scheduled to launch the Taper’s 1979-80 season on Aug. 23 and 26 respectively. …

“Talley’s Folly” was Wilson’s most successful play. It was part of the “Talley trilogy” that won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1980. The other two plays in the trilogy was “Fifth of July” and “Talley & Son.”

This photo appeared in the Aug. 12, 1979, Los Angeles Times.

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