The Playwright


Peter Glazer

Peter created the musical Woody Guthrie’s American Song, which has seen over 100 productions nationwide since its premiere in 1988, at theaters including Seattle Rep, Berkeley Rep, Ford’s Theater, Northlight Theater, San Jose Rep, Missouri Rep, and Marin Theater Company, all under Glazer’s direction. The New York production of American Song at the Melting Pot Theater Company received 2 Drama Desk nominations, among the many awards the show has received in its long history. Other theater pieces Glazer has written or co-written include Foe, adapted from Nobel Prize winner J. M. Coetzee’s novel of the same name, Michael, Margaret, Pat and Kate with singer-songwriter Michael Smith, O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music with Celtic harpist Patrick Ball, and Heart of Spain – A Musical of the Spanish Civil War, with composer Eric Bain Peltoniemi. He is presently collaborating with folksinger Tom Paxton on a musical based on Paxton’s music, and with storyteller Joel ben Izzy on a stage adaptation of his book, The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness.

Glazer has also co-written, produced and directed numerous commemorative performances remembering the American anti-fascist volunteers in the Spanish Civil War, in New York, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay area. He sits on the Board of Governors of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA), and served on the Board’s Executive Committee for four years. His book, Radical Nostalgia: Spanish Civil War Commemoration in America, explores the commemorative history surrounding the volunteers, and argues that the memories and traditions called upon at these events through music, texts, and photographs, have progressive potential in the contemporary world.

Glazer is an Associate Professor and former Chair in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and a longtime member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. He is Board President of Crowded Fire Theater in San Francisco, and also a member of the Board of the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, California, one of the premiere folk, world, and traditional music venues in the country. He makes his home in Emeryville, California.