Wilford Leach

Wilford Leach

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Wilford Leach

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Carson Wilford Leach (August 26, 1929–June 18, 1988) was an American theatre director, set designer, film director, screenwriter, and college professor.


Born in Petersburg, Virginia, Leach was the artistic director of New York City's La MaMa experimental theatre company in the 1970s. He also often directed works and designed sets for Joseph Papp's Public Theater and New York Shakespeare Festival, where he first directed The Pirates of Penzance with Kevin Kline, Linda Ronstadt, Rex Smith, and Patricia Routledge in 1980.Barron, James.The New York Times, June 21, 1988 That same year he helmed a television production with the same cast, and in 1981 he staged the Broadway production, replacing the unavailable Routledge with Estelle Parsons, and winning his first Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical. His association with Pirates continued with a 1983 feature film (with Angela Lansbury replacing Parsons), which he wrote and directed.

Leach's additional theatre directing credits include two projects that originated at the Public and then transferred to Broadway, The Human Comedy (1984) and The Mystery of Edwin Drood, for which he won his second Tony.

While a film and theater...
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