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Sherman Yellen

Sherman Yellen

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Sherman Yellen is a playwright
Playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

 and screenwriter
Screenwriter
Screenwriters or scriptwriters or scenario writers are people who write/create the short or feature-length screenplays from which mass media such as films, television programs, Comics or video games are based.-Profession:...

.

Biography


Sherman Yellen was born in 1932 to Nathan and Lillian Yellen. He attended the High School of Music & Art in Harlem and graduated from Bard College
Bard College
Bard College, founded in 1860 as "St. Stephen's College", is a small four-year liberal arts college located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.-Location:...

 on the Hudson in 1953 where he met his future wife, Joan Fuhr. They were married after their graduation and have two sons, Nicholas and Christopher, one granddaughter, with two more (twin girls) due in late summer, 2008.

At Bard, Yellen studied creative writing with Texas novelist William Humphrey
William Humphrey (writer)
William Humphrey was an American novelist who wrote about small-town family life in rural Texas.-Biography:...

, was named John Bard Scholar in his sophomore year and received the Wilton E. Lockwood Award for Literature upon graduation.

Yellen attended graduate school at Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 where he majored in 18th century English Literature.

Career


Yellen's first play was New Gods For Lovers, which was produced at the HB Playhouse in New York. This play, entered in a playwrighting competition, won the Hallmark Award, and he began to write television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 drama
Drama
Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance. The term comes from a Greek word meaning "action" , which is derived from "to do","to act" . The enactment of drama in theatre, performed by actors on a stage before an audience, presupposes collaborative modes of production and a...

 for the Hallmark Hall of Fame, and for NBC television
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

, creating such shows as A Cry of Angels, Beauty and the Beast (Emmy nomination and Christopher Award) and An Early Frost
An Early Frost
An Early Frost was a 1985 TV movie, and the first major film to deal with the topic of HIV/AIDS. It was first broadcast on the NBC television network on November 11, 1985...

(Emmy Award). His American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 television drama, Day Before Battle, was written in collaboration with his friend, playwright Peter Stone, and appeared on Studio One
Studio One (TV series)
Studio One is a long-running American radio–television anthology series, created in 1947 by the 26-year-old Canadian director Fletcher Markle, who came to CBS from the CBC.-Radio:...

. He went on to write notable adaptations of such literary classics as Great Expectations
Great Expectations
Great Expectations is a novel by Charles Dickens. It was first published in serial form in the publication All the Year Round from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. It has been adapted for stage and screen over 250 times....

,
Dr.Jekyl and Mr. Hyde
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The original pronunciation of Jekyll was "Jeekul" which was the pronunciation used in Stevenson's native Scotland...

, Phantom of the Opera and The Last Giraffe - a contemporary show about the Rothschilds giraffe
Giraffe
The giraffe is an African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest of all extant land-living animal species, and the largest ruminant...

, as well as the PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

 series The Adams Chronicles (Emmy Award).

Yellen's work in Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 includes his Tony
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

-nominated libretto
Libretto
A libretto is the text used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata, or musical. The term "libretto" is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as mass, requiem, and sacred cantata, or even the story line of a...

 for the musical, The Rothschilds, with music by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick; Rex, a musical about the life and loves of Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 with music by Richard Rodgers; and Strangers, a biographical drama about Sinclair Lewis
Sinclair Lewis
Harry Sinclair Lewis was an American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. In 1930, he became the first writer from the United States to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of...

. His satirical sketch, Delicious Indignities, was a highlight of the ground-breaking erotic revue, Oh! Calcutta! He later incorporated the music of popular songwriter Jimmy McHugh into a new musical about young journalists in Paris in 1927, Lucky in the Rain, which had a successful run at the Goodspeed Opera. His collaboration with the late composer Wally Harper on Say Yes created a light hearted musical comedy about the 1939 New York World's Fair
1939 New York World's Fair
The 1939–40 New York World's Fair, which covered the of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park , was the second largest American world's fair of all time, exceeded only by St. Louis's Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904. Many countries around the world participated in it, and over 44 million people...

, produced in 2000 by The Berkshire Theatre Festival. It was later revised as This Fair World where it was performed at Stages, the festival of new musicals in Chicago. In this and in Josephine Tonight!, a musical biography of the early life of Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker was an American dancer, singer, and actress who found fame in her adopted homeland of France. She was given such nicknames as the "Bronze Venus", the "Black Pearl", and the "Créole Goddess"....

 produced by Theatre Building Chicago, Yellen was both librettist and lyricist for composer Harper.

Yellen's most recent work is December Fools, a comedy-drama about a musical comedy composer's widow and her contentious daughter; two women locked into the past who are struggling with each other in the present, produced by Abingdon Theatre Arts in New York, and Josephine Tonight produced by Theatre Building Chicago, a musical which The Chicago Sun-Times called a "shining new musical."

Television and Film Credits

  • Mörder meiner Mutter, Der (TV movie) - Writer (writer) 1999
  • Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less (TV movie) - Writer (teleplay) 1990
  • I'll Take Manhattan (TV mini-series) - Writer (writer) 1987
  • An Early Frost (TV movie) - Writer (story) 1985
  • The Phantom of the Opera (TV movie) - Writer (writer) 1983
  • The Last Giraffe (TV movie) - Writer (writer) 1979
  • Hallmark Hall of Fame (TV series) - Writer (1 episode, 1976): Beauty and the Beast
  • The Adams Chronicles (PBS Series) - Writer 1976
  • Great Expectations (TV movie) - Writer (writer) 1974
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (TV movie) - Writer (writer) 1973
  • Oh! Calcutta! - Writer (contributions) 1972
  • Ghostbreakers (TV movie) - Writer (writer) (as Sherman Mellin) 1967
  • The Iron Horse (TV series) - Writer (1 episode, 1967): Welcome for the General
  • 12 O'Clock High (TV series) - Writer (1 episode, 1965): Target 802 - Writer (story) (teleplay)
  • Studio One in Hollywood (TV series) - Writer (1 episode, 1956): A Day Before Battle

Theatrical Credits

  • December Fools (Original, play) Written by Sherman Yellen - 2006
  • Josephine Tonight! (Original, Musical) Book by Sherman Yellen - 2006
  • This Fair World (Original, Musical) Book by Sherman Yellen
  • Say Yes! (Original, Musical) Book by Sherman Yellen - 2000
  • Lucky in the Rain (Original, Musical) Book by Sherman Yellen - 1997
  • Strangers (Original, Play) Written by Sherman Yellen - 1979
  • Oh! Calcutta! (Revival, Musical, Revue) - Contributions by Sherman Yellen - 1976 - 1989
  • Rex (Original, Musical) - Book by Sherman Yellen - 1976
  • The Rothschilds (Original, Musical) - Book by Sherman Yellen - 1970 - 1972
  • Oh! Calcutta! (Original, Musical, Revue) - Contributions by Sherman Yellen - 1969 - 1972

Awards and nominations

  • Tony Nomination - The Rothchilds
  • Hallmark Award - New Gods for Lovers
  • Emmy Nomination - Beauty and the Beast
  • Christopher Award - Beauty and the Beast
  • Emmy Award - The Adams Chronicles
  • Emmy Award - An Early Frost

Commentary


In recent years Yellen has contributed political and personal articles to The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post is an American news website and content-aggregating blog founded by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer, and Jonah Peretti, featuring liberal minded columnists and various news sources. The site offers coverage of politics, theology, media, business, entertainment, living, style,...

and The Environmentalist
The Environmentalist
The Environmentalist is a public interest, eco-investigative journalism site that reports on the geopolitics and science of climate change, general politics, sustainable living, business impact and the history of affected regions.-Founding:...

as an advocate of progressive political views.

See also

  • An Early Frost
    An Early Frost
    An Early Frost was a 1985 TV movie, and the first major film to deal with the topic of HIV/AIDS. It was first broadcast on the NBC television network on November 11, 1985...

  • Huffington Post
  • The Environmentalist
    The Environmentalist
    The Environmentalist is a public interest, eco-investigative journalism site that reports on the geopolitics and science of climate change, general politics, sustainable living, business impact and the history of affected regions.-Founding:...

  • William Humphrey
    William Humphrey (writer)
    William Humphrey was an American novelist who wrote about small-town family life in rural Texas.-Biography:...


External links