Journalism, Communication and Theatre

Faculty: William M. Hoffman

hoffmanAcademic Interests:
Aside from teaching playwriting, screenwriting, and various other drama courses, I am currently writing and directing plays and creating libretti for operas and musicals at Lehman College and elsewhere. I am also fascinated by Commedia dell'Arte.


I am currently writing a new play, "The Stench of Art," for Lehman College (to be produced in the spring) and a new musical (with Lehman composer John Corigliano). In 2002 and 2003, I wrote and directed "Chico de Jazzzz" and "Cyberian Nights," which were performed by Lehman students.

I am also the producer and interviewer of the Lehman College television series "Conversations," broadcast over CUNY-TV and Bronx Net. The guests have included Barbara Cook, Lanford Wilson, John Corigliano, Michael Feingold, and Mark Adamo.

This fall, I am inaugurating the Student Experimental Theatre Series, a student play and screenplay reading series.


Author of the Broadway play "As Is," produced in 1985. It earned me a Drama Desk Award, an Obie, as well as a Tony and Pulitzer nominations, and was one of Time magazine's best plays of the year. I also wrote the libretto to "The Ghosts of Versailles" (music by Lehman's Distinguished Professor John Corigliano), which premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in 1991, and was brought back in 1995.

I am the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, three National Endowment Awards, ASCAP and Fund for New American Plays awards, two grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Erwin Piscator Award. In 1992 my television work brought me an Emmy nomination, and I received a Writers Guild award. I am co-founder and co-chair of Prima le Parole, the international librettists organization.

ASCAP Musical Theater Awards, 1987, 1993, 2000-04; Grammy, 1997 (Of Rage and Remembrance, won by composer John Corigliano with lyrics by William M. Hoffman); National Endowment for the Arts Playwriting Grant, 1995; Guggenheim Fellowship, 1974 Erwin Piscator Award, 1994; Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, 1994; New York Foundation for the Arts Award, 1994; Writers Guild of America, One Life To Live, 1993; Emmy Nomination, One Life To Live, 1992; ACE nomination Best Play for Cable TV, 1986; Obie--Distinguished Playwriting, 1985; Dramadesk Award Best Play, 1985; Tony Nomination Best Play, 1985; New York Foundation for the Arts Award, 1985; National Endowment for the Arts Playwriting Grant, 1978; National Endowment for the Arts Librettists Grant, 1975

Publications and Performances (select):


  • Corigliano, J. & Hoffman, W.M. (2010). The Ghosts of Versailles: A Grand Opera Buffa in Two Acts. New York: G. Schirmer.

  • Hoffman, W. M. (Group Performance) (October 21-30, 2009). The ghosts of Versailles. Wexford, Ireland: Wexford Opera Festival

  • Hoffman, W. M. (Group Performance) (June 17-25, 2009). The ghosts of Versailles. St. Louis,
    Missouri: Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

  • Hoffman, W. M. (Group Performance) (January 24-February 8, 2009). Cornbury: The Queen’s
    Governor. New York, NY: Hudson Guild Theatre.

  • Cornbury, in Best Audition Monologues, Applause Books, 2003

  • The Ghosts of Versailles (libretto), G. Schirmer, 1991
  • As Is, Random House (Vintage Press), 1985
    -----, Dramatists Play Service, 1985
    -----, in Out Front, Grove, 1988
    -----, in The Way We Live Now, TCG, 1990
  • From Fool To Hanged Man, in Scenarios, Assembling, 1980
  • Cornbury, in Gay Plays, Avon, 1978
  • Saturday Night At the Movies, in The Off-Off-Broadway Book, Bobbs-Merrill, 1973
  • X X
    X X
    X in More Plays from Off-Off-Broadway, Bobbs Merrill, 1973
  • Quick Nut Bread to Make Your Mouth Water, Spontaneous Combustion, Winter House, 1973
  • Thank You, Miss Victoria, in New American Plays, Vol. 3, Hill & Wang, 1970


  • Of Rage and Remembrance (music John Corigliano), G. Schirmer, 2002
  • Jack and Jill (music John Corigliano), G. Schirmer, 1994
  • Wedding Song (music John Corigliano), G. Schirmer, 1982
  • Fine Frenzy, McGraw-Hill, 1972
  • The Cloisters (music John Corigliano), G. Schirmer, 1968

ANTHOLOGIES (edited by William M. Hoffman)

  • Gay Plays: The First Collection, Avon, 1978
  • 31 New American Poets, Hill & Wang, 1970
  • New American Plays, Vols. 2-4, Hill & Wang, 1968, 1970, 1971

Last modified: Aug 24, 2015

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