(Not So) Secrets of the Jon Tolins

Jon Tolins w/ Cast and Director of 'Secrets' (Photo Courtesy of Playbill.com/Krissie Fullerton)

Jonathan Tolins is a playwright and screenwriter.  His 2010 play, and our first of the program, is entitled Secrets of the Trade. It began its stage life as a critcally-acclaimed off-Broadway show at Primary Stages, starring current frontrunner, John Glover (alongside Noah Robbins), and directed by Matt Shakman. Mr. Tolins has also written the off-Broadway show, The Last Sunday in June, directed by Trip Cullman, The Twlight of the Golds, a Broadway show, directed by Arvin Brown, and If Memory Serves, another off-Broadway show, directed by Leonard Foglia. All three have been published in a collection of plays by the Grove/Atlantic company.

Mr. Tolins has received the GLAAD Media Award, two Back Stage Garland Awards, and a Drama-Logue Award. Jon has also collaborated with screenwriting partner, Seth E. Bass, to write and produce a film version of The Twilight of the Golds, aired on Showtime, that also premiered at the Sundance and Chicago film festivals, as well as experiencing a commercial theatrical release.

Bass and Tolins also worked on Martian Child, which starred John and Joan Cusack, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, and Sophie Okonedo, and was released in 2007 by New Line Cinema.

For television, Jon worked as a writer for HBO’s ‘Night Rap’, Showtime’s ‘Queer As Folk’ (for which he also co-produced the first season), and the 2000 and 2002 Academy Awards. He was also the sole writer of the 2003 Tony Awards, starring Hugh Jackman, and produced by Gary Smith. He wrote ‘Pushkin 200: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall’, as well as The Divine Miss Millennium Tour with Bruce Vilanch, Mark Waldrop and Bette Midler in 1999. He also wrote additional material for Miss. Midler’s 2008 show in Las Vegas, entitled ‘The Showgirl Must Go On’.

Mr. Tolins has contributed to several magazines and publications, including ‘Opera News,’ ‘Opera Monthly’, ‘TheaterWeek,’ ‘Frontiers’, ‘Avenue’, ‘Time Magazine,’ and ‘The Huffington Post’. He worked as an adjunct professor teaching screenwriting for two years in the Peter Stark Producing Program as the University of Southern California. Jon Tolins is a member of the Dramatists Guild as well as the Writers Guild of America.

-Aziza Sullivan


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