Lloyd Richards has spent more than 40 years in the theater and has collaborated with some of the best playwrights nationally and internationally. A quiet, soft-spoken man, he has a gentle manner and a wonderful sense of humor. To meet him you might not imagine that he has been such a powerful force in the theater.
Richards grew up in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Jamaican immigrants. After graduating from college and serving as a pilot in the Air Force during World War II, Richards began a career in acting and reciting. He also began to teach part-time. While teaching, he met Sidney Poitier, who encouraged Richards to pursue directing. Poitier told him that if he ever did a play on Broadway, he wanted Richards to direct it. The play turned out to be A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. Richards became the first African American to direct a play on Broadway.
Throughout his career, Richards has helped many aspiring playwrights and collaborated with a number of them, including August Wilson. Richards won a Tony Award in 1986 for directing Wilson's play Fences.
Richards has also worked as an educator. He ran the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in …