On the Stage, Behind the Scenes and In the Audience
A native of Wyoming, Robert Callely’s first job in theatre came in 1968 when he was hired as an assistant to the late and legendary talent and literary agent, Gloria Safier. In November 2014, his play On A Stool At The End Of The Bar opened at 59E59 Theatres in New York and is scheduled for an Off West-End opening in London in 2016, following a U.K. tour. In 2013 he was involved and toured for six months with the acclaimed Australian production of Driving Miss Daisy starring Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones; and in 2014 spent five months in London with a new production of Blithe Spirit also starring Angela Lansbury, for which she won an Olivier Award. Between 1998-2006, he was managing director of HB Playwrights Theatre, founded by Uta Hagen, and oversaw production of 21 full-length and 70 one-act plays, and conceived and produced a gala staged reading of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf starring Uta Hagen, Jonathan Pryce, Mia Farrow and Matthew Broderick at the Majestic Theatre that Ben Brantley hailed in the NY Times as “the year’s most dazzling evening in theatre.” Before HB he was executive director of the American Theatre Wing; managing director of the Theatre Development Fund; and assistant director of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting. He has served on the Tony Management, Administration and Nominating committees. Between 1972-1986 he produced over 50 shows on tour and in stock including Mame and Gypsy with Angela Lansbury, Lorelei with Carol Channing, No, No Nanette with Ruby Keeler, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and Fiddler On The Roof with Zero Mostel, The Unsinkable Molly Brown with Tammy Grimes, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying with Robert Morse and Rudy Vallee, Damn Yankees with Gwen Verdon and Ray Walston, Forty Carats with Lana Turner, The Last Of The Red Hot Lovers with Milton Berle, and Coco with Ginger Rogers. In addition he did productions of Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar and Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris. He also oversaw presentation of scores of concerts and special events starring Dolly Parton, Charles Aznavour, Liberace, Johnny Carson, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, The Bee Gees, Sonny & Cher, Tom Jones, Joan Rivers, Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick, Bob Hope, Alan King, Joan Rivers, Gregory Hines, Sammy Davis, Jr., Ethel Merman, Carroll O’Connor, Peggy Lee, Frankie Vallee & The Four Seasons and Woody Allen to name but a few. He has written three plays, a collection of children’s stories, over seventy short stories, a screenplay and just finished a first novel, Mustangs–A Wyoming Story. His travel journal, Toward a Time of Goodness/The Opening of Sripuram, published in India (2007), is in its 23rd printing, and Playbill ran his profile of Angela Lansbury, Speaking of Great Performances. He has also served on the faculty of Baruch College.