Category : Who's Who:In American Theatre
Born in 1931, in Berlin, Nichols and his family fled Germany to come to America. He went to school at the University of Chicago and then studied with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. He would eventually form a comedy act with Elaine May which relied on sketches and improvisations. By 1960 their success would be noticeable with their show An Evening With Mike Nichols and Elaine May , as it appeared on Broadway.
In 1963 Nichols focused on directing. His success with Neil Simons comic plays such as Barefoot In the Park, The Odd Couple and Plaza Suite earned him recognition as a leading director in the area of comic drama. One of his most acclaimed shows however, was Hurlyburly. Here, Nichols focused on modern body language as a means for actor communication. And, as a Result, he developed a markable, natural style of his own
The Development of his directing method can surely be attributed to his work with the Actors Studio. Founded in 1947 by group theatre alumni Eli Kazan, Cheryl Crawford and Robert Lewis, the studio is well-known for its work with the Method style of acting. Wherein physical characteristics and mannerisms play a key role in the development of character, resulting in a naturalistic, psychologically-affecting performance.
Not only has Mike Nichols earned recognition for theatre directing but film as well. His major films including WHO’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf (1965), The Graduate (1968) Catch 22 (1970) and Silkwood (1983). As a result of his expanded success he has won five Tony’s and one Oscar. A Demonstration of yet another bridge between the theatre and film world.
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