Sherman Yellen
Born (1932-02-25) February 25, 1932 (age 91)
Alma materBard College (BA)
Columbia University (MA)
Notable workThe Rothschilds
Oh! Calcutta!
An Early Frost
SpouseJoan Fuhr

Sherman Yellen (born February 25, 1932, New York City) is an American playwright, screenwriter, and political commentator.[1]

Early life and education

Sherman Yellen was born in 1932 to Nathan and Lillian Yellen. He attended the High School of Music & Art and graduated from Bard College in 1953.

At Bard, Yellen studied creative writing with Texas novelist William Humphrey, was named John Bard Scholar in his sophomore year and received the Wilton E. Lockwood Award for Literature upon graduation. In later years he received the Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters. He attended graduate school at Columbia University where he studied 18th century English Literature.


Yellen's first play was New Gods For Lovers, which was produced at the HB Playhouse in New York.[2] This play, entered in a playwriting competition, won the Hallmark Award, and he began to write television dramas for the Hallmark Hall of Fame. Yellen also wrote Beauty and the Beast, and An Early Frost, television films for NBC.[3][4][5][6]

His American Civil War television drama, Day Before Battle, was written in collaboration with his friend, playwright Peter Stone, and appeared on Studio One.[7] Yellen also wrote adaptations of Great Expectations, Dr.Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, Phantom of the Opera. Yellen also wrote for the PBS series The Adams Chronicles.[8]

Yellen's work in Broadway theatre includes his Tony-nominated libretto for the musical, The Rothschilds, with music by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick;[9] Rex, a musical about the life and loves of Henry VIII with music by Richard Rodgers and Strangers, a biographical drama about Sinclair Lewis.[10] His satirical sketch, Delicious Indignities, appeared in the erotic revue, Oh! Calcutta!, which featured sketches from Sam Shepard, John Lennon, Samuel Beckett, and others.[11][12]

He later incorporated the music of popular songwriter Jimmy McHugh into a new musical about young journalists in Paris in 1927, Lucky in the Rain, which had a successful run at the Goodspeed Opera. His collaboration with composer Wally Harper on Say Yes created a light hearted-musical comedy about the 1939 New York World's Fair, produced in 2000 for the Berkshire Theatre Festival. In Josephine Tonight!, a musical biography of the early life of Josephine Baker produced by Theatre Building Chicago, Yellen was librettist and lyricist to composer Harper. "Josephine Tonight!" was recently revived as "Blackbird" and was staged in Washington, D.C., and Florida.[13]

Yellen's most recent straight play, December Fools, a comedy-drama about a composer's widow and her daughter, was produced by Abingdon Theatre Company in 2006. The same year, Josephine Tonight was produced by Theatre Building Chicago.[14][15]

Yellen has written numerous op-ed columns for HuffPost, focusing on culture and American politics from a left-wing perspective.[16]

Personal life

As an undergraduate at Bard College, Yellen met Joan Fuhr. The couple wed after their graduation and have two sons, Nicholas and Christopher.[17][18] Yellen lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.[19]

Film and television credits

Theatre credits


See also


  1. ^ "NBC Wins 15 Emmys In Technical Categories". New York Times. September 9, 1986. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  2. ^ "HB Studio Playhouse 1971-1972 Season". HB Studio Playhouse. Archived from the original on 9 August 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  3. ^ "OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A MINISERIES OR A SPECIAL 1986". An Early Frost. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  4. ^ "An Early Frost". Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  5. ^ Levy, Emmanuel. "Early Frost: First TV Movie about AIDS". Cinema 24/7. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  6. ^ "Beauty and the Beast (1976)". Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Day Before Battle". Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  8. ^ "Sherman Yellen". Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  9. ^ Keating, Douglas J. (May 5, 1993). "'The Rothschilds' Follows Family's Road To Riches". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  10. ^ Howard, Rebecca (July 3, 2013). "UFOMT season will include a Rodgers rarity". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 7 July 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  11. ^ Soloski, Alexis (2019-06-17). "'Oh! Calcutta!' at 50: Still Naked After All These Years". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-17.
  12. ^ "'Oh! Calcutta!' Closing After 20 Years". The New York Times. Associated Press. 1989-07-29. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-17.
  13. ^ Markowitz, Joel. "Sherman Yellen on 'Josephine Tonight'". DC Metro Arts. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  14. ^ Handelman, Jay (April 13, 2012). "'Blackbird' celebrates the life of Josephine Baker". Herald Tribune. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  15. ^ GENZLINGER, NEIL (February 6, 2006). "Those Secrets in the Attic (Well, the Desk Drawer)". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  16. ^ "Sherman Yellen | HuffPost". Retrieved 2020-03-17.
  17. ^ "American's Best Colleges - Notable Alumni". Forbes. August 5, 2009. Archived from the original on August 10, 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  18. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths FUHR, HENRIETTA". The New York Times. 2003-03-16. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-17.
  19. ^ "It's a G Thing: Accomplished playwright and screenwriter, Sherman Yellen, details a lifetime of New York memories in new book". WPIX. 2017-05-17. Retrieved 2020-03-17.
  20. ^ Marx, Peter (August 25, 1997). "THEATER REVIEW; Gertrude Stein and Alice Strut on the Sunny Side". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2013.