Renaissance man Donato Colucci founded theatres at Rock Valley College, Rockford, IL (1966), and in Boston, the Publick Theatre (1971), which succumbed to arson in its 42nd year. At the latter, his free, innovative, productions of Shakespeare and other classics earned him the soubriquet “Boston’s Joe Papp” from The Boston Globe’s William Henry III.
Mr. Colucci has directed over sixty plays, and served as a producer, actor, playwright, and college instructor. He also worked on over 100 TV shows at WTTW, Chicago Public Television, as a member of the production staff (1969-70). During the years 1976-80 he directed and produced in New York City. Two of these years, spent at the Broadway level, will form the centerpiece of his professional autobiography, Not for Hire.
A Shakespearean scholar, Mr. Colucci has maintained a web page, 21st Century Shakespeare Studies, since 1997 and has posted twenty-two articles. Since the 1990’s he has been at work on an annotated compilation, The Shakespeare Records, covering every notice of Shakespeare, his family, theatrical associations, and more. This is now a searchable database found at TheShakespeareRecords.com.
Mr. Colucci has created acting editions of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and The Comedy of Errors (2008), The Two Gentlemen of Verona. (2009) and Macbeth (2017). His own plays include a one-act, The Package (1966), a macabre tale of two men on a train which he later made into a video (1984); The Wars of the Roses (1981), adapted from Shakespeare’s Henry VI trilogy; A Devil’s Secret (1995), based on the real-life medieval story of Paolo and Francesca, which he turned into a screenplay (2009)
Mr. Colucci wrote, built, and performed in three productions of The Great Gorgonzola & His New Assistant (2001-03), a play-with-magic. His The Encyclopedia of Egg Magic (2002), maybe the only example of a playwright having the research for his play published! Between the second and third productions of Gorgonzola, he designed and served as Clerk of the Works for Boston’s Actors Workshop facilities including 40- and 85-seat theatres.
In 2004, he wrote, directed, and produced It Only Hurts When I Laugh: The Torture & Execution of Saddam Hussein , a horror show, inspired by capture of Saddam Hussein and the French Theatre du Grand Guignol.
His play The Chappaquiddick Case (2006), imagines Sen. Ted Kennedy on trial in connection with the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. A demo on DVD, including over a hundred images (the evidence), was made of the play.
In Naples, FL, Mr. Colucci produced and directed, All the World’s a Stage, scenes from Shakespeare (2008). He also performed in a revival of Gorgonzola there in 2010.
Mr. Colucci holds a B.A. from Northern Illinois University, an M.A. from the University of Nebraska, with further graduate study at Indiana University. He has been the recipient of five grants from the Lotta M. Crabtree Theatrical Trust.