Jeffrey P. Hatcher ’80

B.F.A., Denison University

Playwright and Screenwriter
Wayzata, Minn.

Citation awarded June, 2016

Jeffrey Hatcher is an award-winning writer for stage, screen, and television. Born in Steubenville, Ohio, he graduated from Denison in 1980 with a degree in Theater and Cinema, during the titanic era of Professor William Brasmer and Dr. R. Elliott Stout. After moving to New York and attending (briefly) New York University’s Graduate Acting Program, he shifted from performing to writing, encouraged by fellow Denison alumni Gram Slaton ’77. His first play, Impaired Faculties, was a comedy set in a small liberal arts college somewhere in the Midwest. Mercifully, according to Jeff, it has never been produced.

Since then, dozens of Hatcher’s plays, original and adaptations, have been produced on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in theaters around the world. They include the book for the Broadway musical Never Gonna Dance, Three Viewings, A Picasso, Scotland Road, The Turn of the Screw, Tuesdays with Morrie (with Mitch Albom), Ten Chimneys, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club, Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Mrs. Mannerly, Murderers, Ella, Mercy of a Storm, Smash, Armadale, Korczak’s Children, John Gabriel Borkman, Brand, An Enemy of the People, Pillars of Society, The Government Inspector, The Good Soldier, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. His most recent adaptations are of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Critic, which premiered at the Shakespeare Theater in Washington D.C., and John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, which premiered at the Huntington Theater in Boston, with Nick Offerman starring as “Ignatius J. Reilly.”

He has written screenplays for the films The Duchess with Kiera Knightley and Ralph Fiennes, Casanova with Heath Ledger and Sienna Miller, Stage Beauty with Billy Crudup and Claire Danes, and, most recently, Mr. Holmes, starring Ian McKellen. He has also written episodes of Columbo, The Mentalist, and the TV movie, Murder at the Cannes Film Festival.
Hatcher recently, after a 30 year hiatus, returned to the stage, acting in Educating Rita, The Heiress, and his own piece Jeffrey Hatcher’s Hamlet, a one-man show about adapting, directing and acting in his 5th grade school production of Shakespeare’s tragedy.

His awards and grants include: NEA, TCG, Lila Wallace Fund, 2013 IVEY Lifetime Achievement Award, Rosenthal New Play Prize, Frankel Award, Charles MacArthur Fellowship Award, Edgerton Grant, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Barrymore Award Best New Play (A Picasso), and L.A. Critics Circle Award Best Adaptation (Cousin Bette). He is a member and/or alumnus of The Playwrights Center, the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild, and New Dramatists.