Jeffrey Whitty is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright, poet and performer.
His 2018 screenplay adaptation of Lee Israel’s Can You Ever Forgive Me?, co-written with Nicole Holofcener, was produced by Fox Searchlight Pictures, directed by Marielle Heller, and stars Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant, both of whom received Academy Award nominations. Mr. Whitty’s writing garnered Best Adapted Screenplay awards from the Writers Guild of America, the Independent Spirit Awards, LA Drama Critics as well as BAFTA and Academy Award nominations.
Mr. Whitty co-created the musical Avenue Q for which me won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical. Avenue Q ran for sixteen years commercially in New York, six years on London’s West End, and continues to be produced all over the world in dozens of languages. Other musicals include Bring It On with a score by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Amanda Green (Broadway, Best Musical Tony nomination), an adaptation of Armistead Maupin’s Tales Of The City with music by Scissor Sisters (best Book, Bay Area Critics Circle Award), and the original pre-Broadway Head Over Heels, a jukebox musical featuring modern music, based on a long-lost book from 1580, which he wrote entirely in iambic pentameter. In his original version, Mr. Whitty's Head Over Heels sold out its entire five-month run on the 1100-seat outdoor stage at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and he is at work on a revised version under a different title, this time with an original score.
Mr. Whitty’s plays include The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler (in which he performed the titular role in New York, sharing leading lady status with Billy Porter as Mammy from Gone With the Wind), The Plank Project (a cheeky parody of The Laramie Project); The Hiding Place, a comedy about Bohemian New York artists; and the multi-cycle play Balls. His work has premiered at the Atlantic Theater Company off-Broadway, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, CA), ACT (San Francisco), the Ahmanson Theater (LA) and the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. His modern-language adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream was commissioned by the Play On! Festival, and productions are now lined up in several US theaters, in Prague and London as well as a podcast for Next Chapter Podcasts.
Mr. Whitty is a performer as well, holding an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Acting Program, performing Off-Broadway in productions at Playwrights Horizons (NYC), New York Theater Workshop, The Promenade Theater (NYC), the Goodman Theater, the Philadelphia Theater Company and many more. And that's him flirting in a bathing suit in John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus.
Jeffrey grew up with five siblings in Coos Bay, Oregon, including his brother George (a noted jazz musician and a winner of multiple Emmy and Grammy awards). After Jeffrey left Oregon on a hippie bus bound for NYC (sight-unseen) with two grand in his pocket, he lived in Manhattan for two colorful decades. Mr. Whitty currently lives in West Hollywood.