Jack George O'Brien was born on June 18, 1939, in Saginaw, Michigan. He is a director, producer, lyricist, and writer. He is famous for his work on An Enemy Of The People (1990) and American Playhouse (1981). He is the son of J. George, who is a business representative and Evelyn Mae (maiden name, MacArthur Martens) O'Brien. He started on Broadway, at Lyceum Theatre, as assistant director. In 1969, he directed “The Comedy of Errors,” a play by Shakespeare, and started his career in direction.
He went on to become the artistic director of The Old Globe Theater in 1981 and stayed so until 2007. In 1975, he directed 'The Time of your Life' and in 1977 he directed “Porgy and Bess.” The first Tony nomination that he received was in 1977 for direction of the play “Porgy and Bess.” He has received three Tony Awards, till today. In 2003, he was awarded for best direction of a musical called ‘Hairspray’. In 2004, he received it for Best direction of the play “Henry IV,” which is a revival of Shakespeare’s work. In 2007, he won it for best direction of “The Coast of Utopia.” He received five Drama Desk Awards. IN 1990, he was awarded under the category of Outstanding New Play for “The Piano Lesson.”
In 2001, he won it for Outstanding Direction of “The Invitation of Love.” In 2003, he received it under the category “Outstanding Director of a Play” for “The Coast of Utopia.” He got ten nominations for Tony Awards. He holds a doctorate from the University of Michigan. He has directed six productions on PBS's "American Playhouse,” and many productions at Lincoln Center Theater (one of them is Shakespeare’s Macbeth). He has directed operas as well (staged Puccini’s II trit tico for the Metropolitan Opera), but the fame and appreciations came from the musical broadways. Also, he has directed an astonishing range of genre. He wrote books and lyrics for the unsuccessful 'The Selling of the President' which ran for only five performances.
In 2007, he was introduced in American Theatre Hall Of Fame. He is a director who has drama in his vain which he proves time and again even when he is off stage. He has starred a range of talented actors including Ethan Hawks (Before Trilogy and Boyhood Actor), Nathan Lane, Rosemary Harris and Richard Easton. Jack O'Brien was named the honorary chair of the 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival. On June 15, 2015, he was honored with Red Bull Matador Award by the Red Bull Theatre for Extraordinary Achievement in Classical Theater.