Terry Teachout is the drama critic of The Wall Street Journal, the critic-at-large of Commentary, and the author of “Sightings,” a biweekly column for the Friday Journal about the arts in America. He also writes about the arts for National Review and other magazines, as well as on his blog, “About Last Night” (www.terryteachout.com). Satchmo at the Waldorf, his first play, was premiered in 2011 in Orlando, FLorida, was produced in 2012 by SHakespeare & Company of Lenox, Massachusetts, Long Wharf Theater of New Haven, COnnecticut, and Wilma Theater of Philadelphia, and is currently running off Broadway at the Westside Theatre. It will be published later this year by Dramatists Play Service. His latest book, Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington, was published by Gotham Books in 2013. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012 to support the writing of the book and was a MacDowell Colony Fellow that same year.
Teachout’s previous books include Pops: A life of Louis Armstrong(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), All in the Dances: A Brief Life of George Balanchine (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and A Terry Teachout Reader(Yale University Press). He has written the libretti for three operas by Paul Moravec, The Letter (premiered by the Santa Fe Opera in 2009) and Danse Russe (premiered by Philadelphia’s Center City Opera Theater in 2011), and The King’s Man (premiered by Kentucky Opera in 2013). Teachout has frequently been a scholar in residence at Rollins College’s Winter Park Institute, where the first draft of Satchmo at the Waldorf was written. He served on the Naitonal Council on the Arts from 2004 to 2010.
Teachout is also the author of The Skeptic: A Life of H.L. Mencken(2002) and City Limits: Memories of a Small-Town Boy (1991) and the editor of Beyond the Boom: New Voices on American Life, Culture, and Politics (1990, introduction by Tom Wolfe) and Chosts on the Roof: Selected Journalism of Whittaker Chambers, 1931-1959 (1989). In 1992, he rediscovered the manuscript of A Second Mencken Chrestomathy among H.L. Mencken’s private papers and edited it for publication by Knopf. He wrote the introductions to William Bailey on Canvas, Elaine Dundy’s The Dud Avocado, and Paul Taylor’s Private Domain contributed to The Oxford Companion to Jazz and Robert Gottleib’s Reading Dance, and has written track notes for Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology and liner notes for albums by Karrin Allyson, Gene Bertoncini, Ruby Braff and Ellis Larkins, Chanticleer, Roger Kellaway, Diana Krall, the Joe Mooney Quartet, Marian McPartland, Maria Schneider, Nickel Creek, Luciana Souza, and other artists.
Born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in 1956, Teachout lived in Kansas City from 1975 to 1983, working as a jazz bassist and as a music critic for the Kansas City Star. Since then he has been an editor of Harper’s,an editorial writer for the New York Daily News, the News’ classical music and dnace critic, and the classical music and dance critic of Time. He lives with his wife Hilary in New York City and Connecticut.