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Gary D. Cole

Pen Name:

Connection to Illinois: Cole was raised in Winnetka.

Biography: Gary D. Cole graduated from Williams College and Stanford Law School, where he acted in numerous theater productions. Gary practiced law at the Central Intelligence Agency before writing a play based loosely on his Agency experience. While a partner at a Portland, Oregon law firm, Gary in 1995 founded a professional theater company, CoHo Productions, that still performs in the black box theater he developed for the company.

In 2003, Gary was appointed by the Bush administration to head the $60 million annual grants program at the National Endowment for the Arts. The administration later withdrew his appointment, reportedly because of two provocative plays filmed by a theater video company founded by Gary called StageDirect. Gary has written a memoir about his odyssey through the arts and politics entitled 'Artless.'

'Black Box' is Garys first novel. Drawing on his extensive experience in the theater and in business, 'Black Box' is a story of players, on stage and off, making deals to save or sell their souls.

Gary now resides in North Carolina, where he founded a regional theater festival called Theater of the American South.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Artless: The Odyssey of a Republican Cultural Creative
ISBN: 1932010122 OCLC: 64390385

Ooligan Press, Portland, OR : ©2006.

A self-proclaimed bourgeois bohemian, Gary D. Cole lives his life precariously balancing his staunch Republican political beliefs with his passion for theater. And when a presidential appointment to the National Endowment for the Arts is offered, Cole believes he has landed his dream job. When the offer is mysteriously retracted, Cole must face the hard question : can conservative politics and bohemian theater coexist, or are they forever fated to be at odds?

Black Box
ISBN: 0985010509 OCLC:

Trenchant Press Portland, OR : 2012