Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Gary D. Cole  

Pen Name: 

Genre: C:ADULT Fiction




Illinois Connection

Cole was raised in Winnetka.

Biographical and Professional Information

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.

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