Anthony Gallo was born on February 3, 1939, and raised in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania (also the title of one of his plays), a steel town 40 miles north of Pittsburgh, the son of an impoverished factory worker. His parents were Domenic and Saveria Raso Gallo. [R21] His father suffered poor health, largely the result of his only other son’s death in a house fire in 1940. This tragedy was to have a major impact on Gallo's life, evident in most of his plays. Largely on the basis of scholarships and full-time work, Gallo graduated from both the College of William and Mary and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a master's degree. He then went through a series of careers as a banker, college professor [R12], and well-published economist with the Federal government. [External Link (EL) 10] He was also a pioneer in the renovation of historic homes in the Capitol Hill Historic District in Washington, DC. [R10] His career as a playwright began in 1980 when, as a full-fledged atheist, Gallo took a purely secular trip to Israel, had a religious epiphany and became “re-spiritualized.” From then on, he became deeply involved in Judea-Christian studies, as well as the study of other world religions. As he approached sixty, Gallo decided to go full-time into religion, and after much introspection, decided to make the theater his stage. [R18] His decision was very much influenced by his good friend, Herbert Stein, President Richard Nixon’s Chief Economic Advisor, who felt economics as a field of study was not the end all, and that the next step was the study of philosophy or related disciplines. Upon retirement, Gallo turned his attention to playwrighting and has been a prolific playwright, dubbed the "Wharton School Playwright" by some of his peers, perhaps the only one in its history. In 2007, he married Susan Flaum Hesser, an information technology executive, and has one son from a previous marriage, Thomas Augustus Gallo.
Gallo is a prolific producer, director and dramatist with over 60 works completed since he left his distinguished career as a nationally recognized food marketing economist in 1996. [EL 10] Gallo owns his own theater company, the Seventh Street Playhouse [EL 3], and motion picture company, Eastern Market Studios [EL 8]. While he defines himself as a Judeo-Christian playwright, all of his plays are meant for general audiences. His only guiding maxim is that there are a million roads to God, “and I hope I am on the right one.” Two of his plays are Holocaust dramas (Margherita, Eugenio); two are Biblical (The Agony of David, The Last Days of King Solomon); and five are about the American civilization (Vandergrift!, Lincoln and God, Better than the Best, Charleston Revisited, and the Botticelli Cruise). His play, Paul, is an examination of the life of the Apostle. Heathcliff is his first absurdist comedy [R18]. Gallo’s plays have been staged nearly 100 times in 40 venues including in Washington, DC: The Kennedy Center [Additional Reference (AR) Y], The National Press Club [R15, R16], Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Cosmos Theatre [R3], The Universalist Stage, The Warehouse Theater, The Corner Store Stage, and the Capital Fringe Festival; in New York City: New York University, New York International Midtown Festival/Dorothy Strelsin Stage, The Dramatists Guild of America [R5], Casa Italiana, Where Eagles Dare Theatre, Abingdon Theatre, and Midtown International Theatre Festival where one of his actresses won best supporting actress; in Maryland: The Greenbelt Arts Center [AR W], Silver Spring Stage/PF, and St. John's Church; as well as other venues in Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Three of his plays (Margherita, Eugenio, and Lincoln and God)are under contract to the Nederlander Producing Group for production in New York City. Margherita was scheduled to be jointly produced by Brown-Nederlander and the Seventh Street Playhouse in 2012.
,” a play about the relationship between Benito Mussolini and his Jewish mistress of 25 years, based on the Book of Judith. [R2, R14]”Eugenio” concerns the controversial conversion of Rome’s Chief Rabbi in 1944. [R8, R13]
“Last Days of King Solomon,” is about doubt and faith during the latter days of the Jewish King. [R2]
“Agony of David” is based on the life of David, second King of Israel. [AR Z] Tony is collaborating with composer Aaron Forbes on a rock opera version of this play.
“Vandergrift!” is about a religious businessman trying to blend his rugged capitalism with his Presbyterian religion to create a workers’ paradise. [R9, R22]
“Lincoln and God” examines the complex relationship between the Nation’s 16th President and his God during the Civil War. [AR X, AR Y] Tony is also collaborating with Alan Gershwin on a musical version of this play.
“Charleston Revisited” takes place on Logan Street in the heart of the renowned Charleston Historic District. [R6, R12]
“The Botticelli Cruise” concerns three bizarre and confused characters, plus an elusive captain, on a small exclusive cruise ship which sails around the east coast of Africa.
“” critically examines the complex and contradictory life of Christianity’s second leading theologian. [R3]
in Americ a" is Gallo's first absurdist play in which echoes of the Moors reverberate against the ocean at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
The Tragedy of King Saul examines the life of the tragic Jewish King
Eaton Woman is about Peggy Eaton, the woman at the center of the Petticoat Rebellion in the Andrew Jackson Administration
Teresa examines the life of St. Teresa of Avila.
*Better than the Best is all about rugged Nineteenth Century Capitalism *Luther is all about the German theologian. *Mr. Morris! Mr. Morris! is about our Founding Financial Father, Robert MorrisMadame Caillaux takes viewers to the infamous trial of the woman who killed the editor of Le Figaro newspaper in 1914.
*Robert is a surrealistic drama about Robert Todd Lincoln *Jonathan examines the life of the tragic Jewish prince.. Shakespeare and Lincoln is a surrealistic play about the Bard and the President.
*Cabala is about strange occurrences in the Rome during the 1920s. *The Springfield Boys looks at the relationship between Abraham Lincoln, Joshua Speed, and William Herndon
The playwright is also very much involved in film-making and screenwriting. The Eastern Market Studios in Washington is currently shooting a feature film, Charleston Revisited, based on Gallo's successful stage play. He is also the librettist and lyricist for four musicals: Lincoln and God (John Ward composer), Vandergrift (Beatrix Whitehall composer), Peggy (Margaret and Grant Bagley composers), and David (Margaret and Grant Bagley composers).Margherita: ISBN 978-1-4563-8030-4; Eugenio: ISBN 978-1-4563-8670-2; The Last Days of King Solomon: ISBN 978-1-4609-8420-8; The Agony of David: ISBN 978-1-4609-1598-1. Available From Browns Court Publishing Company: February 2010: Seven Religious Dramas By Anthony E. Gallo, Edited By Lenny Levy; August 2009: Eight Dramas By Anthony E. Gallo, June 2008: Seven Dramas By Anthony E. Gallo, July 2006: Five Dramas By Anthony E. Gallo, November 2005: The Complete Plays Of Anthony E. Gallo. Single Plays: The Last Days Of King Solomon, November 2008; The Agony Of David: July 2007; Lincoln And God: August 2007; Margherita: July 2006; Eugenio: July 2006; Better Than The Best: July 2006; Vandergrift!: December 2006; Charleston Revisited: July 2006. British Publications: Margherita: New Theatre Publications, January 2009; Vandergrift!: New Theatre Publications, June 2009.