Ken Ludwig (born 1950 in York, Pennsylvania) is a Tony Award nominated, internationally acclaimed playwright who has seen his work produced with regular success on Broadway, London's West End, and many other major venues throughout the world. Some of his best known plays include Crazy For You, Lend Me a Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo, and Be My Baby. Recently, he received a commission from the Royal Shakespeare Company to write Shakespeare in Hollywood.
Personal life and education
Ludwig was born in York, Pennsylvania and entered Haverford College where he received his B.A. In 1970, while at Haverford, he penned a series of sketches under the title Class Nights. This production marked the first time Ludwig's work was produced and mounted for a theatrical audience. Upon completing his undergraduate studies, Ludwig accepted a spot at the prestigious Harvard Law School where he earned a J.D., and subsequently completed his education at Cambridge University (LL.B.). He practiced law for several years with the firm of Steptoe & Johnson, where he remains Of Counsel.
During his eduation he was heavily exposed to Shakespeare by professor Ralph Sargent, and it was at Harvard where he studied musical theater under the guidance of Leonard Bernstein. Both subjects seem to have greatly influnced him as they feature prominently in his plays Lend Me a Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo, Shakespeare in Hollywood, and Leading Ladies.
Ludwig currently resides in Washington, D.C.. He is married to Adrienne George and has two young children: Olivia and Jack. He is a founding member of the Shakespeare Theatre of Washington.
Success as a playwright
Ludwig's plays have received many honors including the Tony Award, Olivier Award, Drama Desk Award, Helen Hayes Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award. The author himself has received many accolades including two Tony nominations. He was nominated in 1989 for Best Play (Lend Me a Tenor), and again in 1992 for Best Book of a Musical (Crazy For You).  Some further examples of his success include:
Ludwig is still active in the theatre and has continued producing plays. In 2001, his adaptation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer appeared on Broadway with a one-hour children's version running at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The latter version toured the country for two years.
The 2003-2004 season saw a set of play by Ludwig receive their debut. Twentieth Century, his adaptation of the Hecht-MacArthur comedy, played to sold-out audiences on Broadway. It was produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company and starred stage regular Alec Baldwin and Anne Heche in the lead roles. Shakespeare in Hollywood, meanwhile, had its first production in the fall of 2003 at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C where it won the Helen Hayes Award as Best Play of he Year. One of his latest plays, Leading Ladies, premiered at the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas under the author's direction and is now headed for Broadway.
Ludwig was asked by the estate of Thornton Wilder to complete Wilder’s adaptation of The Beaux’ Stratagem, a new version of the Restoration comedy by George Farquhar. The play will receive its world premiere production November 7 to December 31, 2006 at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C under the direction of Michael Kahn and will be published by Theatre Communications Group.
Other plays include Sullivan & Gilbert (a co-production of the Kennedy Center and the National Arts Centre of Canada, voted Best Play of 1988 by the Ottawa critics); a new adaptation of Where’s Charley? for the Kennedy Center; the Off-Broadway hit Divine Fire; and a mystery, Postmortem.
Film and television
Ludwig has also dabbled in film. On television, he co-wrote the 1990 Kennedy Center Honors for CBS for which he received an Emmy Award nomination. He also penned a television pilot for Carol Channing. On film, he adapted his play Lend Me a Tenor for Columbia Pictures and All Shook Up for Touchstone Pictures and directior Frank Oz.
Additional awards and honors
Ludwig received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from York College of Pennsylvania.
He has also received the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the Edwin Forrest Award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama. He is a founding member of the Board of Trustees of the Shakespeare Theatre of Washington, an Honorary Trustee of the Shakespeare Guild, and has served on the New Play Committees of the National Endowment for the Arts and the American College Theater Festival, where he annually chooses and presents the Mark Twain Award for outstanding comic performance. He has lectured on drama at various universities around the country.