Based on the best-selling biography “Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball” by J.G. Spink Award winning baseball writer Bill Madden, and co-written by Pulitzer Prize Award winner Ira Berkow.

George M. Steinbrenner III was much more than the blustery owner of the New York Yankees who considered winning second only to breathing. Determined to prove his worth to his doubting father and the world, his goal was to bring the Bronx Bombers back to glory and to bask in the glow of the team's success.

 

Based on the bestseller by award winning baseball writer and J.G. Spink Award winner Bill Madden, and co-written by Pulitzer Prize Award winner Ira Berkow, "Steinbrenner!" tells the story of a complex, conflicted and larger than life man who left an indelible mark on baseball, New York and the sports world.

"Maybe the silk stocking guys don't like the way I run this ball club, but the little guy -- the bartender, the guy pushing a cart, the cab drivers -- they're the ones who need the Yankees. My involvement is not sipping cocktails in all the fashionable places. My involvement is in the roots of the city."

George M. Steinbrenner III

We are now in the process of raising the front money to ready the play for a 12 performance showcase production this summer at the historic Scranton Cultural Center in Scranton, PA, the home of the New York Yankees’ AAA minor league team, the Scranton-Wilkes Barre RailRiders, before “Steinbrenner!” moves on with the goal of bringing it to Off-Broadway or Broadway.
THE JOURNEY

Based on Bill Madden’s best selling book “Steinbrenner - The Last Lion of Baseball”, “Steinbrenner!” was conceived as an adaptation by Pulitzer Prize Award winning sports and features writer Ira Berkow and Madden in 2011. 

 

After two readings in 2013 and 2014 sponsored by Roundabout Theatre Company, Brian Spector (Come From Away, The Woodsman) of Keaka Productions was brought on board as Executive Producer. A staged reading took place in August 2015 at Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY, and a table reading was held in September 2017 at Syracuse University Fisher Center in New York City.

 

Since the last reading, the play has undergone extensive rewriting at the hands of the writers and director Heidi Mueller Smith to incorporate the feedback received. Their efforts have culminated in in a final industry reading in April featuring the talents of Richard Poe (George Steinbrenner) Zach Grenier (Gabe Paul) Bilgin Turker (Elaine Kaufman) Joel Van Liew (Billy Martin) Jim Anderson (Thurman Munson) Akron Watson (Reggie Jackson) Jennean Farmer (Doris) and Mark Coffin (Callers). Also featured are voice overs by sports radio legends Mike Francesa and Chris "Mad Dog" Russo.

The first reading of Steinbrenner! took place in 2013 in New York City. This was followed up by a second reading in 2014. Both readings were well-received.

 

A staged reading was held at Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY in 2015. The cast included Richard Kind (Gotham; Spin City; Mad About You) who read the role of George Steinbrenner.

Other cast members who appeared included:

Mark Coffin

Catherine Curtin

Judy Kaye

Duane McLaughlin

Bradford Cover

Zach Grenier

Danny Fischer

B.J. Gruber

Download the Program here.

A table reading was held at Syracuse University Fisher Center in New York City in September 2017. Jay O. Sanders read the role of George Steinbrenner.

 

Other cast members who appeared include:

Astrid Van Wieren

Zach Grenier

Cotter Smith

Jim Anderson

Frank Harts

Frances Eve

Lawton Paseka

Mark Coffin

Samantha Blinn

A 29-hour reading is being planned for April in New York City, followed by a 12 performance showcase production at the historic Scranton Cultural Center in Scranton, PA in the summer of 2018.

Download the Program here.

STAGED & TABLE READINGS
THE CREATIVE TEAM

Bill Madden

Co-Writer

Bill Madden is an award-winning sports columnist for the New York Daily News. His 2010 biography of the New York Yankees owner, George Steinbrenner – Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball – for Harper-Collins, appeared on the New York Times best-seller list for nine weeks. In his capacity as the Yankee beat writer for the Daily News and later as its national baseball columnist, Madden covered Steinbrenner’s entire tenure as Yankee owner, from 1973-2010. During that time, Madden became acquainted – and in may cases formed close relationships – with a great number of Steinbrenner’s friends and associates both in and out of baseball, which proved beneficial for him in compiling what critics praised as the definitive biography of the multi-faceted Yankee owner.

 

Madden joined the Daily News in 1978 after nine years with United Press International in New York, covering baseball, college football and the Olympics. He is the recipient of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s J.G. Taylor Spink Award. Madden has twice been cited by the Associated Press Sports Editors, in 1994 and 2014, for excellence in journalism awards as well as the Society of the Silurians for investigative sports reporting awards in 2013 and 2014.

 

In addition to the Steinbrenner biography, Madden has written five other books, including the critically acclaimed Pride of October, a history of the New York Yankees told through interviews with 18 former Yankees from all different eras, Zim – A Baseball Life – the autobiography of baseball legend Don Zimmer which appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for six weeks, and 1954, a study of race relations and integration in baseball.

Ira Berkow

Co-Writer

Ira Berkow, who was a New York Times sports columnist and feature writer for 26 years, shared a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting and was a finalist for the Pulitzer for Distinguished Commentary. He has been the recipient of numerous other writing awards, including those of the prestigious Deadline Club and Associated Press Sports Editors contests. He has been cited numerous times and his columns and features reprinted in both Best Sports Stories and its successor The Best American Sport Writing anthologies, as well as the Best American Sports Writer of the Century (edited by David Halberstam). His work has been included in scores of literary, scholastic and other sports anthologies. He is the author of 24 books, including the best sellers “RED: A Biography of Red Smith,” “MAXWELL STREET: Survival in a Bazaar” and ROCKIN’ STEADY: A Guide to Basketball and Cool” (with Walt Frazier). He wrote the play, “THE SHAKESPEARE OF THE PRESS BOX: A Story of Red Smith.” He has had six collections of his columns and feature stories published, including general, “BEYOND THE DREAM,” to baseball ‘SUMMERS IN THE BRONX” to boxing, ‘COUNTERPUNCH.” Finally, he is the author of two documentaries – HBO’s “Champions of American Sports” (1982) and PBS’s “Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story” (2010).

 

Before his career at The Times, Mr. Berkow worked as a sports writer and book-reviewer for The Minneapolis Tribune, sports columnist, sports editor and general columnist for the newspaper feature syndicate Newspaper Enterprise Association, and has written for such magazines as Esquire, The New York Times Magazine and the distinguished but departed Inside Sports.

 

Mr. Berkow was born and raised in Chicago, holds a BA in English Literature from Miami University (Ohio) and an MSJ from Northwestern’s Medill school of Journalism. He also received an honorary doctorate in humanities from Roosevelt University.

Heidi Mueller Smith

Dramaturg and Director

Heidi first combined her theater experience with the world of sports when she served as dramaturg and director for renowned sportscaster Dick Enberg’s play McGUIRE, a tribute to legendary college basketball coach Al McGuire. After directing the premiere production of the play in 2005 at Marquette University, she has since remounted it numerous times across the country, at venues such as the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan, Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Greenhouse Theatre in Chicago, Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Portland Stage Company in Maine, Indiana University, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, with many other stops along the way.

 

She was the co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Cornerstone Theatre Company in Milwaukee, where she produced over 30 plays, many of which she directed, including THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, TWELVE ANGRY MEN, LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT and EDUCATING RITA, to name a few favorites. In New York, she has worked with the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, directing Conservatory productions of AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY by Tracy Letts, ESCAPE FROM HAPPINESS by George F. Walker, FACTORY GIRLS by Frank McGuiness and Shakespeare’s JULUS CAESAR.

Brian Spector for Keaka Productions, LLC

Producer

Keaka Productions, LLC is a theatrical production company formed by New Jersey-based business lawyer Brian Spector. Spector is passionate about theater and sports (especially the New York Yankees and Syracuse University), and was involved with the Off-Broadway production of TRANSPORT written by Thomas Keneally (SCHINDLER'S ARK), music and lyrics by Larry Kirwan (BLACK 47), and directed by Tony Walton, the world tour of THE LAST CONFESSION written by Roger Crane and starring David Suchet, the Off-Broadway production of THE WOODSMAN at New World Stages, and currently the new hit Broadway musical COME FROM AWAY.

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