Playwright and screenwriter. Richard Wesley was born in Newark, NJ, 1945. He was educated at Howard University in Washington, DC, where he received a BFA, 1967. Wesley made his way to New York City where he joined the New Lafayette Theater's Black Theater Workshop, and became managing editor of the New Lafayette's, "Black Theater" magazine (1969). In 1970, Wesley wrote two one act plays, which were produced at the University of the Streets Theater in Manhattan, and in the ensuing years a succession of works, which were also produced: "The black terror" (1971), "Getting it together" (1972), both at the Public Theater; "Strike heaven on the face" (1973), at the Phoenix Repertory Theater; "Goin' thru changes" (1974) and "The past is the past" (1974), at the Billie Holiday Theater, Brooklyn,NY.
In 1973, with the closing of the New Lafayette Theater, Wesley was hired by Sidney Poitier to write the screenplays for the films, "Uptown Saturday night" and "Let's do it again," starring Poitier and Bill Cosby. In the following years, he wrote scripts for the motion pictures, "Native son," 1983, "Fast forward," 1986, and several TV dramas. Richard Wesley is presently on the faculty of the Dramatic Writing Program at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, teaching Playwriting and Screenwriting. He currently serves on the Executive Board of the Writers Guild of America, East; he is a member of the Selection Committee of the Newark Black Film Festival, Newark Museum, and serves on the boards of the Theatre of Universal Images in Newark and The New Federal Theatre in New York. He is also serving on the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress, representing the Writers Guild of America.