Tiber, Elliot 1935–
Tiber, Elliot 1935–
Original name Eliyahu Teichberg; born April 15, 1935, in New York, NY; son of Jack (in building construction) and Sonia (in retailing) Tiber. Education: Hunter College (now of the City University of New York), B.F.A., 1956; Pratt Institute, M.F.A., 1966.
Playwright, beginning 1959. Playwright and dramaturge for Belgium's National Theater and the Belgian RTB-TV network; past lecturer at Hunter College of the City University of New York, New York Institute of Technology, and Fairleigh Dickinson University; lecturer at U.S. Embassy Cultural Exchange and New School University. Art director and consultant in design and visual arts for Bamberger's of New Jersey and Bullock's of California, as well as international marketing firms. Organizer of Woodstock Festival, Bethel, NY, 1969.
Dramatists Guild, Authors League, Writers Guild of America East, SABAM, SACD.
Fellow of Salzburg American Theater, 1974; Grand Prizes for best French short film from Grenoble Film Festival and from Paris Film Festival, both for "Low Tides"; Grand Prix from New Orleans International Film Festival and Best Film Award from Liege Film Critics Circle, both 1977, both for Rue Haute"; Humanitarian Motion Picture Award, 1981, for High Street. Honorary board of directors, Gay American Leaders.
(With Andre Ernotte) High Street (screenplay; released as Rue Haute, 1976; released in United States as High Street, 1978), Avon (New York, NY), 1977.
(With Andre Ernotte) Attention Fragile (play), first produced in Paris at St. George's Theater, 1980.
(With Andre Ernotte) The Music Keeper (play), first produced in New York at South Street Theater, 1982.
(With Andre Ernotte) Alyce through the Computer Screen (television musical comedy special), first broadcast by RTB-TV, 1984.
Knock on Woodstock: The Uproarious, Uncensored Story of the Woodstock Festival, the Gay Man Who Made It Happen, and How He Earned His Ticket to Freedom, Festival Books (New York, NY), 1994.
(With Tom Monte) Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life, Square One Publishers (Garden City Park, NY), 2007.
Also author, with Andre Ernotte, of play Who Is Making Money on a Dead Whore?, first produced in Antwerp, Belgium, and of Improv Theatre, first produced at National Theater. Author of more than thirty comedy revues for White Lake Summer Theater, 1959-69; author of comedy specials for the Belgian program Sketch-Up, on RTB-TV. Scriptwriter for Bruxinter Films, under seventy-four pseudonyms.
Taking Woodstock was adapted to feature film, directed by Ang Lee, 2008.
A prolific screenwriter, Elliot Tiber recounts his role in facilitating the historic 1969 rock concert in the memoir Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life. At that time Tiber, a closeted middle-aged gay man, was helping his parents run a failing motel in upstate New York. News of the planned concert piqued his interest, and he signed on to help make the event happen. He untangled miles of administrative and logistical red tape and, in the process of managing the concert, came out to his parents about his sexuality.
A writer for Publishers Weekly found the book a "very human story," particularly in its "affecting side chapters" on Tiber's encounters with leading artists such as Robert Mapplethorpe. But Daniel A. Burr, writing in Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, gave a less positive assessment. In Burr's view, the book lacks analysis, reflection, and "solid historical or cultural perspective." Tiber's references to the likes of Mapplethorpe, Tennessee Williams, and Mark Rothko, who was Tiber's teacher at Brooklyn College, come off as "name-dropping" to Burr, who commented that "having partied with the famous is not the same thing as having something interesting to say about them." Noting also that Tiber embellishes memories and makes himself the center of every incident in the book, Burr nevertheless conceded that, about Woodstock, Tiber has "quite a story to tell." A writer for Kirkus Reviews enjoyed the book's behind-the-scenes accounts, concluding that Tiber's tale is "worth hearing."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Advocate, September, 6, 1994, review of Knock on Woodstock: The Uproarious, Uncensored Story of the Woodstock Festival, the Gay Man Who Made It Happen, and How He Earned His Ticket to Freedom, p. 72.
Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, January 1, 2008, Daniel A. Burr, review of Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life, p. 39.
Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2007, review of Taking Woodstock.
Lambda Book Report, November, 1994, review of Knock on Woodstock, p. 46.
Publishers Weekly, July 11, 1994, review of Knock on Woodstock, p. 76; June 11, 2007, review of Taking Woodstock, p. 50.
Elliot Tiber Home Page,http://www.elliottiber.com (June 11, 2008).
Foreword,http://www.forewordmagazine.com/ (June 11, 2008), Bob Blaisdell, review of Taking Woodstock.