HOROVITZ, ISRAEL (1939– ), U.S. playwright and screen writer. Born in Wakefield, Mass., Horovitz in 1965 became the first American playwright-in-residence for England's prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company. He burst on the New York scene in 1967 with four one-act plays and received acclaim the following year for The Indian Wants the Bronx which introduced Al Pacino to Broadway and won several awards. A prolific writer, Horovitz followed this success with a number of plays including Rats (1968); Trees (1969); Acrobats (1970); Line (1971); Leader (1972); The Honest-to-God Schnozzola (1971); Shooting Gallery (1973); The Primary English Class (1970); and The Reason We Eat (1977). In 1970 his screenplay for the film, The Strawberry Statement, won the Prix de Jury at the Cannes Film Festival. His film 3 Weeks after Paradise (2002) and his play Speaking Well of the Dead (2002) are responses to the attack on the World Trade Center.
His later work was more experimental in form and style, with deep character introspection and incidents of mental disorientation. In general he wrote ensemble pieces rather than star vehicles, and his work exhibited a profound social commitment.
L. Kane (ed.), Israel Horovitz: A Collection of Critical Essays (1994).