Colin Callender is an award-winning theatre, television and film producer who founded the New York and London production company Playground in 2012.
Playground’s recent Broadway productions include: Nora Ephron’s Tony nominated Lucky Guy directed by George C. Wolfe starring Tom Hanks in his Broadway debut, Harvey Fierstein’s Tony-nominated Casa Valentina directed by Joe Mantello, the Tony Award-winning revival of musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Jez Butterworth’s The River directed by Ian Rickson starring Hugh Jackman, Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford’s critically-acclaimed production of Macbeth at The Park Avenue Armory in New York, and the Tony Award-winning new musical Dear Evan Hansen.
Television productions include: the award-winning six-part BBC miniseries Wolf Hall directed by Peter Kosminsky starring Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis and Claire Foy, Richard Eyre’s acclaimed adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser for the BBC starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins, Kenneth Lonergan’s award-winning adaptation of EM Forster’s Howards End for the BBC and Starz, Heidi Thomas’s adaptation of Little Women for the BBC and Masterpiece on PBS, and Richard Eyre’s acclaimed adaptation of King Lear starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson for BBC and Amazon Prime Video.
Callender began his career as stage manager at London’s Royal Court Theatre working with David Hare and Sam Shepard. He won an Emmy for his work as producer of the television adaptation of the RSC’s The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby for Channel 4, a Tony Award for Hedwig and the Angry Inch and a Golden Globe and a BAFTA award for Wolf Hall. As the long-time president of HBO Films, he was responsible for an unprecedented award-winning slate of movies and miniseries, including Mike Nichols’ celebrated adaptation of Angels in America starring Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson, and Gus van Sant’s Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner, Elephant. Callender is a Trustee of the New York Public Theater and the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He received a knighthood in the Queen’s 2016 New Year’s Honours list for his services to British film, theatre and television in the US.