Thursday, November 14, 2019

Q: Can you give me your biography?

Author, illustrator, animator, and playwright Mo Willems is best known for his #1 New York Times bestselling picture books, which have been awarded three Caldecott Honors, two Theodor Geisel Medals, and five Geisel Honors.

Mo began his career as a writer and animator on PBS’ Sesame Street, where he garnered six Emmy Awards (writing). Other television work includes two series on Cartoon Network: Sheep in the Big City (creator and head writer) and Codename: Kids Next Door (head writer).  

Willems is the inaugural Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence.  During his two-year term, Mo will write, produce, and collaborate in creating fun new stuff involving classical music, jazz experiences, comedy concerts, dance, painting, and digital works with the National Symphony Orchestra, Ben Folds, Jason Moran, and others. 

His art has been exhibited around the world, including major solo retrospectives at the High Museum in Atlanta and the New-York Historical Society.

Mo’s papers reside at Yale University’s Beinecke Library.  

Over the last decade, Willems has become the most produced playwright of Theater for Young Audiences in America thanks to the popularity of the theatrical adaptations Knuffle Bunny: a Cautionary MusicalElephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play!,  Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: the Rock Experience, and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical!).  

--> Mo lives in Massachusetts with his family.