On Broadway, he directed Richard III with Al Pacino, and The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, for which Mr. Pacino won the Tony Award for Best Actor. Regional theatres include the Guthrie Theatre, Alley Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Arizona Theatre Company, Pittsburgh Playhouse, and the Charles de Rochefort Theatre in Paris, where he directed the French premiere of Edward Albee's The Zoo Story.
As the artistic director of the Theatre Company of Boston (TCB) from 1963 to 75, Mr. Wheeler directed over eighty productions. Among these were ten by Pinter, seven by Brecht, five by Albee, nine by Beckett, two by O'Neill, and numerous works by new writers such as Ed Bullins, Jeffrey Bush, John Hawkes, Adrienne Kennedy, and Sam Shepard. Through these productions and others, he helped to launch the careers of then-unknown actors including Paul Benedict, Larry Bryggman, John Cazale, Stockard Channing, Blythe Danner, Robert DeNiro, Robert Duvall, Hector Elizondo, Spalding Gray, Paul Guilfoyle, Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Jon Voight, Ralph Waite, and James Woods. His film The Local Stigmatic (with Mr. Pacino)—adapted from the play by Heathcote Williams—was presented at the Montreal Film Festival and screened at the Whitney Museum and the MOMA. It will be released in 2006.
Mr. Wheeler's honors include the Elliot Norton Award for his work on Misalliance, the St. Botolph Club Foundation's Award for Distinction in the Performing Arts, and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Award. He has taught and directed at Harvard University, Boston University, MIT, Brandeis, Barnard, Colorado College, and Circle-in-the-Square. He has directed student productions at U.N.C. Chapel Hill, U.C. Irvine and Long Beach, and Évora, Portugal. After receiving his masters at Harvard, Mr. Wheeler trained with José Quintero in New York during the great "O'Neill years" of the 1950's.