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John Guare
John Guare at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg
Guare at the 2009 premiere of PoliWood
Born (1938-02-05) February 5, 1938 (age 77)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Playwright
Nationality American
Alma mater Georgetown University,
Yale School of Drama
Period 1964–present
Notable works The House of Blue Leaves; Six Degrees of Separation

John Guare (rhymes with "air"; born February 5, 1938) is an American playwright. He is best known as the author of The House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation, and Landscape of the Body. His style, which mixes comic invention with an acute sense of the failure of human relations and aspirations, is at once cruel and deeply compassionate.

In the foreword to a collection of Guare's plays, film director Louis Malle writes:

Guare practices a humor that is synonymous with lucidity, exploding genre and clichés, taking us to the core of human suffering: the awareness of corruption in our own bodies, death circling in. We try to fight it all by creating various mythologies, and it is Guare's peculiar aptitude for exposing these grandiose lies of ours that makes his work so magical.[1]

Early life[edit]

Guare was born in New York City and raised in Jackson Heights, Queens. He was raised a Roman Catholic, but is apparently now a lapsed Catholic.[2] He was educated at St. John's Preparatory School and Georgetown University (BA, 1960), where in 1958 he contributed a song to an original musical revue entitled The Natives Are Restless and presented by the Mask and Bauble Dramatic Society. The song humorously attributed the success of many famous people to the syllable "O" in their names. Under the direction of Donn B. Murphy, his play The Toadstool Boy, about a country singer's quest for fame, won first place in the District of Columbia Recreation Department's One-Act-Play competition.

In 1960, the Mask and Bauble presented The Thirties Girl, a musical for which Guare did the book, much of the music and the lyrics, again under Murphy's tutelage. Set in Hollywood's turbulent 1920s, it dealt with the dethronement of a reigning diva by a fresh-faced starlet. Guare went on to the Yale School of Drama (MFA, 1963).


Guare's early plays, mostly comic one-acts exhibiting a flair for the absurd, include To Wally Pantoni, We Leave a Credenza (1964), Muzeeka (1968), and Cop-Out (1968). The House of Blue Leaves (1971), a domestic drama by turns wildly comic and despairingly poignant, moved Guare into the front ranks of American dramatists. Chaucer in Rome, a sequel to The House of Blue Leaves, received its world premiere at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in July 1999 and later enjoyed a production in New York by Lincoln Center Theater.

Later plays include Marco Polo Sings a Solo, Bosoms and Neglect, Moon Over Miami, Six Degrees of Separation, and Four Baboons Adoring the Sun. Lake Hollywood and A Few Stout Individuals (2002) both received their world premieres at Signature Theatre. Six Degrees of Separation (1990), an intricately plotted comedy of manners about an African-American confidence man who poses as the son of film star Sidney Poitier, has been the most highly praised and widely produced of Guare's full-length plays. It was made into a film in 1993.

Guare’s cycle of plays on nineteenth-century America, Gardenia, Lydie Breeze and Women and Water, has been performed in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C., London and Australia. A Few Stout Individuals returns to nineteenth century America, with a cast that includes Ulysses S. Grant, Mark Twain, soprano Adelina Patti and the Emperor and Empress of Japan. These historic dramas investigate the violence at the root of American identity and the failure of utopian aspirations.

Guare has also been involved with musical theatre. His libretto with Mel Shapiro for the musical Two Gentlemen of Verona was a success when it premiered in 1971 and was revived in 2005 at the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park. It won the two men the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical. He wrote the songs for Landscape of the Body. Guare wrote narration for '"Psyche,"' a tone poem by César Franck, which premiered at Avery Fisher Hall in October 1997, conducted by Kurt Masur with the New York Philharmonic. In 1999, he revised the book of the Cole Porter musical comedy, Kiss Me, Kate for its Broadway revival. He also wrote the book for the Broadway musical Sweet Smell of Success (musical).

Guare wrote the screenplay for Louis Malle's film Atlantic City (1980), for which he was nominated for an Oscar.

He was a founding member in 1965 of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut and Resident Playwright at the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1976. He is a council member of the Dramatists Guild, co-editor of the Lincoln Center Theater Review, co-produces the New Plays Reading Room Series at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts and teaches in the Playwriting department at the Yale School of Drama.


All dramas for the stage unless otherwise noted.

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ John Guare. Three Exposures. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982. ISBN 9780151901784. Page viii.
  2. ^ http://www.adherents.com/people/pg/John_Guare.html

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Guare — Please support Wikipedia.
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2109 videos foundNext > 


John Guare, Playwright of Six Degrees of Separation

Interview with Six Degrees of Separation Playwright, John Guare.

John Guare, Neil Pepe & Omar Sangare discuss 3 Kinds of Exile

The Atlantic Theater Company and Strand Bookstore join forces again to present John Guare, Neil Pepe, and Omar Sangare in conversation on 3 Kinds of Exile, moderated by Christian Parker. 3...


Premieres MARCH 4th, 2013 on HBO: Tony award-winning playwright John Guare explores Rome, Italy with four aspiring playwrights as he helps them discover their writing voice.

Hilton Als talks with Edie Falco and John Guare - Conversations - The New Yorker

Hilton Als talks with Edie Falco and John Guare about the current Broadway staging of his play “The House of Blue Leaves”. Watch The New Yorker on The Scene: http://thescene.com Subscribe...

Duologue - John Guare & Peter Shaffer pt. 1 of 9

About the Arts: John Guare, Albert Innaurato, 1977

Interviewer: Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Part of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Video Archive in the Duke University Libraries: http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/dsva/

Are You There, McPhee? - John Guare

A Nantucket house with a mysterious past. A pair of abandoned children. An 11 pound lobster. Master playwright John Guare (House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation) takes us on an epic...

"The House of Blue Leaves" by John Guare on Broadway

30 TV commercial with John Mahoney and Swoosie Kurtz.

Duologue - John Guare & Peter Shaffer p. 2 of 9

2109 videos foundNext > 

1538 news items

Wicked Local Norwell
Fri, 24 Apr 2015 14:00:47 -0700

Planning an event? Send your event information by email to scalendar@wickedlocal.com or by fax to 781-837-4543. Listings must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event. Insert town where event is happening in subject line. Email photos as a ...
Wicked Local Kingston
Thu, 23 Apr 2015 02:15:11 -0700

The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. 4 The Bay Players community theater organization will present John Guare's farce comedy, “The House of Blue Leaves,” at 8 p.m. April 24-25, at First Parish Church, 842 Tremont St. (Route 3A) in Duxbury.

cleveland.com (blog)

cleveland.com (blog)
Thu, 23 Apr 2015 14:33:45 -0700

Kent State University. Center for the Performing Arts' Ludwig Recital Hall, 1325 Theatre Drive 330-672-2787 or kent.edu/music. John Guare's "The House of Blue Leaves." 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. 04/24/15-04/26/15 $18; $16, KSU alumni; $14, ...

The Register-Guard

The Register-Guard
Wed, 15 Apr 2015 15:39:38 -0700

The Yale Drama Series Prize is given out annually for a play by an emerging playwright, picked by an established writer. This year's judge was British playwright Nicholas Wright. Former judges have included Edward Albee, David Hare and John Guare.

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune
Mon, 20 Apr 2015 08:43:14 -0700

Victoria Jaiani (from left), choreographer Justin Peck and Yoshi Arai at the Joffrey Ballet studios in rehearsal for "New Works" for spring 2015. Victoria Jaiani (from left), choreographer Justin Peck and Yoshi Arai at the Joffrey Ballet studios in ...


Wed, 15 Apr 2015 06:52:30 -0700

The O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference has set the 2015 slate of plays to be showcased in developmental readings this summer, lining up eight titles including new works by Steven Sater (“Spring Awakening”) and Wendy MacLeod ...


Thu, 16 Apr 2015 17:00:33 -0700

Its two smaller houses, the Mitzi Newhouse below ground and the tiny Claire Tow above, consistently show off some of the best new work by young and established playwrights from Ayad Akhtar to Sarah Ruhl and John Guare. And while there aren't enough ...

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Mon, 06 Apr 2015 12:07:30 -0700

This year's honorees were the famed Author John Guare, Dr. Robert J. Campbell and Cesare L. Santeramo. This ceremony was hosted by the organization Elysium-Between Two Continents. According to a proclamation by Mayor Bill de Blasio, “The rich ...

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