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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 76)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Playwright
Nationality American
Alma mater Georgetown University,
Yale School of Drama
Period 1964–present
Notable work(s) 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.[citation needed]

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.[1] 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. ^ 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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951 videos foundNext > 

John Guare, Playwright of Six Degrees of Separation

Interview with Six Degrees of Separation Playwright, John Guare.

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


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

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, m...

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". Subscribe to the all-new The New Yorker channel here: http://www.youtube....

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 ...

THE HOUSE OF BLUE LEAVES by John Guare - theatre tcu

A look at Theatre TCU's production of John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves, directed by T. J. Walsh. The Buschman Theatre.

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/dig...

Executive Artistic Director Talks About Rich and Famous by John Guare

One of "the world's oldest living promising young playwrights," Bing Ringling's 844th script is finally about to be produced, bringing Bing dreams of being, ...

Six Degrees of Separation by John Guare Presented by FAU Theatre

Join us for the first play of the 2010-2011 school year! John Guare's "Six Degrees of Separation" is inspired by a real-life con artist who shows up on the d...

951 videos foundNext > 

23 news items

Boston Herald

Boston Herald
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:26:15 -0700

It was just an incredible time with John Guare, Israel Horovitz, Lanford Wilson, Sam Shepard and all of that. The actors were there to serve these new plays and the new playwriting and all of that. So that's all a way of saying that I am totally ...

The National

The National
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 04:04:14 -0700

“We rediscovered shadow-making in 2007 when we made an advert for Hyundai,” says Kubovy, who joined the company in 2004, who after working with theatres in Germany and Sweden, directing plays by John Guare and was the co-director of the 2002 ...
The Denver Post
Sat, 19 Jul 2014 23:10:52 -0700

The Lakewood theater has seven other nominations, most for McDonagh's bitter pill of a dramedy and two for the company's reprise of John Guare's "House of Blue Leaves." Mom Jen (Megan Van De Hey) and son John (Casey Andree) have a complicated ...
The Villager
Thu, 17 Jul 2014 09:41:15 -0700

Heide tells us he's received a number of congratulatory e-mails and calls, including from no less than Terrence McNally, John Guare, Edward Albee and the Actors Studio, to name just a few. Heide also distributed our June 26 issue containing his article ...

Edmonton Journal (blog)

Edmonton Journal (blog)
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:49:20 -0700

... followed in November by The Maggie Now cycle at Workshop West, at the Westbury Theatre in the ATB Financial Arts Barns. Walterdale's production of the fascinating John Guare play Six Degrees of Separation, based on a real-life story, runs in December.

CBS News

CBS News
Sun, 20 Jul 2014 04:26:15 -0700

"I happened at that time to be dealing with plays by John Guare, Israel Horovitz, Sam Shepherd, Lanford Wilson, some of the great playwrights that we had at that time. Combining that with a wonderful group of actors, for me it was playing grown-up a ...
The Australian
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 07:07:37 -0700

In some respects, including the appreciation of art and dialogue, Words and Pictures is reminiscent of Schepisi's 1993 adaptation of John Guare's stage play Six Degrees of Separation (starring a young Will Smith). Schepisi does not dive into visual art ...

Rochester City Newspaper

Rochester City Newspaper
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 22:26:15 -0700

Several Caffé Cino writers went on to win Tony Awards and Pulitzer Prizes, including John Guare ("Six Degrees of Separation"), Sam Shepard ("True West"), and Lanford Wilson ("Talley's Folly" and "The Hot L Baltimore"). Caffé Cino even transferred a hit ...

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