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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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2302 videos foundNext > 

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

John Guare, Playwright of Six Degrees of Separation

Interview with Six Degrees of Separation Playwright, John Guare.


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...

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...

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...

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.

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 Landscape of the Body" by John Guare

For audition use only, no copyright infringement intended.

Duologue - John Guare & Peter Shaffer pt 3 of 9

Executive Artistic Director Talks About Rich and Famous by John Guare

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55 news items

Broadway World
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:37:30 -0700

The Irish Repertory Theatre continues the eighth season of its Reading Series with John McManus's play The Quare Land, which will be read by Kelly AuCoin (The Call, Julius Caesar) and Peter Maloney (Outside Mullingar, John Guare's Three Kinds of Exile) ...
New York Times
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:11:15 -0700

Thirty-three writers — including Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, Jules Feiffer, John Guare, Paddy Chayefsky, Lillian Hellman, Stephen Sondheim and at least one black playwright, Ed Bullins — rose to Mr. Dean's defense, condemning the protest in a ...


Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:07:30 -0700

John Guare interviews the two Hart children for LCTR. Christopher and Catherine get into some very personal matters, such as their father's extreme bouts of depression and his twice-daily visits to see the notorious psychiatrist Lawrence Kubie. Yet ...
Broadway World
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:07:30 -0700

John Guare's dark comedy The House of Blue Leaves comes to Trustus Theatre this spring. Winner of the 1971 Obie Award and Critics Award for Best Play, this script remains relevant for modern audiences as it examines the American obsession with ...
Broadway World
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 07:58:18 -0700

Playwright, John Guare has called her work "raw, haunting, richly poetic, and deeply emotional." In her new play, Virus Attacks Heart, a spilled drink in a nightclub leads to an odyssey of connection, confession, heartache and transcendence for two ...
Omaha World-Herald
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 23:00:00 -0700

She won a Tony for Lanford Wilson's “Fifth of July” in 1981; took Tony, Drama Desk and Obie Awards for John Guare's “House of Blue Leaves” in 1986; and got Tony nods for “Tartuffe,” “Heartbreak House” and “Frozen.” Her first off-Broadway role of note ...
Hartford Courant
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:07:30 -0700

Highlights include original manuscripts from seminal works in American theater such as August Wilson's “Fences” and John Guare's “House of Blue Leaves;” videos of artists including Edwin Wilson's 1988 interview with August Wilson, and remarks from ...
New York Times
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:17:01 -0700

Among those taking part are Jamaica Kincaid, Bill T. Jones, Laurie Anderson, Kathleen Chalfant, Darryl Pinckney, Toshi Reagon, John Guare and Margo Jefferson. Events include free daily readings of Baldwin's works at noon; conversations about his work ...

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