Scope and Contents
The bulk of the collection consists of production files for the many stage and screenplays authored by Guare. These production files include draft scripts, correspondence, and publicity materials. The papers shed light on his creative process and the stage production of his works.
Conditions Governing Access
Box 58 (financial papers): Restricted until January 1, 2085. For further information consult the appropriate curator.
Boxes 131, 133 (computer disks): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Boxes 64, 130 (audiovisual materials): Restricted fragile material. Reference copy may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
July 2012 Acquisition: Purchased from George Robert Minkoff Inc. on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, the Adele Gutman Nathan Theatrical Collection Fund, the Bradford F. and Lila L. Swan Fund, and various other funds, 2012. For more information consult the appropriate curator.
July 2015 Acquisition: Purchased from George Robert Minkoff Inc. on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2015.
111.23 Linear Feet (132 boxes)
Language of Materials
Guare's plays are characterized as highly theatrical, exploring the bizarre and comic sides of human relationships and desires. Their settings are varied, including several based in nineteenth-century America. He has also been involved in musical theatre. Since his initial success in 1971, Guare has worked steadily and successfully.
The 1986 Broadway revival of The House of Blue Leaves won Guare four Tony Awards. His Six Degrees of Separation (1990) won an Obie Award, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, London’s Olivier Award for Best Play, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. It was turned into a film in 1993. Two Gentlemen of Verona was revived in 2005 at the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park and Guare won (again sharing with Mel Shapiro) the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical.
Guare's other plays include Rich and Famous (1974); Landscape of the Body, for which he also wrote the songs (1977); Marco Polo Sings a Solo (1977); Bosoms and Neglect (1979); Lydie Breeze (1982); Gardenia (1982); The Race to Urga (1986); Women and Water (1990); Four Baboons Adoring the Sun (1992); Lake Hollywood (1999); Chaucer in Rome, sequel to The House of Blue Leaves (2001); and A Few Stout Individuals (2002). He also wrote the screenplay for Louis Malle's film Atlantic City (1980), for which he was nominated for an Oscar.
In addition to his work as a playwright, Guare is an influential leader in other areas of theatre. He was a founding member in 1965 of the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center in Waterford, Connecticut and was a Resident Playwright at the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1976. He currently teaches at the Yale School of Drama, co-produces the New Plays Reading Room Series at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts, is a council member of the Dramatists Guild, and a co-editor of the Lincoln Center Theater Review. Other awards include the Award of Merit from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Awards for Drama.
This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and in some instances minimal organization.
As a rule, descriptive information found in the Collection Contents section is drawn in large part from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
- Guide to the John Guare Papers
- by Beinecke staff
- July 2013
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
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