John Patrick Shanley is an American playwright, screenwriter, and director. He won the 1988 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the film Moonstruck. In 2005 he was awarded the prestiges Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his film Doubt Starring Meryl Streep and Philipp Seymour Hoffman. He is one of the more prominent modern playwrights who’s work is worked on by actors in drama schools all over the world. We love us some John Patrick Shanley and below is our list of the best John Patrick Shanley plays.
Doubt: A parable
Doubt, A Parable is a 2004 play by John Patrick Shanley. Originally staged off-Broadway on November 23, 2004. The play is set in the fictional St. Nicholas Church School, in the Bronx, during the fall of 1964 where a strong-minded woman wrestles with conscience and uncertainty as she is faced with concerns about one of her male colleagues. The play won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play.
Danny And The Deep Blue Sea
A heartbreaking love story about Danny and Roberta who discover each other in a Bronx dive bar while each seeking refuge from society. Damaged and broken, they spark up a conversation over a beer which ultimately results in them spending a night together.
Italian American Reconciliation
Italian American Reconciliation premiered Off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 1988. Set in Little Italy in lower Manhattan we enter the lives of Aldo’s lovesick friend, Huey, his current girlfriend, Teresa, and his ex-wife, Janice. Huey Maximilian Bonfigliano has a problem: While he is safely divorced from his shrewish first wife, Janice, who shot his dog and even took a bead on him, he feels he cannot regain his “manhood” until he woos and wins her one more time—if only to put his broken marriage behind him once and for all. He enlists the aid of his lifelong buddy, Aldo Scalicki, a confirmed bachelor who tries, without apparent success, to convince Huey that he would be better off sticking with his new lady friend, Teresa, a usually placid young waitress whose indignation flares when she learns what Huey is up to.
The Dreamer Examines His Pillow
Tommy and Donna recently broke up but still want to be with each other. Donna is enraged because Tommy, a would-be artist, is now having an affair with her younger sister. Donna then enlists her father to go to Tommy and force him to marry her which leads to a truce through a wild discussion about art and women.
A 17-year-old boy from the Bronx suddenly finds himself in a private school in New Hampshire. He’s violent, gifted, alienated, and on fire with a ferocious loneliness. Two faculty members wrestle with the dilemma: Is the kid a star or a disaster? A passionate, explosive portrait of a young man on the verge of salvation or destruction.
Outside Mullingar ran on broadway in 2014 and is a compassionate, delightful work about how it’s never too late to take a chance on love. Set in the Midlands of Ireland, and involves two farmers, Anthony and Rosemary, who live next to each other. Rosemary has been romantically interested in Anthony her entire life. Anthony, who is shy and unaware of Rosemary’s feelings, dislikes farming, so his father intends to leave the farm to a nephew.
Savage In Limbo
Savage Limbo is a 198 play that follows the tragic lives of a group of losers who frequent a seedy Bronx bar. They have empty lives but they talk about changing for the better. Tony and Linda (who have two children although unwed) question their relationship. “All of them are 32 years old and they can hear the clock ticking with little to show for their dead end lives of not-so-quiet desperation.
Women Of Manhattan
Women of Manhattan premiered Off-Broadway at the City Center Theater on May 26, 1986. The play revolves around the lives of three women who are living in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Rhonda has recently split with her boyfriend, Billie is married, and Judy often unknowingly dates men who turn out to be gay.
We hope you enjoy this list of John Patrick Plays. you can also check out our exclusive podcast with the one and only John Patrick Shanley below where we discuss many of his great plays mentioned above.