Former co-artistic director of New York City’s LAByrinth Theater Company, Stephen Adly Guirgis is a an actor and playwright who’s plays have been performed throughout the US and across 5 continents. In 2015 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Between Riverside and Crazy. The son of an Egyptian father and an Irish American mother, Guirgis grew up on New York’s Upper West Side. His plays are raw, ambitious with diverse characters exploring justice and morality. Stephen Adly Guirgis is one of our most admired contemporary playwrights and we have put together a list of his best plays. Below is a list we complied we hope you read, work on and enjoy of Stephen Adly Guirgis plays.
Best Stephen Adly Guirgis Plays
Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train
Directed by Philipp Seymour Hoffman this play premiered Off-Broadway at the East 13th Street Theatre in a production by LAByrinth Theater Company on November 29, 2000. The play takes place in a prison on Rikers Island in New York where Angel Cruz is facing murder charges for the death of a cult leader who “stole” his best friend.
The Motherfucker With The Hat
The Motherfucker with the Hat premiered at Broadway’s Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on April 11, 2011. The play addresses struggles with addiction, friendship, love, and the challenges of adulthood. Jackie is out on parole and newly sober. He is determined to start a new life with his childhood sweetheart Veronica, but her coke addiction, his slick-talking AA sponsor, and the discovery of another man’s hat in his living room all threaten to derail his tenuous progress.
Between Riverside And Crazy
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2015, Between Riverside And Crazy tell the story of Walter “Pops” Washington (retired New York City policeman) and his son Junior who has just been released from jail. Walter is pursuing a discrimination suit against the Police Department, because he was accidentally shot by another police officer. Pops, who is Black, has carried resentment about how they handled his disability compensation and the incident in general.
Our Lady Of 121st Street
A group of students return to their Harlem neighborhood to pay respects after the death of the beloved and feared teacher Sister Rose. When they arrive to the funeral home they realize—her dead body has been stolen. Stephen Adly Guirgis takes us on a rough and tumble ride, where the sacred and profane collide. Speaking to the universal themes of loss, regret, and recovery, Our Lady of 121st Street is a wonderfully funny and spiritual play.
The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot
This play was first staged Off-Broadway at The Public Theater on March 2, 2005, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman. The Last Days of Judas Iscariot tells the story of a court case over the ultimate fate of Judas Iscariot. The play uses flashbacks to an imagined childhood and lawyers who call for the testimonies of such witnesses as Mother Teresa, Caiaphas, Saint Monica, Sigmund Freud, and Satan.
In Arabia We’d All Be Kings
Set in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings follows the demise of a group of individuals who are out of work and strapped for money.The play deals primarily with issues of commercialism, hope, and friendship. The play premiered Off-Off-Broadway at Center Stage in a LAByrinth Theatre Company production on June 23, 1999.
There you have it, we hope this list of the best Stephen Adly Guirgis plays helps you with more material to read and work on!