Theatre, Film, and Television Biographies
Holly Fulger to Joanna McClelland Glass
Jean Genet Biography (1910-1986)
Born December 10, 1910, in Paris, France; died of throat cancer, in a hotel in Paris, April 14, 1986; son of Gabrielle Genet.
CTFT notes from Jean Genet's published obituaries in The New York Times and Variety that he was abandoned by his mother and had never known his father. Hewas raised by peasant foster parents and was sent to a reformatory for thievery. He became a vagabond and was arrested for various crimes, spending timein and out of prisons in Europe. He began writing on brown paper bags while in prison which eventually came to the attention of Jean Cocteau, who helped arrange publication. His writings deal with the darker side of the human spirit, exploring sexual deviance and political power. Many of his plays were censored, and his screenplay Un Chant d'amour, when shown in New York, led to police action and the closing of the theatre where it was shown. Jean Cocteau dubbed him "the black prince of French literature." Genet himself commented onhis work and life, "Abandoned by my family, I found it natural to aggravate this fact by the love of males, and that love by stealing, and stealing by crime, or complicitly with crime. Thus I decisively repudiated a world that hasrepudiated me."
- Birth Details
- December 10, 1910
- Paris, France
- Death Details
- April 14, 1986
- Paris, France
- PLAYS,PRODUCED Les Bonnes (The Maids), first produced at Theatre Athenee,Paris, 1947, first U.S. production at the Tempo Playhouse, NY, 1955, many regional U.S. productions, published by Pauvert, translation by Bernard Frechtman, with introduction by Jean-Paul Sartre, 1954.
- Haute Surveillance (Deathwatch), first produced at Theatre des Mathurins,Paris, France, 1949, first U.S. production at the Theatre East, NY, 1958, published by Gallimard, 1949, English translation by Bernard Frechtman, Faber,1961.
- Le Balcon (The Balcony), first produced at the London Arts Theatre Club,1957, first U.S. production at the Circle in the Square, NY, 1960, many U.S.regional productions, including, American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge, MA, 1986, English translation by Bernard Frechtman, Faber, 1957, Grove Press, 1958, revised edition, 1960.
- Les Negres: Clownerie (The Blacks: A Clown Show), first produced at the Theatre de Lutece, Paris, 1959, first U.S. production at St.
- Mark's Playhouse, NY, 1961, published by M. Barbezat, 1958, translation by Bernard Frechtman as The Blacks: A Clown Show, Grove Press, 1960.
- Les Paravents (The Screens), first produced at Schlosspark Theatre, WestBerlin, Germany, 1961, first U.S. production at the Chelsea Theatre Company at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, NY, 1971, published by M. Barbezat, 1961, translation by Frechtman, Grove Press, 1962.
- Notre-Dame-des-Fleurs (Our Lady of the Flowers), limited edition published by L'Arbalete, 1943, revised edition by Gallimard, Paris, 1951, translatedby Bernard Frechtman, Morihien, Paris, 1949, and with introduction by Jean-Paul Sartre, by Grove Press, 1963.
- Miracle de la rose (Miracle of the Rose), Arbaltet, 1946, second edition,1956, translation by Frechtman, published by Blond, 1965 and Grove Press, 1966.
- Querelle de Brest, privately printed, 1947, translation by Gregory Streathem, Blond, 1966.
- Pompes funebres (Funeral Rites), privately printed, 1947, revised edition, 1948, translation by Frecthman, Grove Press, 1969.
- Poemes, privately printed by Arbalete, 1948, second edition, 1962.
- Journal du voleur (The Thief's Journal), Gallimard, 1949, translation byFrechtman, Olympia Press, 1954.
- Letters to Roger Blin: Reflections on the Theatre, 1969.
- Chants secrets, privately printed, 1944.
- Un Chant d'Amour (Love Song).
- Mademoiselle, 1966.
Writings;PLAYS ADAPTED TO FILM
- The Balcony, Continental, 1963.
- Deathwatch, 1965.
- The Maids, AFT, 1975.
March 28, 2005: Genet's play The Maids was staged in New York at the Chocolate Factory Theater in a production directed by Michele Chivu. Source:
New York Times, www.nytimes.com, March 28, 2005.
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