David Rabe Biography (1940-)

Full name, David William Rabe; born March 10, 1940, in Dubuque, IA; son of William (a teacher and meat packer) and Ruth (a department store worker; maidenname, McCormick) Rabe; married Elizabeth Pan (a laboratory technician), 1969(divorced); married Jill Clayburgh (an actress), March, 1979; children: (first marriage) Jason; (second marriage) one daughter. Career: Writer. New Haven Register, New Haven, CT, feature writer, 1969-70; Villanova University, Villanova, PA, assistant professor, 1970-72, consultant, 1972--. Military service: U.S. Army, 1965-67. Member: Philadelphia RugbyClub. Awards, Honors: Rockefeller grant, 1967; Associated Press Awardfor journalism, 1970; Obie Award, playwriting, Village Voice, Drama Desk Award, most promising playwright, Variety Critics Poll, and Elizabeth Hull/Kate Warriner Award, Dramatists Guild, all 1971, for The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel; Elizabeth Hull/Kate Warriner Award, 1971, for Streamers; Outer Critics Circle Award and New York Drama Critics Citation, both 1971, and Antoinette Perry Award, best play, 1972, all for Sticks and Bones; Academy- Institute Award for Literature, American Academy and Instituteof Arts and Letters, 1974; Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best play, 1974, for In the Boom Boom Room; Guggenheim fellowship, 1976; Drama DeskAward, outstanding new play, and New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, best American play, both 1976, and Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best play, 1977, all for Streamers; Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best play, 1985, for Hurlyburly. Addresses: Agent: Ellen Neuwald, Inc., 905West End Ave., New York, NY 10025.

Birth Details
March 10, 1940
Dubuque, Iowa, United States

Famous Works

  • Film Work
  • Executive producer, I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can, Paramount, 1982
  • Stage Work
  • Director, Hurlyburly, Westwood Playhouse, Los Angeles, 1989
  • Director, Those the River Keeps, Promenade Theatre, New York City,1994
  • Plays
  • Sticks and Bones, produced at Varsey Theatre, Villanova University, Villanova, PA, 1969, then New York Shakespeare Festival, Anspacher Theatre,New York City, 1971, later John Golden Theatre, New York City, 1972 and London, 1978 published by Samuel French (New York City), 1972 and with The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, Viking (New York City), 1973
  • The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, produced at New York Shakespeare Festival, Newman Stage, Public Theatre, New York City, 1971 published withSticks and Bones, Viking, 1973
  • The Orphan, produced at New York Shakespeare Festival, Anspacher Theatre, 1973
  • In the Boom Boom Room, produced as Boom Boom Room, Vivian Beaumont Theatre, New York City, 1973 then Theatre at Lincoln Center, New YorkCity, 1974 later London, 1976 revised version, New York City, 1986 publishedby Knopf (New York City), 1975 revised version, Grove (New York City), 1986
  • Burning (reading), produced at Martinson Hall, New York City, 1974
  • Streamers, produced at Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, CT, 1976 then Mitzi Newhouse Theatre, New York City, 1976 later London, 1978 published byKnopf, 1977
  • Goose and Tomtom, produced at Newman Stage, Public Theatre, 1982 then Open Fist Theatre, Los Angeles, 1993 published by Grove, 1987
  • Hurlyburly, produced at Goodman Studio, Chicago, IL, 1984 then Promenade Theatre, 1984 and Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York City, 1984-85
  • Those the River Keeps, produced at McCarter Theatre, Princeton, NJ, 1991 then Promenade Theatre, 1994 published by Grove Weidenfeld, 1991
  • Crossing Guard, 1994
  • A Question of Mercy (based on an essay by Richard Selzer), produced off- Broadway, 1997
  • The Dog Problem,, produced at the Atlantic Theater Company, NY, 2001.
  • Also author of The Crossing (one-act).
  • Screenplays
  • I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can, Paramount, 1982
  • Streamers (adapted from his play), United Artists, 1983
  • Casualties of War (based on the article by Daniel Lang), Columbia,1989
  • (With Dennis McIntyre) State of Grace, Orion, 1990
  • (With Robert Towne and David Rayfiel) The Firm (adapted from the novel by John Grisham), Paramount, 1993
  • Hurlyburly (adapted from his play), Fine Line Features, 1998
  • In the Boom Boom Room (adapted from his play), 1999
  • Novels
  • Recital of the Dog, Grove, 1993
  • The Crossing Guard (novelization of the screenplay by Sean Penn),Hyperion Press (Westport, CT), 1995

Further Reference


    • Kolin, Philip C., David Rabe: A Stage History and a Primary and Secondary Bibliography, Garland Publishing (New York City), 1988.
    • Zinman, Toby Silverman, editor, David Rabe: A Casebook, Garland Publishing, 1991.
    • American Theatre, July 1997, p. 22.
    • New Yorker, February 7, 1994, pp. 32-34.*

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