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Jean-Claude van Itallie

JEAN-CLAUDE VAN ITALLIE

  (1936 - )

Nationality:    USA
email:    n/a     Website:    Click here

Literary Agent:    Abrams Artists Agency  

Jean-Claude van Itallie's plays including biography, theatres, agent, synopses, cast sizes, production and published dates

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below is a list of Jean-Claude van Itallie's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

        Almost Like Being         America Hurrah         Ancient Boys         Bag Lady         Balcony, The         Bang         Cherry Orchard, The         Confessions and Conversation         Early Warnings         Eat Cake         Fable, A         Fear Itself - Secrets of the White House         Final Orders         Girl and the Soldier, The         Guys Dreamin'         Harold         Hunter And the Bird, The         I'm Really Here         Interview         King Of the United States, The         Light         Master And Margarita, or, The Devil Comes To Moscow         Medea         Motel         Mother's Return, The         Mystery Play         Naropa, or the Incredibly Frustrating Adventures of a Middle-Aged University Professor on His Way to Perfect Enlightenment         Nightwalk         Paradise Ghetto         Pavane         Photographs: Mary and Howard         Pride         Rosary         Seagull, The         Serpent, The: A Ceremony         Struck Dumb         Sunset Freeway         Take A Deep Breath         Thoughts On the Instant Of Greeting A Friend On the Street         Three Sisters, The         Tibetan Book of the Dead, The; or, How Not To Do It Again         Traveler, The         TV         Uncle Vanya         War         War, Sex, and Dreams         Where Is de Queen



Almost Like Being

Synopsis:
A delightfully acerbic spoof of the unreal world of show business, and the fradulent sentiment from which it is contrived. Successfully produced on the National Educational Televison Network.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
New York    1964

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "War and Four Other Plays", Dramatists Play Service, New York, 1967   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Drama One Act

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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America Hurrah

Synopsis:
INTERVIEW. As Norman Nadel describes "Four masked, smiling interviewers interview a scrubwoman, a house painter, a banker and a lady's maid. It is commonplace and familiar enough, except that suddenly, the most innocent statements are foreboding. As the interviews progress, we are stung by the intensity and viciousness of the contest. the questioners are trying to destroy the dignity of the four clients, and the latter fight to hold their self-respect. It is never resolved. Abruptly the scene changes-a street, a subway, a psychiatrist's office, a confessional-but throughout, this compelling involvement continues. And the sense of familiarity continues as well. We are not seeing something new, except in the bizarre design of the play itself, but we are recognizing something which has been before us all the time. therein lies the shock effect of America HURRAH and its power, as well. None of it is happening to others; it is happening to us-or rather, it is recalling things that have happened to us. We are thrust into awareness. the insulation burns off, and we have no choice but to perceive." (4M, 4W). TV. As recounted by Walter Kerr of the NY Times: "In a television studio, three very normal workers glance at the monitor now and then, where busy performers with striped faces-they look like so many up-ended zebras-go through all the violent, cloying, synthetic motions that pass for companionable entertainment on the national airwaves. But there is no relation between the workers and the work; a yawning gulf, big enough to drown us all, has opened between the real concerns of real people and the imaginary concerns of our imaginary archetypes. One of the real workers nearly strangles to death on a bone in his chicken-salad sandwich. But the burly chanteuse who pours affection across the land as though she were an open fire hydrant of boundless goodwill goes right on beaming her thousand good nights. Disaster is irrelevant in a time of eternal delight." And suddenly we become aware of the desperate futility of our efforts to shield ourselves from coming to grips with what is by simulating a cozy escape into what might be. the spectacle is funny, sad and alarming, all at the same time. (4M, 4W). MOTEL. As the NY Post describes: "Three giant colorfully styled dolls, with actors within: a motel landlady on Route 666 and the guy and the blonde, more or less out of IN COLD BLOOD, who have taken a room there for the night. Nobody speaks except the landlady, and she in the excellent recorded Great Plains voice of Ruth White. While the landlady spiels 15 minutes of platitudes about the hooked rugs and self-flushing toilets and other features of her motel, guy doll and blond doll crawl and draw graffiti on doors and walls and rip or smash everything in sight. . ." to the tune of a booming rock 'n roll number, leading up to a driving, galvanizing finish. And a finish, furthermore, which not only shocks but gives pause. In a real sense we are the mindless dolls, and their actions reflect the ugly impulses which lurk in all of us-finding an outlet in actions which can only leave us feeling ashamed and concerned, and aware of the aching emptiness at the heart of our modern way of life. (3M or 3W in "doll" masks and bodies; off-stage voice).

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatists Play Service, NY,    -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Three 1 Act Plays One Act

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Ancient Boys

Synopsis:
A play about a gay artist with HIV/AIDS. "Van Itallie's hero. . .a manic, mercurial artist, embodies everything that's wonderful and horrible in New York's gay male vie de boheme, downtown style. . ." - Michael Feingold, Village Voice.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
U Of Colorado, Boulder    1991

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama. - - AIDS, full length

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Bag Lady

Synopsis:
In the words of in the New York Times this is "vintage van Itallie" a perceptive, articulate and always arresting evocation of big city life captured through the complex characterization of an itinerant "bag lady." "the play is not, as one might expect, a literal transcription from the street, but a poetic interpretation by a discerning playwright and actress." -NY Times. "What Mr. van Itallie, Ms. Chaikin, and their collaborators have in fact done is give New York City a voice and an image" -Village Voice.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
New York    1979

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatists Play Service, NY, 1979   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Drama One Act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Balcony, The

Synopsis:
the madame and VIP clients of a kinky brothel take over the country -- or do they? "Again and again we allow ourselves to be seduced by glamorous larger-than-life erotic images - political, religious, cultural, and commercial 'stars.' the more we worship these, give over our emotional centers to them, the bigger they grow while we grow smaller and our power diminishes." J-CvI

Notes:
Original Playwright - Jean Genet

1st Produced:
Cambridge, Massachusetts    1985

Organisations:
American Repertory Company

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
translation/adaptation

Parts:
Male:  7            Female:  5            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Bang

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
BANG was A production in which 29 plawrights each wrote A three minute sketch. It was A benefit because the Buildings Department made us do extensive electrical repair. It was organized by Robert (O'Connor) Patrick. the following is A list of the plawrights involved: Joyce Aaron, Anthony Bastiano, Jean Claude Van Itallie, Walter Brown, Daniel Clark, Tom Eyen, Ted Harris, Robert Heide, William Hoffman, Douglas Kahn, Donald Kavares, Bruce Kessler, H.M. Koutoukas, Leonard Melfi, Mary Mitchell, Harvey Perr, Jean Reavey, Phill Bill Niblock, Lanford Wilson, Ruth Yorck.
- La mama Website

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
3 min

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Cherry Orchard, The

Synopsis:
the action takes place at the country estate of Madame Ranevskaya, an estate famed for its beautiful cherry orchard-and soon to be sold at auction unless the delinquent taxes are paid. As the play begins Madame Ranevskaya has returned from Paris, where she has frittered away the last of her fortune on a cynical young lover, and it is soon apparent that neither she, nor her family and friends, can come to grips with the crushing reality which they must face, or truly fathom the loss which threatens them. Instead they continue to go on as if nothing had changed, and only the rich merchant Lopakhin, the nouveau riche son of a peasant, seems to realize the gravity of the situation. Ironically it is he who bids successfully for the estate and who sets his men to felling the trees as, in the bittersweet finale, Madame Ranevskaya departs again for Paris and the fragile promise of a new and perhaps better life.

Notes:
Original Playwright - Anton Chekhov

1st Produced:
New York    1977

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Grove Press, New York, 1977   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Adaptation

Parts:
Male:  9            Female:  5            Other:  extras

Further Reference:
-

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Confessions and Conversation

Synopsis:
In CONFESSIONS AND CONVERSATION, Jean-Claude van Itallie serves tea, along with ample doses of gossip, song-and-dance and homespun tales about queens, lovers, a grab bag of rotten political apples, the wild times in the 60's Off-Off-Broadway in NYC and his friend, mentor and "mama" Ellen Stewart, La MaMa's late, beloved founder and longtime artistic director.
- nytheatre.com

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Ellen StewArt Theater, La MaMa
66 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003    20 Sep 2012

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Gay, theme/character, full length

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Early Warnings

Synopsis:
In SUNSET FREEWAY, a young actress on her way to an audition is trapped in traffic. Nibbling away at a generous supply of snacks, she primps and chatters on about her life and career hopes, oblivious to the increasingly menacing reports on the car radio of an impending nuclear disaster resulting from computer error. (1 woman). In FINAL ORDERS, two astronauts soaring through space dutifully follow a prearranged daily schedule until even their brief moments of amusement seem programmed. And, just as dutifully and dispassionately, they execute orders to detonate the nuclear device entrusted to their care as they hurtle toward oblivion. (2 men).

Notes:
Early Warnings is An evening of three short plays: Bag Lady, Sunset Freeway, And Final Orders. Bag Lady is A l woman monologue. So is Sunset Freeway. Final Orders is for 2 men. So the total for Early Warnings: 2 women And 2 men.

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatists Play Service, NY, 1983   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Three Related Short Plays

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Eat Cake

Synopsis:
A biting satire in which a frowzy housewife, absorbed in her TV is visited by an eccentric rapist-whose demands are somewhat different from what might be anticipated.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Denver    1971

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Seven Short and Very Short Plays", Dramatists Play Service, New York, 1975   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Comedy One Act

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Fable, A

Synopsis:
the action begins, once upon a time, in the village of People Who Fish in the Lake, where everyone longs nostalgically for the Golden Time, when happiness and harmony reigned supreme. In quest of what has been lost the haughty king sends a traveler off in pursuit of the beast that is stifling the kingdom-a search filled with uncertainty and lurking terrors. As she progresses in her journey the traveler is beset on every side, and her task grows more complex: How will she find the beast? How will she recognize him? How will she kill him? Scenes of high humor alternate with those of dark menace as she presses on, building inexorably into a brilliant and evocative mosaic which, in the end, distills and expresses the very elements of the life force itself.

Notes:
music by Richard Peaslee. Created by members of New York's famed Open theatre

1st Produced:
New York    1975

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatists Play Service, NY, 1976   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Collaborative Piece Musical

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Fear Itself - Secrets of the White House

Synopsis:
Hilarious, harrowing, politically radical take on Bush II White House - how a cruelly dysfunctional First Family results in a cruelly dysfunctional foreign policy.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
Theater for the New City

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
farcical tragedy

Parts:
Male:  7            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Final Orders

Synopsis:
two astronauts soaring through space dutifully follow a prearranged daily schedule until even their brief moments of amusement seem programmed. And, just as dutifully and dispassionately, they execute orders to detonate the nuclear device entrusted to their care as they hurtle toward oblivion.

Notes:
in Early Warnings

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatists Play Service, NY, 1983   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
One Act

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Girl and the Soldier, The

Synopsis:
A girl sings; a soldier speaks of love and war; and a sense of the very nature of our tortured universe is poignantly evoked.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Los Angeles    1967

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Seven Short and Very Short Plays", Dramatists Play Service, New York, 1975   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Drama One Act

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Guys Dreamin'

Synopsis:
Series of monologues written and performed by Court Dorsey, Kermit Dunkelberg, and Jean-Claude van Itallie.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Art Bank, Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts    1997

Organisations:
Pilgrim Theater

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
monologues for three actors

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Harold

Synopsis:
Two doctors examine a patient (played dually by an actor and a dummy) methodically dismembering the dummy to prove that it is in the best of health.

Notes:
originally part of King of the United States

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Seven Short and Very Short Plays", Dramatists Play Service, New York, 1975   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Drama One Act

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Hunter And the Bird, The

Synopsis:
Humurous, fantastic, and yet telling in its perceptions, this brief but arresting exercise in absurdist style delights and intrigues both by what is said and what is left unsaid.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
New York    1964

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "War and Four Other Plays", Dramatists Play Service, New York, 1967   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Drama One Act

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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I'm Really Here

Synopsis:
Gay Paris, a young American tourist, a dashing Italian guide, and romance-all handled with a marvelously stylized tongue-in-cheek approach which treats the play as if it were a movie being filmed.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
New York    1964

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "War and Four Other Plays", Dramatists Play Service, New York, 1967   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Drama One Act. - - Gay, one act

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Interview

Synopsis:
As Norman Nadel describes "Four masked, smiling interviewers interview a scrubwoman, a house painter, a banker and a lady's maid. It is commonplace and familiar enough, except that suddenly, the most innocent statements are foreboding. As the interviews progress, we are stung by the intensity and viciousness of the contest. the questioners are trying to destroy the dignity of the four clients, and the latter fight to hold their self-respect. It is never resolved. Abruptly the scene changes-a street, a subway, a psychiatrist's office, a confessional-but throughout, this compelling involvement continues. And the sense of familiarity continues as well. We are not seeing something new, except in the bizarre design of the play itself, but we are recognizing something which has been before us all the time. therein lies the shock effect of America HURRAH and its power, as well. None of it is happening to others; it is happening to us-or rather, it is recalling things that have happened to us. We are thrust into awareness. the insulation burns off, and we have no choice but to perceive."

Notes:
part of American Hurrah. Aka Pavane

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "America Hurrah", Coward McCann, New York, 1967   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Fugue One Act

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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King Of the United States, The

Synopsis:
Creating a mosaic of imaginative and stylistically diverse scenes, interspersed with original songs, the author provides a close and revealing examination of our American penchant for selecting leaders who remind us as much as possible of ourselves. Sharply satiric, the action underscores not only the platitudes and tawdriness of American politics, but also the blind reflexiveness of the voters. We do, in effect, get what we deserve-and it is increasingly apparent that the line between president and king, democracy and monarchy (or even totalitarianism), has grown slimmer than we might care to contemplate.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatists Play Service, NY,    -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play with Music

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Light

Synopsis:
the sexy, witty love triangle of a king, beautiful scientist marquise, and Voltaire, the most famous man in Europe. A passionate, painful, incandescent voyage to enlightenment and revolution.

Notes:
French version, LUMIERES, Voltaire, la Mathematicienne et le Roi de Prussse. text is Available from Author;s Agent: Morgan.Jenness@abramsart.com

1st Produced:
Theater At Boston Court, Pasedena, California    2004

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Master And Margarita, or, The Devil Comes To Moscow

Synopsis:
Van Itallie's play from Mikhail Bulgakov's novel (translated by Sergei Kobiakoff) originally commissioned by Public theater, NYC. Premiered theater for the New City, NYC, 1993. "Dear to the hearts of Russians, Master and Margarita, a suppressed cult novel in Stalinist days, expresses forbidden truths with wild spirit, humanity and humor." - DPS "As one might expect, Jean-Claude van Itallie's stage adaptation of Master and Margarita keeps an audience startled and amused for a couple of hours." - NY Times. "Master and Margarita captures all the wildness, wit, and sadness of Bulgakov's work. . . there isn't a dull moment."- theater Week.

Notes:
From A translation of Bulgakov's novel by Sergei Kobiakoff

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatists Play Service, NY,    -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Adaptation

Parts:
Male:  11            Female:  2            Other:  flexible casting

Further Reference:
-

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Medea

Synopsis:
the classic tale, fiercely and simply translated, of Medea's tragic revenge for her abandonment by her husband Jason.

Notes:
Original Playwright - Euripides

1st Produced:
Kent State University, Kent, Ohio    1979

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Adaptation

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  5            Other:  2 children

Further Reference:
-

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Motel

Synopsis:
As the NY Post describes: "Three giant colorfully styled dolls, with actors within: a motel landlady on Route 666 and the guy and the blonde, more or less out of IN COLD BLOOD, who have taken a room there for the night. Nobody speaks except the landlady, and she in the excellent recorded Great Plains voice of Ruth White. While the landlady spiels 15 minutes of platitudes about the hooked rugs and self-flushing toilets and other features of her motel, guy doll and blond doll crawl and draw graffiti on doors and walls and rip or smash everything in sight. . ." to the tune of a booming rock 'n roll number, leading up to a driving, galvanizing finish. And a finish, furthermore, which not only shocks but gives pause. In a real sense we are the mindless dolls, and their actions reflect the ugly impulses which lurk in all of us-finding an outlet in actions which can only leave us feeling ashamed and concerned, and aware of the aching emptiness at the heart of our modern way of life.

Notes:
part of American Hurrah

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "America Hurrah", Coward McCann, New York, 1967   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
One Act

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  3            Other:  in "doll" masks and bodies; off-stage voice

Further Reference:
-

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Mother's Return, The

Synopsis:
This past summer director Josh Adler and two of his theatre Research Ensemble actors, Helen Nesteruk and Noelle Neglia, took an "Acting and Being" workshop in Western Massachusetts at playwright Jean-Claude van Itallie's Shantigar Foundation for theater, Meditation and Healing. Van Itallie and Adler were inspired to collaborate on a new production from van Itallie's legendary America Hurrah (to contain "Motel" and part of "Interview") plus a new play of van Itallie's, "the Mother's Return," based on van Itallie's recent political dreams. As of this writing, Adler and his company, with van Itallie, are rehearsing America Hurrah (Revisited) and the Mother's Return, a work in progress with Itallie's collaboration.
- nytheatre.com

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
La MaMa the Club
74A East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003    15 Oct 2010

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

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Mystery Play

Synopsis:
the action is set in the chic living room of a U.S. Senator, during a cocktail party. Present are the Senator; his wife; his schizophrenic bisexual son (played by two actors); a beautiful young woman who may be the son's fiancee; a rather pompous Harvard professor; a quietly efficient butler; and a lady mystery writer from next door. It is the mystery writer who holds the key to the bizarre events that follow, as she explains to the actors and the audience what will happen next and what part each character will play in the action about to follow. At the snap of her fingers each sequence begins, as this one is stabbed, that one drinks poisoned coffee, another is blown up-until only the mystery writer and the true culprit remain. But, as the "corpses" keep popping up to add to the conversation, the plot continues to thicken-providing both a delightful metaphysical spoof and a scathing assessment of the social and political hypocrisy of our disjointed times.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatists Play Service, NY, 1973   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/farce. - - Gay, theme/character full length

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Naropa, or the Incredibly Frustrating Adventures of a Middle-Aged University Professor on His Way to Perfect Enlightenment

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
Music by Steve Gorn. First done in workshop At Yale Drama School, directed by Lee Breuer, somewhere in the 70s. I didn't like what Lee did with it. Later when it was in rehearsal At theater for New City in NYC I so hated what I saw that I pulled the production before it opened. A few years later it was in rehearsal At LaMama but Again I pulled it before it opened because I didn't like what I saw. I've never done that with Any other play. I conclude that the play is greatly flawed. the only way I'd want it produced is if I were inspired to rewrite it completely.
- Jean-Claude van Itallie

1st Produced:
Unproduced    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Wordplays 1", Performing Arts Journal Publications, New York, 1980   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
short full-length play for puppets and people

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Nightwalk

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
Nightwalk was A (the last) collaborative piece by the Open theater. there were three writers -- me, Sam Shepherd, And Meg Terry but control of the piece was in the hands of the director, Joe Chaikin . I don't think I even have A full script. It was produced in NYC (in A loft?) Around 1972 or 3. That's All I can tell you.
- Jean-Claude van Itallie

1st Produced:
New York    1973

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Open theater", Drama Book Specialists, New York, 1975   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Paradise Ghetto

Synopsis:
A play about theresienstadt, the Nazi detention camp in Czechoslovakia for artists.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Actor's Alley Repertory Theatre, La., California    1987

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Drama

Parts:
Male:  13            Female:  5            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Pavane

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
aka Interview, part of America Hurrah

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
One Act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Photographs: Mary and Howard

Synopsis:
While their taped voices carry on a random, but revealing, conversation, two people regard each other silently-as still as two photographs.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Los Angeles    1969

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Seven Short and Very Short Plays", Dramatists Play Service, New York, 1975   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Drama One Act

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Pride

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
First done As part of Seven Deadly Sins

1st Produced:
Mccarter Theater, Princeton, Nj    c 1982

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Ten min

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Rosary

Synopsis:
A nun, riding home on the subway, says her Rosary-and the depth of her personal anguish is poignantly revealed.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Seven Short and Very Short Plays", Dramatists Play Service, New York, 1975   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Drama One Act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Seagull, The

Synopsis:
the setting is the estate of the wealthy Sorin, where a group of family and friends are spending the languid summer months. Included are Madame Arkadina, Sorin's sister and famous actress; her sensitive would-be-writer son, Treplyev; and the charming, successful author Trigorin. the action concerns the interweaving of their lives with the others, and all the romance, intrigue, hopes and disappointments that this life leads to. It is an absorbing and compelling tapestry and evocation of real life and real people and, ultimately, a deeply moving and revealing human experience.

Notes:
Original Playwright - Anton Chekhov

1st Produced:
Mccarter Theatre, Princeton, New Jersey    1973

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Harper, New York, 1977   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Adaptation

Parts:
Male:  7            Female:  6            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Serpent, The: A Ceremony

Synopsis:
the Boston Herald Traveler comments: "While most of the work is choreographed movement, pantomime, human sounds and music made by bells, horns, whistles, tambourines and other hand-held instruments, there is an accompanying text from the Bible and a number of speeches with contemporary sentiments. From the beginning, man searches for happiness, for self-realization and union with other men, seems to be the underlying theme. He is thwarted by violence, both from within himself and from other men. Eve is tempted by the serpent in the Garden of Eden, yields, eats the forbidden apple, tempts Adam to eat, too-and man's eternal battle begins between self-gratification and obedience to external authority. . .there is a ritual enactment of the discovery of sexual love played by the group against the intoned recital of how the descendants of Adam begat the family of man that leaves little to the imagination. It is a passionate celebration of love. Passion gives way to maternal tenderness and the celebrants grow into doddering senility. they sink slowly to the floor and collapse into sleep. A hum starts and becomes a group song. 'We were sailing along on moonlight bay. . .,' they sing, rising and moving into the aisles and up the stairs. they're smiling and their looks of love embrace the audience. they finish singing and stand there. the ceremony is completed. the SERPENT is a fascinating experience."

Notes:
Subtitled "A ceremony written by Jean-Claude van Itallie in collaboration with the Open theatre under the direction of Joseph Chaikin,"

1st Produced:
Anne Guerrieri's Teatro Del Arte, Rome    1968

Organisations:
Open Theatre ensemble

1st Published:
Athenaeum, New York, 1969   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Ceromony

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  Approximately 16 performers: minimum of 7 men, 7 women

Further Reference:
-

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Struck Dumb

Synopsis:
Born in Lebanon, the aphasic hero of "Struck Dumb" lives in Venice, California. "these words are about wonder. When an earthquake shakes the brain, and you stumble out alive, there's an odd exhilaration. . .like a baby, you begin all over again doping out the world with the intensity of a Talmudic scholar." - Dan Sullivan, LA Times.

Notes:
written by Jean-Claude van Itallie And Joseph Chaikin

1st Produced:
Taper Too, Los Angeles, Ca    1991

Organisations:
Mark Taper Forum

1st Published:
in "Best One-Act Plays:1990-1991", Applause, New York, 1991   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
monologue, 50 minutes

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Sunset Freeway

Synopsis:
a young actress on her way to an audition is trapped in traffic. Nibbling away at a generous supply of snacks, she primps and chatters on about her life and career hopes, oblivious to the increasingly menacing reports on the car radio of an impending nuclear disaster resulting from computer error.

Notes:
in Early Warnings

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatists Play Service, NY, 1983   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play One Act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Take A Deep Breath

Synopsis:
In this brief, disturbing playlet the victims of air pollution assemble their own mausoleum, while recounting the helpless horror of their demise.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Eric Bentley's Dmz Cabaret, NYC    1968

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatists Play Service, NY,    -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Drama One Act

Parts:
Male:  7            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Thoughts On the Instant Of Greeting A Friend On the Street

Synopsis:
This anti-war 8 minute play written with Sharon Thie takes you into the vividly imaginative minds of of two acquaintances who happen to meet on the street and exchange pleasantries.

Notes:
written with Sharon Thie, in Collision Course

1st Produced:

Organisations:
Open Theater

1st Published:
in "Seven Short and Very Short Plays", Dramatists Play Service, New York, 1975   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Drama 8 min One Act

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Three Sisters, The

Synopsis:
Trapped in a provincial Russian town after the death of their father, three sisters lament the passing of better times and long for the excitement of Moscow. One of them has married a local high school teacher; another has become a teacher herself; the third has settled for a dull job in the local telegraph office. their principal interest is focused on the officers of the local regiment, of which their Father had been commandant, men who bring a sense of sophistication and the world outside to their stultified existence. Much of the action is concerned with the events of daily life: their brother's dull marriage; bittersweet flirtations with the regimental officers; and the gossip and restrictions of small town life. In the end the fateful pattern of their existence is made clear-their dreams will be denied but, despite all, there must always be hope, however futile, and the ways of the world are to be accepted, if not understood.

Notes:
Original Playwright - Anton Chekhov

1st Produced:
New York    1979

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatists Play Service, NY, 1979   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Adaptation

Parts:
Male:  9            Female:  5            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Tibetan Book of the Dead, The; or, How Not To Do It Again

Synopsis:
Based on a classic Buddhist text, the play shows the journey of the soul after death and the choices to be made as it labors in limbo. Brilliantly theatrical in concept,, the play blends music, mime, dance, movement and the spoken word in a stream of colors, sensations and illusions that seek to frighten, seduce, and distract the spirit. Envisioned as taking place within a human skull, the soul is tossed from place to place within the mind, striving to come to terms with ambitions, wants, jealousies and fears until, incapable of stepping off the wheel of existence, it can rejoin the living "like a king" -head held high. ". . . a magnificent text. Van Itallie has created a powerful Dramatic version of this classic. . .invites us to a solemn, ecstatic celebration of life and death. . .after five minutes I knew I was witnessing a masterpiece." - Rosette Lamont, Other Stages.

Notes:
music by Steve Gorn

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatists Play Service, NY, 1983
Text also published as "Tibetan Book of the Dead for Reading Aloud," North Atlantic Books (available Amazion.com)    -

Music:
-

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Genre:
theatre Piece Piece

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Traveler, The

Synopsis:
Also produced 1988 Haymarket theatre, Leicester, England and Almeida theatre, London, with David Threlfall. Inspired by van Itallie's longtime companion actor/director Joe Chaikin suffering stroke and aphasia. "Deeply compassionate exploration not only of the complexity of language and of the human brain, but almost of the soul itself." Pat Ashworth,

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, Ca    1987

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
America Hurrah and Other Plays, Grove Press   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
full length Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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TV

Synopsis:
As recounted by Walter Kerr of the NY Times: "In a television studio, three very normal workers glance at the monitor now and then, where busy performers with striped faces-they look like so many up-ended zebras-go through all the violent, cloying, synthetic motions that pass for companionable entertainment on the national airwaves. But there is no relation between the workers and the work; a yawning gulf, big enough to drown us all, has opened between the real concerns of real people and the imaginary concerns of our imaginary archetypes. One of the real workers nearly strangles to death on a bone in his chicken-salad sandwich. But the burly chanteuse who pours affection across the land as though she were an open fire hydrant of boundless goodwill goes right on beaming her thousand good nights. Disaster is irrelevant in a time of eternal delight." And suddenly we become aware of the desperate futility of our efforts to shield ourselves from coming to grips with what is by simulating a cozy escape into what might be. the spectacle is funny, sad and alarming, all at the same time

Notes:
part of American Hurrah

1st Produced:
Pocket Theatre, NYC    1966

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "America Hurrah", Coward McCann, New York, 1967   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Comedy Drama One Act

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Uncle Vanya

Synopsis:
the scene is a country estate in the declining days of Czarist Russia, the home of an old and ailing professor, his young wife, and various other family members. For years the estate, under the management of Uncle Vanya, brother of the professor's first wife, has yielded a modest income, but now, with the professor older and bored, he offers the idea of selling the estate and investing the money in bonds-a prospect most unsettling for those who have come to regard the place as their home. Counterpointed against the professor's unrest are the situations of others in the family: his daughter Sonya's unrequited passion for the local doctor, Astrov, who visits often; Vanya's love for the professor's young wife; and her own unspoken attraction to another. Throughout there is the bittersweet, deeply human aura of real people helplessly in thrall to events and feelings beyond their control. In the end the estate is not sold and, as the summer wanes, the professor and his wife depart, leaving the others to settle back into the uneventful but bearable routine that has become their way of life.

Notes:
Original Playwright - Anton Chekhov

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatists Play Service, NY, 1980   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Adaptation

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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War

Synopsis:
Two actors, one young, one old, and a bizarre lady, engage in a series of fantasy-like improvisations, articulating the relentless war which humankind is doomed to wage against harsh reality and the inexorable passage of time.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
New York    1963

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "War and Four Other Plays", Dramatists Play Service, New York, 1967   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Drama One Act

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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War, Sex, and Dreams

Synopsis:
Jean-Claude van Itallie's autobiographical one person show (with accompanist Steve Sweeting). Starts with van Itallie and his family fleeing the Nazis. Continues with coming out as gay, and with success in the Off-Broadway NY scene of the sixties. Good reviews in LA and NY Times. [full length; 1 man; contact author's agent]

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Highways, Santa Monica, California    1998

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
one person show

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Where Is de Queen

Synopsis:
A brilliant, haunting, and strikingly imaginative play, which illuminates the shadowy reaches of a man's dream-taking place in that brief but timeless moment between sleep and sudden wakefulness.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
New York    1965

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "War and Four Other Plays", Dramatists Play Service, New York, 1967   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Drama One Act

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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