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Robin Swados


Nationality:    USA
email:    Click here to contact     Website:    Click here

Literary Agent:    Graham Agency  

ROBIN SWADOS has had a long and varied career as a playwright, prose writer, editor, copy editor, and copywriter. The son of the late American novelist Harvey Swados, he was originally raised as a classical pianist and studied formally for more than 10 years before deciding to focus his studies on acting and the theatre. After graduating from Nyack High School, he originally attended Carnegie-Mellon University for two years but, wishing to partake of a more varied educational spectrum, he transferred to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, from which he graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English and Theater. He spent the following year in London at the acting academy Studio '68 of Theater Arts. In 1975, Swados settled in Manhattan and began to pound the pavement seriously as an actor, taking odd jobs to support himself along the way. In 1978, lured to the west coast by a friend of the family, he moved to Los Angeles, where he spent six years acting in theater and television, finally deciding to return to his home and family in New York in March 1984. After one last foray into acting in New York, Swados abandoned his acting career and turned to writing. The following year he completed A Quiet End, his first play. Less than six months later, it was first performed onstage as part of the 10th-anniversary festival of the Gay Sweatshop theater festival taking place in London in the fall of 1985. The audience reaction was instantaneous and effusive: the play was immediately chosen as the one from the festival to receive a professional production, and it opened at the Offstage Theater Center in Chalk Farm in February 1986, receiving unanimously favorable reviews in the London press. At precisely the same time, it also received its American premiere at the International City Theater in Long Beach, California (a suburb of Los Angeles) the same month. Six months later the play opened under Swados's direction at the American Repertory Theater in Amsterdam, Holland (in English), and in the years since, A Quiet End has gone on to be produced at many theaters across the United States, including at the Repertory Theater of St. Louis in October 1987 and, finally, off-Broadway at Theater Off Park in New York in May 1990. A Quiet End was published by Samuel French, Inc., in 1991, as well as in the anthology Gay & Lesbian Plays Today (published in the U.S. by Heinemann). Portions of the play have been included in The Best Men's Stage Monologues of 1990 and The Best Stage Scenes for Men from the 1980s (both published in the States by Smith & Kraus). A Quiet End is also the focus of an entire chapter in Robert Vorlicky's Act Like a Man: Challenging Masculinities in American Drama, a study of plays with all-male casts. Since the debut of A Quiet End in 1986, Robin Swados has expanded his career as a writer and editor in many directions. From 1988 to 1995, he was an editor at the prestigious American publishing house of Alfred A. Knopf, followed by four years as an editor at Doubleday. Swados went into business for himself over the course of the next decade as an independent travel writer (which took him to destinations as diverse as Nigeria, Thailand, Greece, and the West Indies) and copy editor. He finally reentered the corporate publishing world in 2007, this time as a senior copywriter for several nationally prominent magazines focusing on the worlds of art and luxury. Swados continues to work on his long-overdue second play, which he remains determined to finish. He lives in New York City.

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Quiet End, A

Quiet End, A

Set at the start of the AIDS epidemic - when people lost their jobs and homes because they were HIV+. Three such men have been set up in an apartment by a charity in New York. Max who has split up with his partner Jason. Tony a would be actor but was mainly employed as a waiter and Billy a pianist in a bar who had lost his job when the other piano player refused to use the same instrument that Billy had touched. Tony is the least well of the three. Jason comes to visit Max - he has just summoned up the courage to have the HIV test. He and Max go over old times and recriminations - Max insisted on an open relationship, Jason want commitment. It is obvious that they are still in love. Billy hears a piano being played in the apartment opposite and asks the owner if he can play it. Tony takes a turn for the worst and dies before help can arrive from the hospital. After his funeral Billy announces that he is going back to his parents even though he knows that they will not understand. He also tells Max that he has arranged for Jason to come over to help him moved back in with him so that Jason can look after him. Max does not want to do this but is eventually persuaded by Jason. A short time later Max dies.


1st Produced:
International City Theatre Long Beach California    1986


1st Published:
Samuel French, NY, 1991   -


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Play/Drama. - - AIDS, full length

Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  voice m & f

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