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John Patrick Shanley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Patrick Shanley
Shanley in 2015
Shanley in 2015
Born (1950-10-13) October 13, 1950 (age 73)
New York City, U.S.
  • Playwright
  • screenwriter
  • director
EducationNew York University (BA)
Years active1982–present
Notable awards
SpouseJayne Haynes

John Patrick Shanley (born October 13, 1950) is an American playwright, screenwriter, and director. He won the 1988 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the film Moonstruck.[1][2][3] His play, Doubt: A Parable, won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2005 Tony Award for Best Play; he wrote and directed the film adaptation and earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • On Story 705: John Patrick Shanley: Writing for the Stage and Screen
  • Doubt's John Patrick Shanley lends his advice to writers
  • John Patrick Shanley lends his advice to screenwriters
  • John Patrick Shanley & Stephen Adly Guirgis
  • How John Patrick Shanley approaches writing


Early life and education

Shanley was born into an Irish-American family in The Bronx, New York City. His mother worked as a telephone operator, and his father was a meat-packer. The neighborhood Shanley grew up in was considered very rough.[1]

Shanley's academic career did not begin well, but ultimately he graduated from New York University with honors from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.[4] In his program bio for the Broadway production of Doubt: A Parable, he mentions that he was "thrown out of St. Helena's kindergarten, banned from St. Anthony's hot lunch program and expelled from Cardinal Spellman High School." He was heavily influenced by one of his first teachers, Sister Margaret McEntee, on whom he based the character of Sister James in his play, Doubt.[5] While at Cardinal Spellman High School, he saw two school productions that influenced him: The Miracle Worker and Cyrano de Bergerac.[6]

After his freshman year at New York University, Shanley was put on academic probation. He then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, serving in a stateside post during the Vietnam War.[1] Following his military service, he wrote a novel, then burned it, and returned to the university with the help of the G.I. Bill, and by supporting himself with a series of jobs: elevator operator, house painter, furniture mover, locksmith, bartender. He graduated from New York University as valedictorian in 1977,[4][7] with a degree in Educational Theatre, and is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre.[8]


John Patrick Shanley sits down to discuss adaptations and his creative process at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on the 23rd of March, 2015

Shanley is the author of more than 23 plays, which have been translated and performed around the world, including 80 productions a year in North America. He has often directed his own productions.[1]

He has also written for film; his second film, Moonstruck (1987), stars Nicolas Cage and Cher, and won three Academy Awards, including one for his screenplay.[9] In 1990, Shanley directed his script of Joe Versus the Volcano. Shanley also wrote two songs for the movie: "Marooned Without You" and "The Cowboy Song."[10] He wrote the screenplay for the film Congo (1995), which was based on the Michael Crichton book.[11]

His play Doubt: A Parable ran on Broadway from March 31, 2005, to July 2, 2006, and won four 2005 Tony Awards (including Best Play),[12] the Drama Desk Award (including Outstanding Play)[13] and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.[14] Shanley wrote and directed the 2008 film version, which starred Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis.[15] The screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award, and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.[16]Doubt: A Parable, is featured in The Fourth Wall, a book of photographs by Amy Arbus for which Shanley also wrote the foreword.

In 2012, Shanley wrote the libretto for an opera version of Doubt: A Parable, which premiered at the Minnesota Opera in January 2013, with music by Douglas J. Cuomo. Until then, his experience with opera was not extensive; he had attended a few performances and had listened to recordings. As he worked on the libretto, using many lines that come directly from the play, he describes that his enthusiasm for the form grew.[17] Also in 2012, his play Storefront Church ran Off-Broadway in a production by the Atlantic Theater Company. The play concerns Bronx residents "whose lives become tangled in unexpected ways when a mortgage goes sour".[18] Storefront Church was also put up by San Francisco Playhouse in San Francisco in December 2013 where it was very well received.[19]

His play, Outside Mullingar, opened on Broadway at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club, on January 3, 2014 (in previews) and officially on January 23, 2014. The play was directed by Doug Hughes and starred Debra Messing and Brían F. O'Byrne.[20] The play is set in the Irish countryside.[21] In 2020, a film adaptation of the play was released, entitled Wild Mountain Thyme.

Prodigal Son, which he directed, was produced Off-Broadway by the Manhattan Theatre Club. It opened on February 9, 2016, and featured Timothée Chalamet, Robert Sean Leonard, Annika Boras, Chris McGarry and David Potters. The play concerns a lonely teen from The Bronx who attends a private school in New Hampshire.[22] His play The Portuguese Kid opened on October 24, 2017, at the New York City Center Stage I, produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club. Directed by Shanley, the cast featured Jason Alexander, Sherie Rene Scott, Mary Testa, Aimee Carrero and Pico Alexander.[23] His new play Brooklyn Laundry opened on February 6, 2024, at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Shanley directed, with a cast featuring Cecily Strong, David Zayas, Florencia Lozano, and Andrea Syglowski.[24]

Personal life

Shanley resides in New York City. He has been married and divorced twice; with his second wife, Jayne Haynes, he adopted two sons, both born in 1992.[25]



Year Title Playwright Director Venue Ref.
1982 Welcome to the Moon Yes No Ensemble Studio Theater, Off-Broadway [26]
1983 Danny and the Deep Blue Sea Yes No Circle in the Square Theatre, Off-Broadway [27]
1984 Savage in Limbo Yes No Gate Theatre, London [28]
1985 The Dreamer Examines His Pillow Yes No 47th Street Theatre, Off-Broadway
1986 Italian American Reconciliation Yes No Manhattan Theatre Club, Off-Broadway
1986 Women of Manhattan Yes No Off-Broadway [29]
1987 All for Charity Yes No Ensemble Studio Theater [30]
1990 The Big Funk Yes Yes New York Shakespeare Festival [31]
1991 Beggars in the House of Plenty Yes Yes Off-Broadway Manhattan Theatre Club [32]
1992 The Wild Goose Yes No Ensemble Studio Theater [33]
1993 Four Dogs and a Bone Yes Yes Manhattan Theatre Club, Off-Broadway [34]
1996 Missing Marisa/Kissing Christine Yes Yes Primary Stages, Off-Broadway [35]
1998 Psychopathia Sexualis Yes No Manhattan Theatre Club, Off-Broadway
2001 Where's My Money? Yes Yes LAByrinth Theatre Company
Manhattan Theatre Club
2001 Cellini Yes Yes Second Stage Theatre, Off-Broadway
2003 Dirty Story Yes No Off-Broadway [37]
2004 Doubt: A Parable Yes No Manhattan Theatre Club, Off-Broadway
Walter Kerr Theatre, Broadway
2004 Sailor's Song Yes No Joseph Papp Public Theatre, Off-Broadway [38]
2005 Defiance Yes No Manhattan Theatre Club, Off-Broadway
2007 Romantic Poetry Yes Yes Manhattan Theatre Club, Off-Broadway [39]
2010 Pirate Yes No Powerhouse Theater
Vassar & New York Stage and Film
2012 Storefront Church Yes Yes Atlantic Theater Company, Off-Broadway
2014 Outside Mullingar Yes No Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, Broadway
2016 Prodigal Son Yes Yes New York City Center, Off-Broadway
2017 The Portuguese Kid Yes Yes Manhattan Theatre Club, Off-Broadway
2021 Candlelight Yes No New Ohio Theatre, Off-Off-Broadway [41]
2024 Brooklyn Laundry Yes Yes Manhattan Theatre Club, Off-Broadway


Year Title Director Writer Ref.
1987 Moonstruck No Yes
Five Corners No Yes [42]
1989 The January Man No Yes [43]
1990 Joe Versus the Volcano Yes Yes
1993 Alive No Yes [44]
We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story No Yes [45]
1995 Congo No Yes
2008 Doubt Yes Yes
2020 Wild Mountain Thyme Yes Yes


Year Title Notes Ref.
1993 Danny i Roberta TV movie
2002 Live from Baghdad [46]
2018 The Portuguese Kid
2019 Great Performances Episode: "Cuomo: Doubt"

Awards, nominations, and honors

In 2002 Shanley was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame.[47]



  1. ^ a b c d Witchel, Alex. "The Confessions of John Patrick Shanley" The New York Times, November 7, 2004
  2. ^ John Patrick Shanley
  3. ^ McKinley, Jesse. "'Spamalot' and 'Doubt' Win the Top Tony Awards". New York Times. June 6, 2005
  4. ^ a b Saito, Stephen. "IFC Interview: John Patrick Shanley on 'Doubt'", December 12, 2008
  5. ^ Doubt Archived 2013-12-25 at the Wayback Machine, March 31, 2005
  6. ^ Hodges, Benjamin A. editor. The Play that Changed My Life: America's Foremost Playwrights on the Plays that Influenced Them. 2009. Applause Theatre and Cinema Books. 2009. p. 129
  7. ^ Bourque-Sheil, Brendan. Interview with John Patrick Shanley. Comedycongloverate's Blog. January 9, 2012. [1]
  8. ^ Shanley
  9. ^ " 'Moonsruck' Awards", accessed January 3, 2014
  10. ^ Joe Versus the Volcano, accessed January 3, 2014
  11. ^ Maslin, Janet. "Movie Review. 'Congo'" The New York Times, June 9, 1995
  12. ^ Jones, Kenneth. " 'Doubt' Is Best Play, 'Spamalot' Best Musical; Butz, Irwin, Clark, Jones, Nichols Win 2005 Tonys" Archived November 4, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, June 5, 2005
  13. ^ Jones, Kenneth and Ku, Andrew. " 'Doubt', 'Spamalot', 'Twelve Angry Men', 'La Cage' Win 2005 Drama Desk Awards" Archived 2013-11-04 at the Wayback Machine, May 23, 2005
  14. ^ Simonson, Robert. "John Patrick Shanley's 'Doubt' Wins 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama" Archived 2014-01-03 at the Wayback Machine, April 4, 2005
  15. ^ " 'Doubt' Listing", accessed January 3, 2014
  16. ^ Doubt
  17. ^ Dobrzynski, Judith H. "A Re-'Doubt'-able Effort"  Wall Street Journal (, January 16, 2013
  18. ^ Isherwood, Charles. "Theater Review. 'Storefront Church,' by John Patrick Shanley" The New York Times, June 11, 2012
  19. ^ "Storefront Church SF Gate". 2 December 2013.
  20. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Debra Messing Is 'Outside Mullingar', Beginning Jan. 3 on Broadway" Archived 2014-01-03 at the Wayback Machine, January 3, 2014
  21. ^ Isherwood, Charles. "Theater Review. 'Outside Mullingar,' by John Patrick Shanley, Opens" The New York Times, January 23, 2014
  22. ^ Clement, Olivia. "World Premiere of 'Prodigal Son' Opens Tonight Off-Broadway", February 9, 2016
  23. ^ Clement, Olivia. " 'The Portuguese Kid', With Jason Alexander and Sherie Rene Scott, Opens Off-Broadway" Playbill, October 24, 2017
  24. ^ Cote, David. " Review: It All Comes Out in the Wash at John Patrick Shanley’s ‘Brooklyn Laundry’" The New York Observer, March 4, 2024
  25. ^ Witchel, Alex (7 November 2004). "The Confessions of John Patrick Shanley". The New York Times.
  26. ^ Rich, Frank. "The Stage: 'Welcome To The Moon'" The New York Times, November 24, 1982
  27. ^ " Danny and the Deep Blue Sea Listing" Archived 2014-01-04 at the Wayback Machine, accessed January 4, 2014
  28. ^ "The Dreamer Examines His Pillow Listing" Archived 2014-01-04 at the Wayback Machine, accessed January 4, 2014
  29. ^ " Women of Manhattan Listing" Archived 2014-01-04 at the Wayback Machine, accessed January 4, 2014
  30. ^ Gussow, Mel (May 20, 1987). "Stage: 2D Bill Of New One-Act Plays". The New York Times.
  31. ^ " 'The Big Funk' Listing" Archived 2014-01-04 at the Wayback Machine, accessed January 4, 2014
  32. ^ " Beggars in the House of Plenty Listing" Archived 2014-01-06 at the Wayback Machine, accessed January 5, 2014
  33. ^ Gussow, Mel. "Review/Theater; Giving One-Act Plays Fairest Shot at Success" Archived May 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine The New York Times, May 5, 1992
  34. ^ " Four Dogs and a Bone Listing" Archived 2014-01-04 at the Wayback Machine, accessed January 4, 2014
  35. ^ " 'Missing/Kissing' Listing" Archived 2014-01-04 at the Wayback Machine, accessed January 4, 2014
  36. ^ Jones, Kenneth and Simonson, Robert. "John Patrick Shanley's 'Where's My Money?' Ends Jan. 13 at MTC" Archived 2014-01-04 at the Wayback Machine January 13, 2002
  37. ^ Bacalzo, Dan."Reviews. 'Dirty Story'" March 5, 2003
  38. ^ Hernandez, Ernio. "Part 1 of 3: John Patrick Shanley's 'Sailor's Song' Opens Off-Broadway, Nov. 7" Archived 2014-01-04 at the Wayback Machine, November 7, 2004
  39. ^ Brantley, Ben. Theater Review. 'Romantic Poetry'" The New York Times, October 29, 2008
  40. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Charlotte Parry, Ivan Hernandez Featured in John Patrick Shanley's 'Pirate', Starting July 21" Archived 2014-01-04 at the Wayback Machine, July 21, 2010
  41. ^ Harms, Talaura. "World Premiere of John Patrick Shanley's 'Candlelight' Begins November 27" Playbill, November 27, 2021
  42. ^ Canby, Vincent. "Movie Review. 'Five Corners' (1987)" The New York Times, January 22, 1988
  43. ^ Canby, Vincent. Movie Review. 'January Man' (1989) The New York Times, January 13, 1989
  44. ^ Maslin, Janet. "Movie Review. 'Alive' (1993)" The New York Times, January 15, 1993
  45. ^ Maslin, Janet. Movie Review. 'We re Back A Dinosaur s Story' (1993)" The New York Times, November 24, 1993
  46. ^ " 'Live from Baghdad' Cast and Crew", accessed January 4, 2014
  47. ^ Bronx Walk of Fame Inductees, 2004[permanent dead link]
  48. ^ Simonson, Robert. "Shanley, Hughes, Culkin, Marvel, O'Connell Among 2005 Obie Winners" Archived 2013-12-12 at the Wayback Machine, May 26, 2005
  49. ^ " 'Live from Baghdad' Awards and Nominations", accessed January 5, 2014
  50. ^ " 'Live from Baghdad' Awards, Won and/or Nominated" The New York Times, accessed January 5, 2014
  51. ^ Simonson, Robert. Hawke, Azaria, Applegate, Turner Among Presenters at Drama Desk Award" Archived 2014-01-04 at the Wayback Machine, May 16, 2005

External links

This page was last edited on 4 April 2024, at 22:50
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