This celebrated American playwright utilized his background as a medical corpsman during the Vietnam War to pen three plays about that period: "Sticks and Bones" (Off-Broadway, 1971, Broadway 1972), "...
Dubuque, Iowa, USA
|I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can||1981||Executive Producer||n/a||1|
|I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can||1981||Screenplay||n/a||1|
|Casualties of War||1989||Screenplay||n/a||1|
|Streamers||1982||Play as Source Material||("Streamers")||1|
|Hurlyburly||1998||Play as Source Material||("Hurlyburly")||1|
|Wrote screen adaptation of "Hurlyburly"|
|"Hurlyburly" had world premiere in Chicago at Goodman Theatre|
|Wrote screenplay for Robert Altman's film version of "Streamers"|
|"Sticks and Bones", a play about a Vietnam veteran and the first of a loose triology dealing with the war, premiered in Villanova, Pennsylvania|
|Served in the US Army|
|"Sticks and Bones" produced at the New York Shakespeare Festival; later moves to Broadway|
|"The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel" premiered in NYC at The New York Shakespeare Festival|
|Made stage directorial debut with "Those the River Keeps"|
|Penned screenplay adaptation of "In the Boom Boom Room" (in development as of 2000)|
|Worked as a journalist at the New Haven Registr|
|Co-wrote screen adaptation of "The Firm"|
|Was executive producer, wrote screenplay for "I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can"|
|"Streamers", the third play in his Vietnam triology produced at Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, Connecticut; moved to Off-Broadway|
|Scripted "Casualties of War"|
|Taught at Villanova|
|Premiered "The Dog Problem", a new play produced Off-Broadway|
Although his hometown of Dubuque is possibly the least homogenous city in America, Rabe in his plays delves deeply into basic human motivations that cut across universal lines. In addition to his Vietnam "trilogy", he wrote "In the Boom Boom Room" (1973-74), which centered on a go-go dancer, and "Hurlyburly" (1984), about lost chances in Hollywood and the bloated notion of creativity. He made his stage directorial debut with his own play "Those the River Keeps" in 1994.
Rabe's screen work has been sporadic, but has often yielded critically-praised material. He served as executive producer and scripter on "I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can" (1982), about a show business executive coping with her addiction to pills, which starred his wife Jill Clayburgh. He covered familiar ground with "Casualties of War" (1989), about a US patrol in Vietnam and its brutal treatment of a local girl. After an absence of many years, Rabe received screen credit alongside Robert Towne and David Rayfiel on Sydney Pollack's film version of the John Grisham novel "The Firm" (1993). In 1998, after many years of false starts, his script for "Hurlyburly" made it before the cameras with a cast led by Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey and Meg Ryan and the following year saw the filming of "In the Boom Boom Room", with Patricia Arquette in the role of the stripper.
|Elizabeth Pan||Wife||married in 19609; divorced; mother of Rabe's oldest son|
|Lily Rabe||Daughter||Born June 29, 1982; mother, Jill Clayburgh|
|Lily Rabe||Daughter||born in 1982; mother, Jill Clayburgh|
|Jason Rabe||Son||born c. 1972; mother, Elizabeth Pan|
|Michael Rabe||Son||born c. 1986; mother, Jill Clayburgh|
|"A playwright is treated like the madwoman from the attic that is let down to deliver the play and goes back upstairs and who they'd just as soon would never bother them again." --David Rabe in New York Newsday, January 30, 1994.|
|"If my age played into my writing, it wasn't consciously. But then, I did write the play ["The Quality of Mercy"] about seven or eight years ago. I'm feeling the weight of age a lot more now, frankly, than I was then. My plays are always ahead of me. I often encounter my themes on a personal level after the play is written, not before. I'll write a play, and then later I'll realize, 'Oh, now I'm going through that same experience.' Maybe I don't want to have that experience, but that's the way it happens." --David Rabe to Los Angeles Times, July 23, 2000.|
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