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David Rabe
Born David William Rabe
March 10, 1940(1940-03-10) (age 81)
Dubuque, Iowa, United States
Nationality American
  • Loras College, B.A., 1962
  • Villanova University, M.A., 1968
Awards Template:Bulleted list

David William Rabe (born March 10, 1940) is an American playwright and screenwriter. He won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1972 (Sticks and Bones) and also received Tony award nominations for Best Play in 1974 (In the Boom Boom Room), 1977 (Streamers) and 1985 (Hurlyburly).

Career[edit | edit source]

After leaving the Army, Rabe returned to Villanova, studying writing and earning an M.A. in 1968. During this time, he began work on the play Sticks and Bones, in which the family represents the ugly underbelly of the Nelson family when they are faced with their hopeless son David returning home from Vietnam as a blinded vet.

Rabe is known for his loose trilogy of plays drawing on his experiences as an Army draftee in Vietnam, Sticks and Bones (1969), the Tony Award-winning The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel (1971), and Streamers (1976). He has also written Hurlyburly (both the play and the screenplay for the film version), and the screenplays for the Vietnam War drama Casualties of War (1989) and the film adaptation of John Grisham's The Firm (1993).

A collection of Rabe's manuscripts is housed in the Mugar Memorial Library, at Boston University.

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Rabe was born in Dubuque, Iowa, the son of Ruth (McCormick), a department store worker, and William Rabe, a teacher and meat packer.[1] Rabe was married to actress Jill Clayburgh from 1978 until her death November 5, 2010. He has two children with Clayburgh, actress Lily Rabe and Michael Rabe. He has one son, Jason Rabe, from his first marriage.

Awards and honors[edit | edit source]

Works[edit | edit source]

Plays[edit | edit source]

  • Chameleon (1959)
  • Sticks and Bones (1971)
  • The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel (1971)
  • The Orphan (1972)
  • In the Boom Boom Room (1973)
  • Burning (1974)
  • The Crossing (1975)
  • Streamers (1976)
  • Goose and Tomtom (1982)
  • Hurlyburly (1984)
  • Those The River Keeps (1991)
  • A Question of Mercy: Based upon the Journal by Richard Selzer (1997)
  • The Dog Problem (2001)
  • The Black Monk (2004)
  • An Early History of Fire (2012)[4]
  • Good for Otto (2015)
  • Visiting Edna (2016)

Screenplays[edit | edit source]

  • I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can (1983)
  • Streamers (1983)
  • Casualties of War (1989)
  • State of Grace (with Dennis McIntyre, 1990)
  • The Firm (with Robert Towne and David Rayfiel, 1993)
  • Hurlyburly (1998)
  • In the Boom Boom Room (adapted from his play, 1999)

Fiction[edit | edit source]

  • Recital of the Dog (1993)
  • The Crossing Guard (novelization of the screenplay by Sean Penn, 1995)
  • A Primitive Heart (2005)
  • Dinosaurs on the Roof (2008)
  • Mr. Wellington (children's book, illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker, 2009)
  • Girl by the Road at Night: A Novel of Vietnam (2010)

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Further reading[edit | edit source]

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