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Episode 24
Peter Shaffer with John Guare

 In the Room

In a conversation with Council member John Guare, Peter Shaffer discusses writing Five Finger Exercise, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Black Comedy and his Tony Award-winning Equus.


Extended Version Play Episode 24


Playwright, Screenwriter

Peter Shaffer is an English playwright and screenwriter of numerous award-winning plays, several of which have been filmed. The two most noted of these are; Equus, which won the 1973 Tony Award for Best Play, the New York Drama Critics Award, and the 1977 Best Adapted screenplay nomination, and Amadeus, which won the Evening Standard Drama Award and the Theatre Critics Award for the London production, and the 1981 Tony Award for Best Play. The 1984 film adaptation of Amadeus won eight Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as the 1984 Best Screenplay Golden Globe. The Broadway productions of Black Comedy (1967) and Lettice and Lovage (1991) each received multiple Tony Award nominations including Best Play for both. Other plays by Shaffer that have been adapted to film include; Five Finger Exercise (1962), The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969), and Follow Me! (1972) which he adapted from The Public Eye (1962). Shaffer received the William Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theater in 1992. Two years later he was appointed Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University. In 1993, he was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Letters) by the University of Bath and in 2001 he was named Knight Bachelor in the New Year's Honors.

WORKS INCLUDE: The Salt Land (1954); Balance Of Terror (1957); The Prodigal Father (1957); Five Finger Exercise (1958); The Private Ear and The Public Eye (1962); The Establishment (1963); The Merry Roosters Panto (1963); The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1964); Black Comedy (1965); The White Liars (1967); Shrivings (1970); Equus (1973); Amadeus (1979); Black Mischief (1983); Yonadab (1985); Lettice and Lovage (1987); Whom Do I Have The Honour Of Addressing? (1990); The Gift of the Gorgon (1992).

JOHN GUARE (1938 - )


John Guare is best known for being the author of a vast range of theatrical work including The House of Blue Leaves, which won an Obie and NY Drama Critics Circle Award for the Best American Play of 1970-71 and four Tony’s in its 1986 Lincoln Center revival; Six Degrees of Separation, which received the NY Drama Critics Circle Award in 1991 for its LCT production and the Olivier Best Play Award in 1993, as well as being nominated for the 1991 Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award for Best Play, and Drama Desk award, Four Baboons Adoring the Sun, which received four 1992 Tony Award nominations including Best Play, and A Free Man of Color which was nominated for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He wrote the lyrics and co-authored the book for the 1972 Tony-winning Best Musical, Two Gentlemen of Verona. His screenplay for Louis Malle's Atlantic City earned him an Oscar nomination. In 2003 he won the PEN/Laura Pels Master Dramatist Award; in 2004, the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; in 2005 the Obie for sustained excellence. He is a council member of the Dramatists Guild and co-editor of The Lincoln Center Theater Review.

WORKS INCLUDE: The House Of Blue Leaves (1971); Two Gentlemen of Verona (1971); Rich and Famous (1974); Landscape of the Body (1977); Marco Polo Sings a Solo (1977); Bosoms and Neglect (1979); Atlantic City (Screenplay 1980); Lydie Breeze (1982); Gardenia (1982); The Race to Urga (1986); Six Degrees of Separation (1990); Woman and Water (1990); Four Baboons Adoring the Sun (1992); Lake Hollywood (1999); Chaucer in Rome (2001); A Few Stout Individuals (2002); A Free Man of Color (2010); Are You There, McPhee? (2012).