John Patrick Shanley
|Born||October 13, 1950|
New York City, U.S.
|Alma mater||New York University|
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. 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.
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.
Shanley's academic career did not begin well, but ultimately he graduated from New York University with honors. 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. While at Cardinal Spellman High School, he saw two school productions that influenced him: The Miracle Worker and Cyrano de Bergerac.
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. 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, with a degree in Educational Theatre, and is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre.
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.
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. 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." He wrote the screenplay for the film Congo (1995), which was based on the Michael Crichton book.
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), the Drama Desk Award (including Outstanding Play) and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Shanley directed the 2008 film version, which starred Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis. The screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award, and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.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. 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". Storefront Church was also put up by San Francisco Playhouse in San Francisco in December 2013 where it was very well received.
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. The play is set in the Irish countryside.
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. His new 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.
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.
|1982||Welcome to the Moon||Yes||No||Ensemble Studio Theater, Off-Broadway|||
|1983||Danny and the Deep Blue Sea||Yes||No||Circle in the Square Theatre, Off-Broadway|||
|1984||Savage in Limbo||Yes||No||Gate Theatre, London|||
|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|||
|1987||All for Charity||Yes||No||Ensemble Studio Theater|||
|1990||The Big Funk||Yes||Yes||New York Shakespeare Festival|||
|1991||Beggars in the House of Plenty||Yes||Yes||Off-Broadway Manhattan Theatre Club|||
|1992||The Wild Goose||Yes||No||Ensemble Studio Theater|||
|1993||Four Dogs and a Bone||Yes||Yes||Manhattan Theatre Club, Off-Broadway|||
|1996||Missing Marisa/Kissing Christine||Yes||Yes||Primary Stages, Off-Broadway|||
|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|
|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|||
|2005||Defiance||Yes||No||Manhattan Theatre Club, Off-Broadway|
|2007||Romantic Poetry||Yes||Yes||Manhattan Theatre Club, Off-Broadway|||
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|||
|1987||Five Corners||Yes||No||Cannon Films|||
|1989||The January Man||Yes||No||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer|||
|1990||Joe Versus the Volcano||Yes||Yes||Warner Bros.|
|1993||Alive||Yes||No||Buena Vista Pictures|||
|1993||We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story||Yes||No||Universal Pictures|||
|2020||Wild Mountain Thyme||Yes||Yes||Bleecker Street|
|1993||Danny i Roberta||Yes||No||Television movie|
|2002||Live from Baghdad||Yes||No||HBO Television film|||
|2018||The Portuguese Kid||Yes||No||BroadwayHD Performance|
|2019||Great Performances||Yes||No||Episode: "Cuomo: Doubt"|
In 2002 Shanley was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame.