"Five years ago I had a plan to straighten myself out. Here I am thousands of dollars later with one more insight. That you grow older faster staying in the same place."
- J.P. Donleavy from the play "The Saddest Summer of Samuel S"
In addition to a successful career as a writer of fiction and nonfiction, J.P. Donleavy is a highly accomplished playwright whose works have been staged numerous times over the past three decades in both the US and Europe as well as being broadcasted on television and radio. Although recent writing has focused primarily on fiction and nonfiction, new productions of Donleavy plays continue to be presented worldwide. Honors and awards for theatrical works include the Evening Standard Drama Critic's Award (Most Promising Playwright) for "Fairy Tales of New York" 1960 and the Brandeis University Creative Arts Awards 1961-62 for the plays "The Ginger Man" & "Fairy Tales of New York." Details on some productions are still being researched. Contributions of information, program art and production photos would be much appreciated and credited.
PERFORMANCE HISTORY OF PLAYS BY J.P. DONLEAVY (as known to date)
The Saddest Summer of Samuel S - The only known attempt to produce The Saddest Summer of Samuel S was by Ivor David Balding who planned to produce and direct. Date not determined, but was probably sometime around the late 60s. The play was to open Off-Broadway at The New Theatre, but Balding suffered medical problems and the production was shut down. Casting had just begun and the only part firmed up was the female lead - exceptionally talented Lee Stephanie Roscoe. Many thanks to Lee for providing the details of this production attempt.
PLAYS (If productions
have been done or are planned, please pass along
The Venereal In The Vernacular
Helen (a radio play, listed in a reference book with no broadcast information; probably some version of "Fairy Tales of New York" as "Helen" is the name of Cornelius Christian's deceased wife and the title of Act 1 of the stage play).