Stephen Adly Guirgis

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Stephen Adly Guirgis is an American playwright, screenwriter, director, and actor. He is a member and co-artistic director of New York City's LAByrinth Theater Company.[1] His plays have been produced on five continents.

Early life[edit]

Guirgis is the son of an Egyptian father and an Irish American mother.[2]

He was raised on New York City's Upper West Side. He attended school in nearby Harlem and went to college in Albany, New York, graduating in 1992 from University at Albany, SUNY.[1][2]


The Little Flower of East Orange, starring Ellen Burstyn and directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, completed an extended run at The Public Theater.[when?] Other plays include Our Lady of 121st Street (10 best plays of 2003; Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Best Play Nominations), Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train (Edinburgh Festival Fringe First Award, Laurence Olivier Award Nomination (London) for Best New Play), In Arabia, We’d All Be Kings (2007 LA Drama Critics Best Play, Best Writing Award), and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (10 best, Time magazine and Entertainment Weekly), produced by LAByrinth in collaboration with The Public Theater in 2005. On May 10, 2008 Judas Iscariot completed a critically acclaimed run in London at the Almeida Theater.[3] All five plays were originally produced by LAByrinth and directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman. They are published by Dramatists Play Service as well as by Faber and Faber. Guirgis' one act play, Dominica The Fat Ugly Ho, was directed by Adam Rapp as part of the 2006 E.S.T. Marathon. His newest play, The Motherfucker With the Hat premiered in New York City on Broadway in the spring of 2011 and featured Bobby Cannavale, Chris Rock.[4] It was also performed in San Francisco at San Francisco Playhouse in January 2013 where it received positive reviews.[5] Guirgis is writing a screenplay based on the life of six-time world champion boxer Emile Griffith for Scott Rudin Productions.

Television writing credits include NYPD Blue,[3] David Milch's short-lived CBS drama Big Apple,[1] and Shane Salerno's short-lived NBC series UC: Undercover. Stephen was awarded a 2006 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a playwright in mid-career, a 2006 Whiting Award, and a 2004 TCG fellowship. He attended the 2004 Sundance Screenwriter's Lab, and was named one of 2004's 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine.

Guirgis is the recipient of new play commissions from Manhattan Theatre Club, Center Theater Group, and South Coast Repertory. He is a member of New Dramatists, MCC's Playwright's Coalition, New River Dramatists, Primary Stages, and The Actor's Studio Playwright/Directors Unit. He developed and directed Liza Colón-Zayas' Sistah Supreme for Danny Hoch's Hip Hop Theater Festival, Marco Greco's award-winning Behind the Counter with Mussolini in New York and Los Angeles, and directed Melanie Maras' Kiss Me on the Mouth for InViolet Rep.

As an actor, Guirgis appeared in Guinea Pig Solo, produced by LAByrinth at the Public Theater, and has leading roles in Todd Solondz's Palindromes, Brett C. Leonard's Jailbait opposite Michael Pitt, and in Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret. Other film credits include Philip Seymour Hoffman's Jack Goes Boating, Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York, Adam Rapp's Blackbird, Noah Buschel's Neal Cassady, Meet Joe Black, Noise, Trainwreck: My Life as an Idiot, and an episode of the long running New York City-based TV series Law & Order.

A former violence prevention specialist/HIV educator, Guirgis has facilitated numerous workshops in New York City area prisons, schools, shelters, and hospitals.[citation needed]

Awards and honors[edit]

Plays written by Guirgis[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d Blake, Leslie (Hoban). "Comin' Uptown", Theatermania, 23 August 2002.
  2. ^ a b c Fisher, Philip. Interviews: Stephen Adly Guirgis,, 2001 (sic).
  3. ^ a b Rees, Jasper. "Stephen Adly Guirgis: When Judas came to New York", The Telegraph, 22 March 2008.
  4. ^ Healy, Patrick. "Chris Rock Takes On Broadway in ‘Hat’", The New York Times blog, 22 October 2010.
  5. ^ "SF Gate". Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  6. ^ Dorie Baker (March 4, 2013). "Yale awards $1.35 million to nine writers". YaleNews. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]