Allan Havis

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Allan Havis (born 1951) is a playwright with pronounced political themes and probes on colliding cultures. His works range from minimal-language texts to ambiguous, ironic narratives that delineate the genesis, paradoxes, and seduction of evil. Several of his dramas involve Jewish identity, cultural alienation, and universal problems of racism. His literary influences come, in part, from August Strindberg[1] and Harold Pinter.[2]

In addition to his plays, Havis wrote a novel for children, Albert the Astronomer (Harper & Row, 1979; ISBN 0-06-022242-5). He edited an anthology for University of Illinois Press, American Political Plays (2001; ISBN 0-252-07000-3).[1] Nineteen Havis plays are published in editions by Broadway Play Publishing Inc., Theatre Communications Group, Penguin/Mentor, Smith & Kraus, Applause Books, and University of Illinois. His book Cult Films: Taboo and Transgression ( University Press of America, 2008; ISBN 0-7618-3967-4) covers ninety years of cinema. Southern Illinois University Press published his next edited anthology 2010, American Political Plays after 9/11.[2] His first opera libretto, Lilith (music by Anthony Davis), had its world premiere concert recital at the Conrad Prebys Music Center, UC San Diego on December 4, 2009. The chamber opera, based on his play, highlights Adam's first wife of supernatural proportion and partly staged in a modern era. His second opera with Anthony Davis on a modern Lear archetype, Lear on the 2nd Floor, had a showcase presentation at Princeton's Lewis Center for the Arts in March 2012 and produced in March 2013 at Conrad Prebys Music Center, UC San Diego. Lilith was given a showcase presentation at the Qualcomm Institute, UC San Diego November 2015 and can be see on UCSD TV online.

Havis has an MFA from Yale Drama School (1980) and is on the UC San Diego theatre faculty. He has headed for many years the MFA playwriting program at University of California, San Diego, and served as Provost of Thurgood Marshall College, UC San Diego from 2006 until 2016.[3] His wife, Julia Fulton, is an actor and college professor. They have two children.[4]

Dramatic works[edit]

  • Zeliha (2016)
  • Babette (2015)
  • The Hypnotist (2014)
  • Garments and Threads (2013)
  • The Landlady (2012)
  • Arthur and Joe (2012) [5]
  • Lear on the 2nd Floor (opera 2012)
  • Arrow to the Heart (2010)
  • Lilith (opera 2009)
  • The Tutor (2008)
  • Restless Spirits (2006)
  • The Haunting of Jim Crow (2005)
  • Three Nights in Prague (2004)
  • Private Parties (2003)
  • Nuevo California (with Bernardo Solano 2003)
  • Misjudgment of Paris (2002)
  • A Jew on Ethiopia Street (2001)
  • The Gift (1999)
  • Sainte Simone (1996)
  • A Vow of Silence (1994)
  • Ladies of Fisher Cove (1993)
  • A Daring Bride (1990)
  • Lilith (1990)
  • Hospitality (1988)
  • Haut Gout (1987)
  • Morocco (1986)
  • Mink Sonata (1985)
  • Holy Wars (1984)
  • Family Rites (1980)
  • Interludes (1978)


  • 2008 San Diego Patté Award for Outstanding New Play
  • 2003 San Diego Theatre Critics Award
  • McKnight Fellowship
  • Kennedy Center Award for New Plays
  • Guggenheim Fellowship[6]
  • Rockefeller Fellowship
  • National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship
  • California State Arts Fellowship
  • New York State Arts Fellowship
  • HBO’s Playwrights USA Award
  • Foundation of the Dramatist Guild/CBS Award


  1. ^ "American Political Plays", University of Illinois.
  2. ^ "American Political Plays after 9/11", Southern Illinois University Press.
  3. ^ "UCSD Theatre & Dance: Faculty > Allan Havis". UCSD Department of Theatre and Dance. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  4. ^ Jan Jennings and Dolores Davies (May 22, 2006). "Educator/Playwright Allan Havis Appointed Provost of Thurgood Marshall College at UCSD". University of California, San Diego. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  5. ^ "Playwrights Process at Cygnet", Charlene and Brenda in the Blogosphere, October 1, 2013.
  6. ^ "Allan Havis - John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation". Drama & Performance Art. John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. 1987. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 

External links[edit]