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Nantucket in New Jersey

John Guare Opens New Play Set on the Island

You may know celebrated playwright John Guare best from works like Six Degrees of Separation and House of Blue Leaves. Among his long list of laurels are multiple Tony, Obie, and New York Drama Critics Circle Awards and induction into the Theatre Hall of Fame. At 74, Guare is a living legend in American theatre.

What you may not know is that he spent time on the island in the 60’s and 70’s. He met his wife of thirty-seven years here. The ten days prior to that meeting inspired his newest work Are You There, McPhee? which premiered recently in Princeton, NJ and is set on Nantucket.

From New Jersey Today: link


“Are You There, McPhee?” is set on the island of Nantucket, a place Guare acknowledges as key to his own identity as a playwright and person. He first went there in 1961; it was as far away as he could get from New York City on $35. He lived there on and off for years – it was cheap, full of parties and intrigue, a place where he staged plays, and where met his wife. For Guare, “Nantucket was always a place of remarkable change.” By the late 1970s, however, he stopped visiting the island. It was becoming a “hedge fund paradise,” and he prefers to remember it as it once was.


The New York Times review: link

Whiplash is inevitable after viewing this intermittently exhilarating, more often exasperating, comic fantasy about the terrors of childhood, the confusions of adulthood, the long reach of art into the lives of common folk, murder, screenwriting, the game-changing movie “Jaws” and ... wait, I’m getting dizzy.

“Are You There McPhee?” runs from May 4 - Jun 3 at the Berlind Theatre, Princeton, NJ
Tickets online at:
Photo by Paul Kolnik