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literature

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Baitz, Jon Robin (b. 1961)  
 
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Baitz's most recent play, Chinese Friends (2004), is set in the year 2030 and imagines disastrous consequences for an environmentally devastated and politically impotent United States.

Other Works

Other works by Baitz include The End of the Day (1992), a bleak but comically wry account of an opportunistic doctor running a public clinic whose patients are dying, mostly of AIDS.

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A Fair Country (1996), a reworking of material that initially appeared in Dutch Landscape, focuses on an affluent American family trying to make emotional and moral sense of their lives in South Africa. Baitz was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for his play.

Baitz collaborated with Terrence McNally on the play House, which was first presented in 1998. He also wrote a new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, which premiered in 1999 in Los Angeles, starring Annette Bening. Additionally, he has written several one-act plays, often to raise money for charitable events, including Coq au Vin (1994), Show People (2002), and My Beautiful Goddamn City (2004).

Baitz has also written episodes for such popular television series as Alias and The West Wing. He co-scripted, with Howard A. Rodman, the teleplay The Frightening Frammis, which was broadcast in 1993 as part of the anthology television series Fallen Angels, and directed by the actor Tom Cruise.

Baitz wrote the screenplay for the 2002 film People I Know, a satire on fame directed by Daniel Algrant and starring Al Pacino as a once-high-powered publicist.

Baitz is also the creator and executive producer of the television drama Brothers & Sisters, which debuted in 2006. The hour-long show, which has received enthusiastic reviews and a strong following, centers on a politically diverse California family and prominently features an out gay lawyer and his life partner.

As an actor, Baitz has appeared in Henry Jaglom's Last Summer in the Hamptons (1995) as a successful, young gay playwright; as Michelle Pfeiffer's assistant in the romantic comedy One Fine Day (1996), also starring George Clooney; and again in Jaglom's 2006 film, Hollywood Dreams.

He is the recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Award, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Baitz currently resides in New York City.

Craig Kaczorowski

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    Bibliography
   

Brantley, Ben. "When Wit Applies Its Scalpel." The New York Times (March 9, 2001): E1.

Buckley, Michael. "Stage to Screen: Jon Robin Baitz and Keith Nobbs Discuss Their TV Projects." Playbill (March 11, 2007): http://www.playbill.com/features/article/106413.html

Grimes, William. "At Home With: Jon Robin Baitz; The Playwright as Modern-Day Moralist." The New York Times (May 7, 1992): E2.

Isherwood, Charles. "One Foot in the Closet, the Other One Roaming." The New York Times (June 13, 2005): E1.

Mackie, Drew. "Jon Robin Baitz: Not Your Usual TV Writer." AfterElton.com (September 25, 2006): http://www.afterelton.com/archive/elton/people/2006/9/baitz.html

Rich, Frank. "Resisting the Vortex by Living a Life of Books and Anger." The New York Times (March 18, 1991): E1.

Weber, Bruce. "Couple of the Moment in New York Theater." The New York Times (October 30, 1994): E5.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Kaczorowski, Craig  
    Entry Title: Baitz, Jon Robin  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2008  
    Date Last Updated November 7, 2008  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/literature/baitz_jr.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2008 glbtq, Inc.  
 

 

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