Jean Genet

Personal Information
Jean Genet was born in Paris on December 19, 1910. In 1943, after being imprisoned for theft, Genet began writing. Ignoring traditional plot and psychology, Genet's plays rely heavily on ritual, transformation, illusion and interchangeable identities. His experiences in prison would inform much of his work. Genet's first dramatic effort is a poignant examination of the oppressed and the oppressor. In Deathwatch he experiments with a murderer in the role of hero. In his next play; The Maids, Genet portrays a ritualistic act of two maids who take turns acting as "Madame," abusing each other as either servant or employer. His next play, The Balcony is set in a brothel, a palace of illusions in which men can indulge their secret fantasies. In The Blacks, a troupe of colored actors enacts before a jury of white- masked blacks the ritualistic murder of a white of which they have been accused. The last of Genet's plays to be produced during his lifetime, The Screens, is his comment on the Algerian revolution. In addition to his plays, Genet wrote several novels and film scripts. He also produced a silent picture, Un Chant D'Amour (1949). Genet died in Paris on April 15, 1986.
Playwrights' Sidewalk: Jean Genet has a star on the Playwrights' Sidewalk.

Production Theatre Opened Credit
1 The Maids Theater at St. Clement's Church 03/15/2012 Playwright
2 The Maids x 2 Bouwerie Lane Theatre 04/04/2006 Playwright
3 The Maids Bouwerie Lane Theatre 04/08/2005 Playwright
4 The Blacks: A Clown Show East 13th Street/CSC Theatre 03/11/2003 Playwright
5 Elle Zipper Theatre 07/17/2002 Playwright
6 Prisoner of Love New York Theatre Workshop 05/12/1995 Playwright
7 The Maids East 13th Street/CSC Theatre 09/21/1993 Playwright
8 The Maids East 13th Street/CSC Theatre 10/08/1986 Playwright
9 The Maids East 13th Street/CSC Theatre 01/03/1978 Playwright
10 The Balcony Abbey Theatre 12/04/1976 Playwright
11 The Maids One Sheridan Square 11/14/1963 Playwright
12 The Blacks: A Clown Show St. Mark's Playhouse 05/04/1961 Playwright
13 The Balcony Circle in the Square Downtown 03/03/1960 Playwright
Award Production Function
1 NOMINATED 2012 Lucille Lortel Award, Outstanding Revival The Maids Playwright
2 WON 1961 Obie Award, Best New Play The Blacks: A Clown Show Playwright
3 WON 1960 Obie Award, Best Foreign Play The Balcony Playwright