Skip to main content

Rabe, David

David Rabe (rāb), 1940–, American playwright, b. Dubuque, Iowa; grad. Loras College (B.A., 1962), Villanova Univ. (M.A., 1968). Rabe served in Vietnam (1965–67) and his experiences and observations there inspired his first two plays–The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel (1971, Obie Award) and Sticks and Bones (1971, Tony Award). Both realistically depict the brutality of war and its aftermath using dramatic situations, searing characterizations, and explosive dialogue. In his third wartime drama, the prize-winning Streamers (1975, film 1983), race and homosexuality tear apart a Vietnam-era Southern army camp. Rabe's best-known play is probably Hurlyburly (1985, film 1998), a gritty and tragicomic exploration of Hollywood's aimless, dissolute, and shallow culture. His other plays include In the Boom Boom Room (1973, film 1999); The Orphan (1975), a version of Aeschylus's Oresteia; Goose and Tomtom (1982); A Question of Mercy (1997); The Dog Problem (2000), a dark comedy; and The Black Monk (2002). He has written the screen versions of his plays and other film scripts, e.g., for I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can (1982), Casualties of War (1989), and The Firm (1993). In more recent years he has also turned to fiction, writing three novels, Recital of the Dog (1993), Dinosaurs on the Roof (2008), and Girl by the Road at Night (2010), and a book of short stories, A Primitive Heart (2005).

See studies by P. V. Kolin (1988) and T. S. Zinman, ed. (1991).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rabe, David." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Nov. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Rabe, David." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rabe-david

"Rabe, David." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved November 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rabe-david

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.