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Long, Quincy 1945-

LONG, Quincy 1945-

PERSONAL:

Born October 26, 1945, in Youngstown, OH; married, 1986. Education: Hiram College, B.A., 1970; Yale Drama School, M.F.A., 1986.

ADDRESSES:

Home—New York, NY. Agent—The Gersh Agency, 41 Madison Avenue, 33rd Floor, New York, NY 10010.

CAREER:

Writer and dramatist. Painesville Telegraph, Painesville, OH, reporter, 1971-73; School of Fine Arts, Willoughby, OH, technical director, 1973-76; actor, New York, NY, 1986-83; professional writer, 1983—. Guest lecturer, University of California at San Diego, 1992. Member, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Dramatists, and BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. Military service: U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, 1963-69.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Outer Circle Drama critics playwrighting award nomination, 1994, for Shaker Heights; Fund for the New American Plays Award, 1996, for The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite; Kesserling Prize runner up for The Virgin Molly; grants from National Endowment for the Arts and NYFFA.

WRITINGS:

PLAYS

Korea (one act), produced in New Haven, CT, 1984.

The Johnstown Vindicator (produced in New York, NY, 1984), Dramatists Play Service (New York, NY), 1989.

Something about Baseball (one act), produced in New Haven, Ct, then New York, NY, 1985.

Instructions to the Phantom of the Opera, produced in New York, NY, 1985.

Shaker Heights, produced in Washington, DC, 1986; produced in New York, NY, 1994.

Dirty Work, produced in New York, NY, 1987.

The Virgin Molly, produced in Berkeley, CA, 1990.

The Adventures of Por Quinly (musical for children), produced at Sundance Children's Theatre, 1991.

Yokohama Duty, produced in New York, NY, 1991.

Gamboling on the Game, produced in San Francisco, CA, 1994.

The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite (produced in New York, NY, 1996), Dramatists Play Service (New York, NY), 1998.

The Lively Lad, produced in Louisville, KY, 1998.

Snapshot (produced in Louisville, KY, 2002), Play-scripts, Inc. (New York, NY) 2003.

Scene at Mount Rushmore, (produced in Louisville, KY, 2002), Playscripts, Inc. (New York, NY), 2003.

Also author of plays, including The Sex Organ, produced 1982; Bascombe & Bascombe, produced 1983; Whole Hearted, produced 1989; The Year of the Baby, produced 1989; The Song of the Carpet, produced 1996; and The Sixth-Floor Museum, produced 1989. Author of screenplays Marlon Brando's Roommate, 1986 and The Miami Messiah, 1993; and of television plays The Sportswriter (adaptation of Richard Ford novel), 1988, and The Man Who Fell in Love with a Pigeon, 1988.

SIDELIGHTS:

In plays that cover a broad social perspective, be it gender identity, romance, political corruption, or baseball, Quincy Long zooms in on human follies, frailties, and strengths with an eerie consciousness about the irrationalities of human behavior. His traditional writing style rejects experimentation and abstraction, and his work is easily understood by a broad audience.

"Long's themes are as all-American as his treatment of them is irreverent," wrote a contributor to Contemporary Dramatists. The same contributor commented about Something about Baseball, where an intellectual German fan wants to become a major-league player, by saying that "Long tweaks convention but with cheekiness rather than contempt." Reviewing The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite, the contributor noted that when dealing with romantic themes Long is "adept at exposing both the exhilaration and the absurdity of mating rituals and human bonding."

Shaker Heights, a comic farce surrounding sex among country club members, was criticized by William Stevenson, reviewing in Back Stage, as having a slim plot with a flimsy story line that "never hits the heights promised in the title, despite the cast's energetic efforts." While he found the double entendres comparing sex to golf entertaining, Stevenson called the play "as artificial as the turf on stage." Chris Jones, writing in Variety, reviewed The Lively Lad, a play about eunuchs, and called it "highly original," "an intermittently amusing affair" scoring "satirical points about the rise of conservatism in today's world."

The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite received mixed reviews. The story line surrounds three unemployed loggers in the cold and rugged north woods who meet a stranger in a bar who is even more drunk and lonely than they are. The stranger offends them, and after harassing the man and accidentally shooting him—not fatally—the loggers find in the man's hat brim a letter from his wife who has run off to Canada with a new lover. Outraged, the loggers decide to reunite the couple, and drive off with the injured man to Canada. However, the trip does not go quite as planned: God and alcohol influence the logger's straightforward approach to the problem. Robert L. Daniels of Variety called The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite a "dark backwoods comedy [that] goes nowhere fast." Peter Marks of the New York Times called it "spare and mystical," packed with the "language and imagery of faith: words like 'miracle' and 'spirit' crop up frequently." Noting that the three loggers even conduct a symbolic baptism on a frozen lake, Marks remarked that the tale "illuminates both the hardship and the spirituality of everyday life. It's a sweet, quirky play that reflects a truly original sensibility." And Eric Grode, writing in Back Stage, dubbed it a "gem … quirky, funny, thought-provoking … as welcome a treat as New York has seen this year." He believed that Long "manages to forge a daring new voice.… manages to ask—and sometimes answer—big questions about faith and manhood without ever forgetting to tell an entertaining story."

In a short biography on the Horizon Company Web site, Long explained that his inspiration for the award-winning play came after visiting a Swedenborgian cathedral in a small Pennsylvanian town while researching material for another play. Wearing his "hippie sunglasses and carrying everything in a paper shopping bag," he entered a biker bar looking for a diet Coke. Upon making eye contact with a patron, he watched an ashtray whiz dangerously close to his head. He left—"inspired by the 'heady combination' of the bar and the church."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Contemporary Dramatists, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.

PERIODICALS

Back Stage, June 21, 1991, David Sheward, review of Yokohama Duty, p. 28; April 22, 1994, William Stevenson, review of Shaker Heights, p. 38; April 11, 1997, Eric Grode, review of The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite, p. 38; April 7, 2000, Victor Gluck, review of The Year of the Baby, p. 42.

Nation, April 23, 1988, Thomas M. Disch, review of Dirty Work, p. 580.

New York Times, April 11, 1997, Peter Marks, review of The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite, section C, p. 3; D. J. R. Bruckner, review of The Year of the Baby, section E, p. 10.

San Francisco Chronicle, June 26, 1997, Steven Winn, review of The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite, section E, p. 1.

Variety, April 14, 1997, Robert L. Daniels, review of The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite, p. 366; April 14, 2003, Chris Jones, review of The Lively Lad, p. 35.

Village Voice, April 22, 1997, Martin Washburn, review of The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite, p. 92.

ONLINE

Horizon Company Web site,http://www.mindspring.com/~horizonco/ (October 9, 2004), "Quincy Long."*

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