Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Robert Chesley papers
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (53.30 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
The Robert Chesley papers document his life as a playwright, theater critic and sexual outlaw. Chesley died of AIDS in 1990 at the age of 47.
Robert Chesley was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1943. He moved to San Francisco in 1976 and became theater critic for the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Chesley's first one-act play, "Hell, I Love You," was produced at Theatre Rhinoceros in 1980. His play "Night Sweat" was the first full-length drama dealing with the AIDS crisis to be produced in New York. It had extended runs in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Chesley wrote over 30 full-length and one-act plays. One of his most successful works was “Jerker.” It had a long run in New York and generated controversy with the Federal Communications Commission when it was aired on Pacifica Radio’s KPFK. Chesley died of AIDS in 1990. The Robert Chesley Award for Lesbian and Gay Playwriting, given annually by Publishing Triangle, is named in his honor.
14.7 linear feet
Copyright was not transferred to the GLBT Historical Society.
Collection is open for research. Funding for processing this collection was provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).