Googled: Bill Cain, SJ ’70

Published: April 2011

Bill Cain, SJ, ’70 made his playwriting debut in 1989 with Stand-Up Tragedy, a withering look at inner city education that won six L.A. Critics Awards and the Joe A. Calloway Playwriting Award for its Broadway engagement. Television work followed, including the 1996 teleplay for the Gary Paulsen novel Nightjohn, which New Yorker film critic Terrence Rafferty called the “best American movie” of that year. Cain also wrote and produced the 1997 ABC series Nothing Sacred, about a Catholic priest who questions his vocation. The show won the George Foster Peabody Award but was cancelled after less than one season.

In 2009 Cain returned to the stage with Equivocation, a “cerebrally pyrotechnic” drama, according to the Los Angeles Times, about the 1605 Gunpowder Plot—when Catholic terrorists conspired to blow up the British House of Lords. He followed in 2010 with Nine Circles, the story of an Iraq War veteran accused of atrocities. Both earned the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, the first time a playwright has won in consecutive years. A Jesuit since age 18, Cain sees writing plays as part of his priestly mission. “My plays are funny, sometimes darkly funny,” he told the Wall Street Journal, “but they move to the light.”

This feature was posted on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 and is filed under Research.