Screenwriter and Playwright John PiRoman Passes Away at 62
Three-time Writers Guild of America Award-winning screenwriter and playwright John PiRoman, 62, who split his writing career between the theatre and television, died of natural causes at his home in Miami, FL on March 11, according to his brother Raphael PiRoman.
Over a 35-year career, PiRoman's theatre scripts were produced twice at the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference prior to off-Broadway and regional theatre productions around the country. PiRoman also wrote for television including "St Elsewhere," adapted two novels for the PBS series American Playhouse and wrote several episodes of the HBO series "Happily Ever After," among others.
PiRoman was head writer for the FOX Television / Televisa telenovela project "Cassandra Day" and also wrote for the ABC-TV soap opera "All My Children," winning three WGA Awards for "Outstanding Writing for a Daytime Drama" (2001, 2002, 2004) and five Emmy Award nominations (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004). PiRoman also scripted several pilots for ABC and HBO.
The Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Waterford, CT, developed two of PiRoman's theatre scripts prior to their full production at regional theatres around the country. "Holy Mary: 5 Comic Scenes from One Tragic Life" (O'Neill: 1980) received a full production at Michigan Public Theatre (1984). "Sons of Don Juan" (O'Neill: 1990) received productions at the Asolo Theatre Center (1993) and San Jose Repertory (2001). PiRoman's English translation of Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" was produced at the Shakespeare Theatre at The Folger (1987) and at Peterborough Players (2002). PiRoman's "Power, Sex & Boogie," about the final days of a reclusive rock and roll legend, was produced at Michigan Public Theatre (1988) and received a workshop production at NYC's Public Theatre in 1989, headlined by Betty Buckley and Linda Hunt.
PiRoman's most popular theatre script, "The Palace of Amateurs," centering on the casting search for the actress to play Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone With The Wind," received its world premiere at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in 1982 featuring Mia Dillon, Paul McCrane and Mary Wickes. A subsequent 1984 production at the Dallas Theatre Center starred Mariel Hemingway and John Goodman and Laura Dern and Kyle McLachlan starred in the 1989 off-Broadway production.
PiRoman received his BSL in Russian from Georgetown University in 1974, where he acted, directed and wrote for The Mask & Bauble, the GU student drama society, mentored by GU Professor Emeritus Donn B. Murphy, and where he directed his own Russian translation of Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard." He also wrote the book and lyrics for the original musical "Diva: A Musical Outrage," thinly based upon the life of Maria Callas. He received an MFA in Stage Directing at Catholic University in 1975.
Born July 10, 1951, in Havana, Cuba, PiRoman immigrated to the United States in 1961 with his parents and younger brother Raphael, who survives him along with numerous cousins in Miami, FL and Havana, Cuba. Funeral services were private.