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Robert Chesley

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NEWS
December 10, 1990 | MYRNA OLIVER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Robert Chesley, the activist who wrote "Night Sweat," the first play to deal with the AIDS crisis, has died in San Francisco. He was 47. Chesley died of the complications of acquired immune deficiency syndrome on Wednesday night in Mt. Zion Hospital, his agent, Bert Herman, said. Born in Jersey City, N.J., Chesley grew up in Pasadena and studied music at Reed College in Portland, Ore. He married and taught music at private prep schools in New York for 10 years.
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NEWS
December 10, 1990 | MYRNA OLIVER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Robert Chesley, the activist who wrote "Night Sweat," the first play to deal with the AIDS crisis, has died in San Francisco. He was 47. Chesley died of the complications of acquired immune deficiency syndrome on Wednesday night in Mt. Zion Hospital, his agent, Bert Herman, said. Born in Jersey City, N.J., Chesley grew up in Pasadena and studied music at Reed College in Portland, Ore. He married and taught music at private prep schools in New York for 10 years.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 18, 1987 | DENNIS McDOUGAL, Times Staff Writer
One recent Sunday morning, gay playwright Robert Chesley and the Rev. Larry Poland were both in church, preaching their own personal gospel on the broadcasting of obscenity on the radio. The Gospel According to Poland, who preaches every week at the Highland Evangelical Free Church in Redlands: "The argument that you can turn it off if you don't like it is a little like saying you can complain after you've been mugged. If it's on the radio, anyone can listen . . . even children."
ENTERTAINMENT
August 18, 1987 | DENNIS McDOUGAL, Times Staff Writer
One recent Sunday morning, gay playwright Robert Chesley and the Rev. Larry Poland were both in church, preaching their own personal gospel on the broadcasting of obscenity on the radio. The Gospel According to Poland, who preaches every week at the Highland Evangelical Free Church in Redlands: "The argument that you can turn it off if you don't like it is a little like saying you can complain after you've been mugged. If it's on the radio, anyone can listen . . . even children."
ENTERTAINMENT
September 27, 1996
Robert Chesley's landmark AIDS drama "Jerker" will have a benefit performance for the Purple Circuit gay and lesbian theater network Saturday at 10 p.m. at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica. Tickets are $15. Reservations: (213) 660-8587.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 20, 1985 | DAN SULLIVAN, Times Theater Critic
Plays written in answer to an immediate public crisis don't have to be written for the ages. It's enough that they help the viewer to acknowledge the crisis and to see the need for a personal response to it. If Robert Chesley's "Night Sweat" at the Fifth Estate Theatre helps its audiences to do that in regard to the AIDS crisis, it's welcome. That doesn't make it a good play--although it's surely not as hapless a play as it looks at the Fifth Estate. Playwright Chesley does have guts.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 22, 1987
What is obscene? It is obscene to make any part of one's living off the question. It is obscene of the preacher to pretend that he randomly hit on the broadcast of Robert Chesley's "Jerker"--the man monitors such things. It is obscene to pose as a defender of free speech in broadcasting such tripe when one hopes mainly for higher audience numbers, when a station's chief selling point is, willy-nilly, to be considered nobly avant-garde. It is obscene for a preacher to use irresponsible extremes such as "Jerker" to further the sexual repressions of most Christian religions and to call attention to himself as a defender of a rancid "purity."
ENTERTAINMENT
August 13, 1998
8pm: Theater The Los Angeles premiere of "Stray Dog Story," an adult comedy by Robert Chesley ("Jerker") about a dog-turned-human adrift on the streets of New York City, opens today at the St. Genesius Theatre in West Hollywood. * "Stray Dog Story," St. Genesius Theatre, 1047 N. Hayvenhurst Drive, West Hollywood. Thursdays-Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 7 and 10 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Ends Sept. 20. $20. (800) 581-6249.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 22, 1987 | DAVID CROOK
Michael Kearns--director of a play cited by the Federal Communications Commission last Thursday as "patently offensive" when broadcast over KPFK-FM--has decried the government's action as "gay bashing" and an "example of homophobia" at the FCC. The director of Robert Chesley's "Jerker" was joined at a news conference at the Celebration Theatre on Monday by actor David Stebbins and other gay-rights activists. The FCC has referred the Aug.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 1988 | NANCY CHURNIN
Two men lie in identical beds perpendicular to each other, covered by identical checkerboard blankets from the waist down, one hand on their bodies and the other clutching identical red phones. For all the intimacy inherent in the staging of Robert Chesley's "Jerker," which ends tonight at Sushi Performance Gallery, this story about two gay men who fall in lust and, later, in love over the phone is more than anything an elegy to the days of promiscuous pre-AIDS sex gone by.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 17, 1988 | NANCY CHURNIN
Those going to see Robert Chesley's "Jerker" at the Sushi Performance Gallery Thursday through Sunday won't just be seeing a play. They'll also witness the cause of the biggest Federal Communications Commission uproar over obscenity since comedian George Carlin used his "seven dirty words" routine on the radio. It all started when KPFK-FM in Los Angeles broadcast excerpts from "Jerker" on April 27, 1987, and complaints by an evangelical minister, the Rev.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 20, 1998 | F. KATHLEEN FOLEY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Stray Dog Story" at the Saint Genesius abounds with flagrantly stereotypical gay characters, scads of homosexual sex and the kind of in-your-face iconoclasm that made its playwright, the late Robert Chesley ("Jerker," "Night Sweat"), notorious. Although typically outrageous, "Dog Story" is a kinder, gentler satire than some of Chesley's other works. The lonely John (Robert Ellington) casually wishes that his devoted dog Buddy were his human lover.
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