Famous playwrights share wisdom of love and life


Gay American playwrights have helped defined the cultures that they lived in but also the gay experience throughout the ages. With the help of Questia’s roundup of contemporary gay American poets and playwrights, here are five gay playwrights whose words of wisdom can enhance a same-sex wedding ceremony.


Oscar Wilde is known for his poems, short stories, fairy tales, plays and novels. He achieved success as a comic playwright with The Importance of Being Earnst in 1895 and was found guilty of “homosexual offenses” and imprisoned. He lived from 1854 to 1900. Though often quite a cynic, some of his famous phrases are good for creating a certain tone in your wedding ceremony:

“Everything popular is wrong.”

“To love one’s self is the beginning of a life-long romance.”


Tennessee Williams became a writer after college and wrote short stories, novels, poetry, essays and screenplays. He’s most noted for his screenwriting, including having penned The Rose Tattoo (1951), A Streetcar Named Desire (1948) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955). He lived from 1911 to 1983. Here are some of his famous words which could be incorporated into a ceremony:

“What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.”

“Enthusiasm is the most important thing in life.

“The future is called ‘perhaps,’ which is the only possible thing to call the future. And the important thing is not to allow that to scare you.”


James Broughton lived from 1913 to 1999 and was a poet and poetic filmmaker. He ignited the experimental filmmaking movement on the West Coast and was involved in the Beat movement. This quote would be perfect to illustrate the importance and power of love: “If you don’t fill your days with love, you are wasting your life.”




Edward Albee was born in 1928 and in his life received three Pulitzer Prizes for drama, one of which was for the play Three Tall Women. He also wrote Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, which received widespread recognition. He has said before that he prefers not to be known as a “gay writer” but instead a writer “who happens to be gay.”

One quote from his play Three Tall Women would be perfect to express the feeling of finding the right person.

“That’s the happiest moment. When it’s all done. When we stop. When we can stop.”



Tony Kushner received a Pulitzer Prize for his play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. He also co-authored the screenplay for Munich, a film directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 2005. He and his partner, Mark Harris, an editor of Entertainment Weekly, held a commitment ceremony in April 2003, which was the first same-sex wedding featured in the Vows column of the New York Times. He was born in 1956. Some of his quotes would effortlessly add to your ceremony script:

“The smallest indivisible human unit is two people, not one; one is a fiction. From such nets of souls societies, the social world, human life springs.”

“You’ll find, my friend, that what you love will take you places you never dreamed you’d go.” from Angels in America, A Gay Fantasia on National Themes

“I don’t know what will happen to me without you. Only you. Only you love me. Out of everyone in the world.” Angels in America, A Gay Fantasia on National Themes


Photo: poetryfoundation.org, artsfuse.org, historylink.org, todayinliterature.com, wikipedia.org