Terrence McNally Love! Valour! Compassion!
Awards: Tony Award for Best Play, New York Drama Critics Award for Best New American Play, OBIE Award for Playwriting, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play.
Born in 1939, McNally is an American playwright.
For further information on his life and works, see CLC, Volumes 4, 7, and 41.
Love! Valour! Compassion! (1994) is about gay life in America and the search for true love and happiness. The play unfolds at Gregory's summerhouse in upstate New York over three holiday weekends: Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day. The eight male characters alternately narrate the events of the weekends, each from his own perspective. The characters relate experiences from their relationships as well as the ways in which they deal with the effects of the AIDS epidemic. Favorably assessed as a ground-breaking work about gay life, Love! Valour! Compassion! has been compared to Mart Crowley's play about a group of homosexual men, The Boys in the Band (1969), as well as to the works of Thornton Wilder, Eugene O'Neill, and Anton Chekhov. While a few critics have suggested that the drama's themes are not well developed and that it relies too heavily on frank sexual humor and nudity, most agree with David Kaufman who wrote that McNally's "play refutes many myths regarding a gay lifestyle: above all by demonstrating that there can be more love—and yes, courage and compassion—within an extended family than many nuclear ones possess."