Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

2010 Alumni Guest

boston college arts council

Playwright & Screenwriter Fr. Bill Cain ‘70

Recipient of 2010 Arts Council Alumni Award




This year the Boston College Arts Council has selected Fr. Bill Cain to receive the annual Arts Council Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement in the spring of 2010. He will make a Boston College appearance at the 12th annual Boston College Arts Festival (April 29-30, May 1). While on campus Fr. Cain will participate in a career-related program, Inside the BC Studio, for students exploring a career in playwriting and screenwriting, and will receive the Arts Council award at the annual Taste of the Festival on Saturday, May 1.

Fr. Bill Cain is a Jesuit playwright and screenwriter. He had written numerous plays and television series including his most recent work, Equivocation, playing now off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theater Club’s New York City Center.  Bill is the founder of the Boston Shakespeare Company where he was Artistic Director for seven seasons.

Fr. Cain’s widely-produced play Stand-Up Tragedy earned six LA Critics Awards, including an award for distinguished writing, in its premiere at the Mark Taper Forum, and later garnered four Helen Hayes Awards at Arena Stage in Washington, DC and the Joe A. Calloway Playwriting Award for its Broadway engagement.

He wrote the television adaptation of the play for TNT, under the title Thicker Than Blood. He is the recipient of a George Foster Peabody Award for Outstanding Achievement in Television and a WGA Award for the series Nothing Sacred, which he co-created and wrote for ABC. He has written numerous telefilms and NightJohn for Hallmark/Touchstone - was named best American film of the year by New Yorker Magazine. His plays The Laying of Hands, 9 Circles and How to write a New book for the Bible: A Play for an Older Actress were developed by the Ojai Playwriting Conference.

His play, Equivocation, was developed at TheatereWorks in Palo Alto and at Ojai and was produced at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Rep, Geffen Playhouse, Manhattan Theatre Club and Marin Theatre. 9 Circles will be produced at the Marin Theatre Company in the 2010-2011 season as the recipient of their Sky Cooper Prize.

Fr. Cain became a Jesuit at age 18 and was ordained at 27. In addition to screenwriting, he teaches religion classes at St. Ignatius School, a Catholic middle school for boys founded in the Bronx in 1995. Fr. Cain showed the un-aired last episode of Nothing Sacred at the Boston College Arts Festival in 2001 and facilitated a discussion of the show afterwards.