About Richard Vetere
Richard Vetere served as an elected official of the Writer’s Guild of America East Council from 2012 to 2014 and was also made a Lifetime Member of the Guild in 2010 and was nominated for seat on the Council in 2014. He has also achieved artistic success as critic Michiko Kakutani writes in the New York Times in a review of his play Rockaway Boulevard “Vetere demonstrates the ability to mix the poetic with the colloquial.”
Mr. Vetere co-wrote the screenplay adaptation of his own novel The Third Miracle published by Simon & Schuster which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 1999, produced by Francis Ford Coppola, directed by Agneiszka Holland and starring Ed Harris and Anne Heche. The movie is distributed by Sony Picture Classics and was presented at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC in 2009 as a modern classic. It is considered by critics to be one of the best movies about faith every filmed. The story is about a priest investigating a statue crying tears of blood in a small parish in Queens. The novel received rave reviews in Library Journal and Publishers Weekly and named one of the best debut novels of the year.
The foreign rights to the novel are represented by William Morris/Endeavor. The novel is currently a Book of the Month Club Selection in Spain and Poland.
Mr. Vetere also wrote the screenplay adaptation of his stage play How to Go Out on a Date in Queens released in 2006 which based on his one act play. It stars Jason Alexander and Ron Pearlman.
Mr. Vetere’s first feature film Vigilante is based on his original screenplay. It stars Robert Forester and Fred Williamson. Vigilante, released in 1983, became a blockbuster movie overnight making it the 20th grossing picture in 1983 and was just now re-released in Blu-Ray. It was named “a cult classic” by critic David Denby in the New York Times. Vigilante’s success continues to bring Mr. Vetere screenplay work in Paris, London and Rome. It was recently screened at BAM as part of a festival of cult classic movies.
Over the years Mr. Vetere has written screenplays and adaptations for Paramount, Warner Bros, New Line and Zoetrope. His new short film You & Me co-written and produced with director Eddie Shieh has been accepted in over twenty-one film festivals around the world.
His short film You & Me was selected by 25 Film Festival in 2013 and 2014. Filming of his short film The Kids Menu starring Vincent Pastore beings in the fall of 2014.
Mr. Vetere wrote the most viewed teleplay ever shown on CBS TV. It was The Marriage Fool. He wrote the adaptation of his stage play The Marriage Fool for CBS Films and it was made starring Walter Matthau, Carol Burnet and John Stamos.
His teleplay adaptation of his stage play, Hale The Hero! about the first American spy Nathan Hale, was produced on A&E as part of the General Motors Playwright’s Theater starring Elisabeth Shue and was given rave reviews by The LA Times and the NY Daily
Mr. Vetere was staff writer for CBS show Dellaventura in 1999 starring Danny Aielo and he was Story Editor for ABC and Disney for Threat Matrix in 2003.
He has written TV pilots for Warner Bros and CBS with George Clooney as his executive producer.
In 2013 The New Perspectives Theater in NYC produced his ten-minute plays in Richard Vetere Explains the World: Ten Minutes at a Time. His stage play This Living Hand was given a reading by the New Group in Oct. 2014.
In 2012 his musical 100 Years Into the Heart was a semi-finalist at the O’Neil Theater and his play This Living Hand was a semi-finalist at the O’Neil Theater Conference in 2013.
Mr. Vetere was an artist-in-residence at the Culture Project as part of IMPACT 2012 in July where he wrote the first draft of the first act of his play Square One and it was presented at the 45 Bleecker Street Theater.
His play Last Day had its world premiere in July 2011 at Gloucester Stage where Boston’s The Edge wrote “It is a cleverly written play with taut, realistic dialogue.” The Boston Globe wrote “It’s a play with rapid-fire dialogue as in Mamet’s world.”
His play Caravaggio, translated into Italian, had its Italian world premiere in Rome, Porto Ercole and Capri in July 2011.
His Off-Broadway plays include Gangster Apparel, which had its world premiere at The Old Red Lion in London in 1995; One Shot, One Kill at Primary Stages in 2002 about the training of a Marine sniper which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and the New Yorker wrote “Vetere’s dialogue hurtles forward – bracing, revealing, sometimes funny, frequently sobering and always in sharp focus; the critically acclaimed Machiavelli at the Arclight Theater in 2006; Caravaggio at the award winning Silk Road in Chicago in 2006 which the Chicago Tribune writes “Lucid and complex dissection of such issues as religion, realism, art and romanticism…the play is fascinating.” He was a guest of the Chicago Humanities Festival that year.
His stage plays have been seen around the world including workshops of Ersatz with Annette Benning and Brendan Frazier at the Geffen Theater in LA and with Mark Ruffalo at MTC in NYC when it was under option by Chase Mishken; Gangster Apparel St. James in Melbourne; Cleveland Public Theater; The Engagement at the George Street Playhouse; The Vows of Penelope Corelli at Penguin Rep; Painting X’s On the Moon at Naked Angels; Four One Acts at the Kings Head in London to name a few and his A Coupla of Bimbos Sittin’ Around Talkin’ is produced in high schools around the country. His first play Rockaway Boulevard was first seen at the Actors Studio in 1978 and since has been produced all over with white, black and Latino actors most recently in 2005 on Theater Row.
He has also been produced by EST Hale the Hero!; New York Theater Workshop at Vassar Local Politics; HERE Gangster Apparel; Penguin Rep The Vows of Penelope Corelli to name a few theaters; Cleveland Public Theater Gangster Apparel.
His children’s play Bird Brain was just published by Dramatic Publishing.
Over a dozen of his plays are published by Dramatic Publishing and his one acts An Epic Story of Love and Sex Told in Ten Minutes: Chapter One and Meatball Hero and The Kids Menu were picked as the best short plays of the year in 2009, 2010 and 2011 included in the Anthology of the Best One Acts by Smith & Kraus. He was also commissioned to write a one-act play for the Actors Theater of Louisville.
His published books of poetry are Memories of Human Hands and A Dream of Angels and his new book of poetry The Other Colors In A Snow Storm published in 2012 by Bordighera Press.
In 2013 Mr. Vetere was commissioned by the Spirit of Broadway to write the book to a musical titled Benedict Arnold by the Spirit of Broadway with Bill Squire doing lyrics and Jeff Lodin doing music. The play opened to rave reviews in 2014.
In 2005 Mr. Vetere won the Spirit of Broadway’s Best Book and Best Musical award for his original musical 100 Years Into the Heart with music by Jeff Lodin and lyrics by Bill Squire. It has been seen in festivals in NYC and across the country. It was just optioned for Off-Broadway.
In 2004 Mr. Vetere was commissioned to write the book about Mario Lanza titled Lanza for the deceased Pierre Cosset, the recently passed Phil Ramone and Sonny Grosso.
His new novel The Writers Afterlife, was published in 2014 March 12th by Three Rooms Press to a rave review by Publishers Weekly. The Third Miracle in 1999 published in hardcover by Carol & Graf and trade paper back by Simon & Schuster. His novel about Caravaggio’s roommate Mario Minniti, Baroque, was published in 2010 by Bordighera Press. Mr. Vetere’s new novel Champagne and Cocaine will be released by Three Rooms Press in 2015. Mr. Vetere was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in fiction in 2014.
In 2015 Three Rooms Press will release his new novel Champagne and Cocaine.
GRANTS AND AWARDS FOR PLAYWRIGHTING AND POETRY:
A Mary Roberts Rinehart Grant for playwrighting: Cultural Foundation Grant/C.E.T.A Grant three years running for poetry and Mr. Vetere was a guest of the Chicago Humanities Festival for his stage play Caravaggio. In 2002 he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by Primary Stages for his play One Shot, One Kill. He was nominated for a People’s Choice Award for Dellaventura.
He is a member of Poets & Writers, NY Playwright’s Lab, Author’s Guild and Dramatist Guild. He is also a mentor for the Screenwriting Latino Festival sponsored by Sundance Films in Oaxaca, Mexico.
ACTING AND DIRECTING:
Mr. Vetere has one of the male lead roles in The Limbo Room with Melissa Leo directed by Debra Eisenstaedt and he is also in Jane Ainebinder’s movie Nail Polish. Mr. Vetere directed Maria Micheles’ play Around the Night Park at Theater for the New City in 2010 and is directing Begonya Plaza’s play Teresa’s Ecstasy at INTAR in May and he directed the world premiere of Katalina Mastcheau’s play The Model at Incubator Space in NYC in 2011. In 2013 he is starring in Vino Veritas by James Minniera at the Brooklyn Winery on N 8th Street in Wiliamsburg, the same street he was baptized on.
He holds a master’s in Comparative English Literature from Columbia University and teaches screenwriting at Queens College and teaches both playwrighting and screenwriting in the master’s program at NYU in recent years. This year he is on the masters degree panel for theses scripts for NYU.
He taught playwrighting at Lang College at the New School, and he has taught screenwriting at Montclair State.
In 2006 Stony Brook University and its Special Collections Division which includes the largest collection of Yeats’ poetry, created the Richard Vetere archives which are displayed in the Frank Melville Library.
Mr. Vetere is a born and raised New Yorker.