Literary Works

Published Works

Book cover: Who's Afraid of Michael Kearns? by Michael Kearns
Who’s Afraid of Michael Kearns?

A collection of three plays by acclaimed Los Angeles playwright Michael Kearns known for “…collisions of sex and death, of eroticism and grief”—The LA Weekly.

Book cover: The Truth is Bad Enough by Michael Kearns
The Truth is Bad Enough

“We are all lucky to still have Michael Kearns with us…now recording his private and public story with an honesty and humor that put most other show-biz autobiographies to shame.” – Sir Ian McKellen

Book cover: The Drama of AIDS by Michael Kearns
The Drama of Aids

In The Drama of AIDS: My Lasting Connection with Two Plays That Survived the Plague, Michael Kearns weaves a remarkable tapestry that casts the theatre as a metaphor for how life unfolds in ways that are both beautiful and theatrical.

Other Published Works

Produced Plays

  • The Truth is Bad Enough
  • Intimacies
  • More Intimacies
  • Rock
  • Myron
  • Tell-Tale Kisses
  • Attachments
  • Mijo
  • Homeless, A Street Musical
  • Off
  • Robert’s Memorial
  • Make Love Not War
  • Once Upon a Time in South Africa
  • Torch
  • Wet Hankies
  • Bloodbound
  • Bang Bang

MORE INFO: Contact Michael Kearns for rights to produce.



“As a writer, Kearns is a modern-day Dickens, capturing with devilish detail AIDS sufferers hooking and injecting their way through life.” – Ray Lloyd, Los Angeles Times

Photo by Jim Cox



“Brilliant and incredibly moving… Kearns’ newest artistic rant finds him donning the tortured skins of a variety of Americans whose lives have been forever changed by the horrors of the war in Iraq.” – Travis Michael Holder, Backstage West

Photo by Zo Harris



“Kearns’ Bang Bang will leave you stunned and at a loss for words. Heartrending tales of tragedy weaved together by the common denominator of a gun will rip your heartstrings and possibly cause a flow of tears.”  – Gil Kaan, Backstage West

Photo by Gina Long

Current Writing

Excerpts from “A New Day” – a Lineage Production recognizing 40 years of HIV/AIDS:


By the time we exchanged vows in a ceremony for our nearest and dearest, Philip had begun to shrink. Everything was caving in on him, including–because of AIDS dementia–his sharp mind and delicious wit. A dedicated Francophile, we had traveled to Paris first, then subsequently took trips to Dusseldorf, London, Brugge, and Egypt. Part tour guide and part art teacher, Philip was my most mature relationship, perhaps ironically enriched by the ongoing threat of death. His parents refused to attend our wedding for religious reasons, but they showed up at his death bed. I tried but I was not polite.


Barely audible, he announced to his nurse, “You wouldn’t believe how hard he worked to get that baby.” Sitting at his bedside, holding my six-month old in my arms, I try to convince my friend that he can let go. “Paul,” I whisper, “you are a hero. There are so many of us who have been made better and fuller because of knowing you. Reading your work is forever, your impact is boundless.” He reaches out his hand and I hold it and then replace my hand with my daughter’s. Life and death meet.


He was barely recognizable playing a horse in Equus but I spotted him in the aisle next to my seat and I felt his heat even though the elaborate metallic horse’s head was designed to obscure his movie star hand-some face. I fantasized what it would be like to horse around with J. Victor Lopez. I found out. If there are one or two in a lifetime that you can describe as having been “madly in love” with, you are lucky. One day after making love for hours, we walked outside and he took in the expan-sive sky. “For purple mountain’s majesty,” he said. He had come to America from Cuba. During the months before his death, I spent Wednesday nights with him learning to be selfless. He was barely recognizable.

A Recent Post from Michael’s Blog on Medium

Loading RSS Feed