Robert Chesley was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1943. He moved to San Francisco in 1976 and became theater critic for
the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Chesley's first one-act play, "Hell, I Love You," was produced at Theatre Rhinoceros in 1980.
His play "Night Sweat" was the first full-length drama dealing with the AIDS crisis to be produced in New York. It had extendeull-length
and one-act plays. One of his most successful works wasd runs in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Chesley wrote over 30 full-length
and one-act plays. One of his most successful works was "Jerker." It had a long run in New York and generated controversy
with the Federal Communications Commission when it was aired on Pacifica Radio’s KPFK. Chesley died of AIDS in 1990. The Robert
Chesley Award for Lesbian and Gay Playwriting, given annually by Publishing Triangle, is named in his honor.