The uniquely thematic approach of this resource will help teachers and librarians identify pertinent works of modern drama for students, and will enhance readers' understanding of these works. Ninety-nine plays are discussed, covering a broad range of works spanning more than a hundred years.
This volume responds to a renewed focus on tragedy in theatre and literary studies to explore conceptions of tragedy in the dramatic work of seventeen canonical American playwrights. For students of American literature and theatre studies, the assembled essays offer a clear framework for exploring the work of many of the most studied and performed playwrights of the modern era. Following a contextual introduction that offers a survey of conceptions of tragedy, scholars examine the dramatic work of major playwrights in chronological succession, beginning with Eugene O'Neill and ending with Suzan-Lori Parks. A final chapter provides a study of American drama since 1990 and its ongoing engagement with concepts of tragedy. The chapters explore whether there is a distinctively American vision of tragedy developed in the major works of canonical American dramatists and how this may be seen to evolve over the course of the twentieth century through to the present day. Among the playwrights whose work is examined are: Susan Glaspell, Langston Hughes, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka, August Wilson, Marsha Norman and Tony Kushner. With each chapter being short enough to be assigned for weekly classes in survey courses, the volume will help to facilitate critical engagement with the dramatic work and offer readers the tools to further their independent study of this enduring theme of dramatic literature.
The Decades of Modern American Drama series provides a comprehensive survey and study of the theatre produced in each decade from the 1930s to 2009 in eight volumes. Each volume equips readers with a detailed understanding of the context from which work emerged: an introduction considers life in the decade with a focus on domestic life and conditions, social changes, culture, media, technology, industry and political events; while a chapter on the theatre of the decade offers a wide-ranging and thorough survey of theatres, companies, dramatists, new movements and developments in response to the economic and political conditions of the day. The work of the four most prominent playwrights from the decade receives in-depth analysis and re-evaluation by a team of experts, together with commentary on their subsequent work and legacy. A final section brings together original documents such as interviews with the playwrights and with directors, drafts of play scenes, and other previously unpublished material. The major writers and their works to receive in-depth coverage in this volume include: * William Inge: Picnic (1953), Bus Stop (1955) and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1957); * Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents and Jerome Robbins: West Side Story (1957) and Gypsy (1959); * Alice Childress: Just a Little Simple (1950), Gold Through the Trees (1952) and Trouble in Mind (1955); * Jerome Lawrence and Robert Lee: Inherit the Wind (1955), Auntie Mame (1956) and The Gang's All Here (1959).
A Student Handbook to the Plays of Arthur Miller provides the essential guide to Miller's most studied and revived dramas. Authored by a team of leading scholars, it offers students a clear analysis and detailed commentary on five of Miller's plays: All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, A View from the Bridge and Broken Glass. A consistent framework of analysis ensures that whether readers want a summary of the play, a commentary on the themes or characters, or a discussion of the work in performance, they can readily find what they need to develop their understanding and aid their appreciation of Miller's artistry. A chronology of Miller's life and work helps to situate his oeuvre in context and the introduction reinforces this by providing a clear overview of his writing, its recurrent themes and how these are intertwined with his life and times. For each play the author provides a summary of the plot, followed by commentary on the context, themes, characters, structure and language, and the play in production - both on stage and screen adaptations; there are questions for further study and detailed notes on words and phrases in the text. The wealth of authoritative and clear commentary on each play, together with further questions that encourage comparison across Miller's work and related plays by other leading writers, ensures that this is the clearest and fullest guide to Miller's greatest plays.
Wilson's approach can be seen as a communal romanticism, dealing with ordinary people, language, and problems, giving the priority to the feeling and human dignity over logic, power and money, putting freedom and equity as a pivotal concern, almost presenting women and children as victims, and highlighting the importance of heritage, identity, and culture. As his self-revision message, all those three plays demonstrate scenes of black self-review, showing the blacks' part of responsibility in the situation they live in. It is a project of self-rehabilitation for the blacks. Since American society is a multicultural spectrum, there is not any certain legibly ascribed American identity. That is why Wilson does not submit to the claims of the dominant cultural trend by some white critics like Brustein. Wilson confidently presents the blacks identity typified with self-fulfilment and contribution to the American culture, as his alternative contributory image of man against the white dominant models, or the violent black ones.
This is the most comprehensive and insightful reference available on Broadway theater as an American cultural phenomenon and an illuminator of American life. • Comprises nearly 200 entries of landmark productions, important theater artists, and topics that highlight Broadway's powerful impact on American culture • Brings together the work of 65 contributors, including leading academic writers and researchers in theater and popular culture as well as working theater professionals • Presents a timeline of major events, including openings of selected landmark productions and birthdates of selected critical figures • Showcases 80-90 photographs of key figures and scenes from landmark productions • Provides a survey of both print and online resources, including general references, specific studies, and selected biographies • Offers a glossary of selected production and business terms • Includes an index of names, productions, and themes
Arthur Miller was one of the major American dramatists of the twentieth century, clearly ranking with other truly great American playwrights, including Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, and Edward Albee. The centennial of Miller’s birth in New York City on October 17, 1915 was celebrated around the world with a panoply of staged productions, theatrical events, media documentaries, and academic conferences. Miller earned his reputation during a career of more than seventy years, in which he achieved critical success in the 1940s and 1950s with the dramas All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, The Crucible and A View from the Bridge. He was also notable for his refusal to “name names at his appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee”, his marriage to the film actress Marilyn Monroe, and his spell as president of the literary organization, International P.E.N. Arthur Miller was not only a literary giant, but also one of the more significant political, cultural, and social figures of his time. He was a man of conviction and integrity who frequently took stands, popular and unpopular, on the ethical issues that engaged societies throughout the world. This collection includes eclectic essays from Miller scholars who provide detailed discussions of text and performance, of Miller as a political and cultural figure, and of his connection to other playwrights. The contributions explore the trajectory of Miller’s career, his most famous and frequently produced works, such as Death of a Salesman and The Crucible, the dramas of his later career, and his fiction. The collection appeals to a broad American and international audience and a cross-section of readers, including undergraduates, graduates, emerging scholars, drama and theatre specialists, as well as theatre-goers who flock to revivals of Miller’s plays.
'His drama is a piece of expert dramatic construction. Mr. Miller has woven his characters into a tangle of plot that springs naturally out of the circumstances of life today.' NEW YORK TIMES Three years on from the disappearance of his son, successful businessman Joe Keller has made a comfortable life for his family in America's Midwest: despite being accused of supplying defective aircraft equipment in World War 2, he is altogether happy. But, when a shadowy figure from Joe's past returns, his hidden truths are revealed, and the price of the American Dream is laid bare. Miller's first successful play on Broadway, All My Sons launched his career and established him as one of America's greatest dramatists, also winning him the 1946 Tony Award for Best Author. An incisive indictment of greed, capitalism and self-interest, All My Sons is remembered as one of the playwright's greatest works. This Methuen Drama Student Edition is edited by Clare Gleitman, with commentary and notes that explore the play's production history (including excerpts from an interview with director Jeremy Herrin) as well as the dramatic, thematic and academic debates that surround it.
This book offers a wealth of resources, critical overviews and detailed analysis of Ivo van Hove's internationally acclaimed work as the foremost director of theatre, opera and musicals in our time. Stunning production photos capture the power of van Hove's directorial vision, his innovative use of theatrical spaces, and the arresting stage images that have made his productions so popular among audiences worldwide over the last 30 years. Van Hove's own contribution to the book, which includes a foreword, interview and his director's notes for some of his most popular shows, makes this book a unique resource for students, scholars and for his fans across the different art forms in which he works. An informative introduction provides an overview of van Hove's unique approach to directing, while five sections, individually curated by experts in the respective fields of Shakespeare, classical theatre, modern theatre, opera, musicals, film, and international festival curatorship, offer readers a combination of critical insight and short excerpts by van Hove's collaborators, the actors in the ensemble companies van Hove works with in Amsterdam and New York, and by arts critics and reviewers.
The Cambridge Companion to American Theatre since 1945 provides an overview and analysis of developments in the organization and practices of American theatre. It examines key demographic and geographical shifts American theatre after 1945 experienced in spectatorship, and addresses the economic, social, and political challenges theatre artists have faced across cultural climates and geographical locations. Specifically, it explores artistic communities, collaborative practices, and theatre methodologies across mainstream, regional, and experimental theatre practices, forms, and expressions. As American theatre has embraced diversity in practice and representation, the volume examines the various creative voices, communities, and perspectives that prior to the 1940s was mostly excluded from the theatrical landscape. This diversity has led to changing dramaturgical and theatrical languages that take us in to the twenty-first century. These shifting perspectives and evolving forms of theatrical expressions paved the ground for contemporary American theatrical innovation.