Visions of Tragedy in Modern American Drama

Author: David Palmer

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1474276946

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 272

View: 1813

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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.

A Raisin in the Sun

Author: Lorraine Hansberry

Publisher: Methuen Drama

ISBN: 9780413762405

Category: Drama

Page: 114

View: 5607

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In south side Chicago, Walter Lee, a black chauffeur, dreams of a better life, and hopes to use his father's life insurance money to open a liquor store. His mother, who rejects the liquor business, uses some of the money to secure a proper house for the family. Mr Lindner, a representative of the all-white neighbourhood, tries to buy them out. Walter sinks the rest of the money into his business scheme, only to have it stolen by one of his partners. In despair Walter contacts Lindner, and almost begs to buy them out, but with the help of his wife, Walter finally finds a way to assert his dignity.Deeply committed to the black struggle for equality and human rights, Lorraine Hansberry's brilliant career as a writer was cut short by her death when she was only 35. A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway and won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. Hansberry was the youngest and the first black writer to receive this award.

Modern and Contemporary Black British Drama

Author: Mary Brewer,Deirdre Osborne

Publisher: Palgrave

ISBN: 1137506296

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 252

View: 1909

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This indispensable overview of modern black British drama spans seven decades of distinctive playwriting from the 1950s to the present. Interweaving social and cultural context with close critical analysis of key dramatists' plays, leading scholars explore how these dramatists have created an enduring, transformative and diverse cultural presence.

The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary American Playwrights

Author: N.A

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408134810

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 480

View: 4444

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The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary American Playwrights is an authoritative single-volume guide to the work of twenty-five American playwrights from the second half of the twentieth century, written by a team of twenty-five eminent scholars from the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany and Ireland contributing individual studies to the work of each playwright. Each of the twenty-five chapters provides: a biographical introduction to the playwright and their work; a survey and concise analysis of each of the writer's published plays; a discussion of their style, dramaturgical concerns and the critical reception; and a full bibliography of published plays, listing of premieres and a select list of critical works. Among the many Tony, Obie and Pulitzer prize-winning playwrights included are Sam Shepard, Tony Kushner, Suzan-Lori Parks, August Wilson, Paula Vogel, Tracey Letts and Neil LaBute, besides many more. Unrivalled in its coverage of recent work and writers, this collection surveys and analyses the breadth, vitality and development of theatrical work to emerge from America over the last fifty years.

A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky

Author: David Eldridge,Robert Holman,Simon Stephens

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408198657

Category: Drama

Page: 128

View: 2236

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On a farm in the North East of England a family gathers. Five brothers and four generations feature in an epic play about hope, love, fear and the very end of time. A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky is a refreshingly subtle and compassionate vision of the world on the edge of apocalypse. Within a cosmological context, the focus is on a single family, their relations with each other and their unreconciled regrets, soon to become permanent. With an ensemble of strong, engaging characters, there are knotty, realistic family dynamics and a palimpsest of recent family history. The characters and dialogue are naturalistic but the serious themes are elucidated and alleviated with humour and quirky, surreal touches. The play represents a unique collboration between three of the UK's pre-eminent stage writers. The ambition of the partnership is matched by the ambition of the play's sweeping scope. Whilst the three voices collide, they also ring out individually without sacrificing the piece's coherent wholeness, and the play represents a rare, fascinating study in stage collaboration.

Plays for Young People

Citizenship; Scenes from Family Life; Totally Over You

Author: Mark Ravenhill

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408144794

Category: Drama

Page: 176

View: 6517

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A collection of three plays for young actors written by Mark Ravenhill: Citizenship, Scenes from a Family Life and Totally Over You, and including an introduction by the author. Originally commissioned as part of the National Theatre Connections programme, these three plays were specifically written for teenagers and are ideal for young performers aged 13-25 years old. Written with greater warmth and humanity than you might expect from the author of such controversial works as Shopping and F***ing, Ravenhill's plays for teenagers are compassionate, intelligent and not at all patronising. With themes of particular interest to teenagers, the plays explore the search for identity during the transition to adulthood: self-perception, relationships, sexual identity and obsession with fame. Citizenship is a bittersweet comedy about growing up, following a boy's frank and messy search to discover his sexual identity: schoolboy Tom dreams of being kissed, but is unsure whether it is by a man or woman. Scenes from a Family Life is set in a world where everyone starts to dematerialise. Six months on and Jack and Stacy are the only boy and girl on the planet. For Jack it's a dream, for Stacy a nightmare. And when the vanished start to return, Jack has to learn how complex adult relationships are. Totally Over You is an exploration of celebrity-obsession. Four girls break up with their boyfriends when they decide they only want to see celebrities. The boys decide to trick the girls into thinking that they are on the brink of fame and fortune as a boy band. The girls decide to win the boys back. But what will happen when they discover the truth?

Mongrel Island

Author: Ed Harris

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1408160757

Category: Drama

Page: 96

View: 5504

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Marie is losing herself in her grey office existence, trapped by endless piles of paperwork and the same people saying the same things every single day. But as she is forced to work later and later into the night, she discovers a deeply strange twilight world where a new possibility for rescuing her sanity is illuminated by the fluorescent office lights. Commissioned by Soho Theatre and written by up-and-coming writer Ed Harris, Mongrel Island explores the mind and memory, offering a perspective of how the workplace can strip away our humanity. Combining madcap, surreal humour with an indictment of the corporate world's subjugation of individualism, Mongrel Island is a bittersweet, touching and darkly humourous play.

Freefall

Author: Michael West

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1408135612

Category: Drama

Page: 96

View: 550

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There are things I haven't said. Things I want to say again. I need to think. I need more time. A sudden shock, and a man's life flashes before his eyes. He experiences an intense rush of extraordinary images and tangled memories, revelations and lost connections. People time and places swirl around him. As he valiantly attempts to stitch it all back together, will his luck hold out? The play's conceit follows a man who has suffered a stroke and then experiences a series of flashbacks. Trapped within his own head, the audience are taken with him through a whistlestop tour of his life and a series of vivid, often painful episodes from a childhood tragedy to a crumbling marriage.  In a beguiling portrait of mortality and humanity, Freefall explores memory, family and loss. From the author of Dublin by Lamplight and Foley, Freefall reunites award-winning Irish playwright Michael West with The Corn Exchange: Dublin's innovative theatre company who explore the boundaries and possibilities of theatre with their trademark style of Commedia dell'Arte. Freefall is a sharp, humorous and exhilarating look at the fragility of a human life, blending impressionistic beauty, poignancy and comedy.Â

'Town' and 'Honest'

Author: DC Moore

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1408135310

Category: Drama

Page: 144

View: 5050

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"So here I am, homeless at home and half-gratified to feel that I can be happy anywhere" John Clare Inspired by the four-day journey made on foot by the legendary mad poet, John Clare, Town creates a new story set in contemporary Northampton. On John's return to Northampton from the bright lights of London, he finds his hometown is exactly the same as when he left it - from the rooms at his parent's house, to the Saturday nights on Abington Street. In fact, the only thing that seems to have changed... is John. Slipping back into his old habits, old jobs and old relationships, an out of work and disillusioned John considers why he swapped the anonymity of corporate city life for the comforts of home and embarked upon a sixty mile walk North. Northampton writer DC Moore's Town poignantly explores enduring themes of identity, isolation and belonging, rooting them in modern life. With heartbreaking honesty and humour, the play probes the feelings that we all have about our hometown, and follows one man on his road to get back to where he started. This edition also includes the darkly comic monologue Honest, where one man's addiction for telling the truth leads to a night that spirals out of control. Taking you on a journey across London towards a late-night epiphany, the piece explores the lies we tell ourselves and each other, and the fall-out when the truth is revealed.

Sucker Punch

Author: Roy Williams

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408131366

Category: Drama

Page: 86

View: 871

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Roy Williams' Sucker Punch looks back on what it was like to be young and Black in the 80s and asks if the right battles have been fought, let alone won.

The Empire

Author: DC Moore

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1408198576

Category: Drama

Page: 112

View: 827

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"Patch you up, all nice like, splint, bandage your leg. All very civilized actually. But then. Then. We hand you over." Helmand in the height of summer. Gary, a British soldier, and Hafizullah, his Afghan colleague, guard an injured young prisoner, Zia, found in the heat of battle. Gary wants answers, Hafizullah just wants to make it through the day and Zia thinks there has been a big mistake. Surrounded by intense heat and violence, the characters' moral codes are tested to the limit. DC Moore's second play dissects the politics of occupation, home and abroad. With both painful and witty insight, he explores some of the lengths humanity is stretched to under the circumstances of war. The strong characterisation enjoys a healthy dose of humanity and the politically-charged subject is handled with subtlety and atypical nuances. The Empire is an amusing and sometime shocking insight into life in the Afghanistan war.

'Wastwater' and '|'

Author: Simon Stephens

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408154870

Category: Drama

Page: 96

View: 2046

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"You make one decision. It stays with you. It's like the consequences of it get into your bones." Set on the edges of Heathrow airport, Wastwater is an elliptical triptych - a snapshot of three different couples who make a choice that will define the fallout of their future. Harry is on the point of leaving England and Frieda knows she will never see him again. Lisa and Mark are on the point of a sexual betrayal that takes them into a place darker than they ever thought possible. Sian has a terrifying deal for Jonathan and she isn't going to take no for an answer. A reflective piece by a playwright at the height of his powers and career, Wastwater mimics the flexible and innovative form of Stephens's hit play Pornography with three overlapping, but detachable, parts which can be split and played in differing orders. The play contains Stephens's trademark combination of sensitive character depiction and tough confrontation with political choices. Wastwater is a meditative morality tale and a portrayal of modern-day relationships, formed and deformed by fatal decisions, inevitable consequences and fragile connections. This volume also contains the monologue T5, which portrays a road trip below the heart of London and follows a darkly magical flight out of the edges of the 21st century.

The Lark

Author: Jean Anouilh

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Christian women saints

Page: 103

View: 4848

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Longacre Theatre, Kermit Bloomgarden presents Julie Harris in "The Lark," a play by Jean Anouilh, adapted by Lillian Hellman, also starring Boris Karloff with Joseph Wiseman, Christopher Plummer, Theodore Bikel, Bruce Gordon, Paul Roebling, Roger De Koven, directed by Joseph Anthony, lights and settings by Jo Mielziner, costumes by Alvin Colt, music composed by Leonard Bernstein, production stage manager Bill Ross.

Earthquakes in London

Author: Mike Bartlett

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408135647

Category: Drama

Page: 176

View: 5469

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It's Cabaret, we've got our heads down and we're dancing and drinking as fast as we can. The enemy is on its way, but this time it doesn't have guns and gas it has storms and earthquakes, fire and brimstone.... You were the glimmer. At the end of the tunnel. And you went out. An all-pervasive fear of the future and a guilty pleasure in the excesses of the present drive Mike Bartlett's epic rollercoaster of a play from 1968 to 2525 and back again. Earthquakes in London includes burlesque strip shows, bad dreams, social breakdown, population explosion, worldwide paranoia. It is a fast and furious metropolitan crash of people, scenes and decades, as three sisters attempt to navigate their dislocated lives and loves, while their dysfunctional father, a brilliant scientist, predicts global catastrophe. Mike Bartlett's contemporary and directed dialogue combines a strong sense of humanity with epic ambition, as well as finely-aimed shafts of political comment embedded effortlessly into every scene.

Days of Significance

Author: Roy Williams

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408148161

Category: Drama

Page: 128

View: 9529

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Written in response to Much Ado About Nothing and performed by Dominic Cooke's Pericles and The Winter's Tale Company, Roy Williams' Days of Significance is set in market-town England and the deserts of Iraq. Two young soldiers join their friends to binge drink the night before they leave for active service. Their complex love lives and mortal fears directly impact on their tour of duty. Roy Williams looks at how the naive and malformed moral codes of these young men have catastrophic reverberations for the West's moral authority.

Drama

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Theater

Page: N.A

View: 3942

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Heather Gardner

Author: Robin French

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1472508173

Category: Drama

Page: 128

View: 1760

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All the rooms reek of lavender and rose petals. There's something dead about it. Like flowers the day after a ball. Returning to her home town in the house of her dreams, her husband with a new job on the horizon, and a feeling of change in the air. Yet, for Heather, there is only the feeling of boredom, a feeling as futile as it is fatal. A powerful and emotionally charged play about a woman's separation and isolation from the affluent, materialistic society that she has become a part of. Set in 1960s Edgbaston, Heather Gardner is a fresh and stylish new take on Ibsen's Hedda Gabler. It is written by one of the UK's most promising young writers Robin French, whose first play, Bear Hug, won the Royal Court Young Writer's Festival and was produced at the Royal Court in 2004, where it earned an extended run.

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

Author: Bertolt Brecht

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408179938

Category: Drama

Page: 88

View: 559

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This scathing satire and parable transposes the rise of Hitler to gangland Chicago and continues to have relevance wherever totalitarianism appears today.

Mercury Fur

Author: Philip Ridley

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408141523

Category: Drama

Page: 132

View: 3243

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Challenging new play by the enfant terrible of dark, disturbing drama Elliot is panicking. The party that he and his brother Darren have been planning has been brought forward - to tonight. In a lawless, ravaged city, where memories of the past have been brutally erased, the boys and their team survive by realising their clients' darkest fantasies. But just how far are they prepared to go in trading humanity for information? As the light fades and events spiral out of control it becomes clear that on the success of the evening hangs not just their security, but their existence. The world is at its worst...let the party begin. Mercury Fur is a challenging new work containing some explicit scenes that may cause offence. Published to tie-in with the play's premier at the Drum Theatre, Plymouth and The Chololate Factory, London in February 2005, produced by Paines Plough. "Philip Ridley is a singular writer, a prolific polymath, probably a genius, and the creator of some of the most peculiar, grotesque and compelling British plays (and films) of the last several years" Time Out

The Lion in Love

A Play

Author: Shelagh Delaney

Publisher: London : Methuen

ISBN: N.A

Category: English drama

Page: 104

View: 1249

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