A Search for a Postmodern Theater: Interviews with Contemporary Playwrights

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Thirty-three leading American and British playwrights, from Robert Anderson to Paul Zindel, discuss their views on their own work and contemporary drama, and offer projections about theater for the 21st century. Proceeding from the premise that recent drama in various ways is a reaction to the modernism of Theater of the Absurd, the interviewer, John DiGaetani, terms the diverse responses postmodernism. This concept, while not universally accepted by the playwrights interviewed, becomes a point of departure for lively dialogue, providing insights into the particular playwrights and on contemporary theater in general.

Included among the interviewees are farcists, such as Alan Ayckbourn, Tina Howe, and Michael Frayn; playwrights of ethnic and black theater, such as Amlin Gray, Ed Bullins, and August Wilson; embodiments of Chekhovian theater, such as Simon Gray and A. R. Gurney; Maximalists like David Henry Hwang; feminists like Marsha Norman and Timberlake Wertenbaker; exponents of gay theater like Mart Crowley and William Hoffman; social critics like David Storey and Israel Horovitz; and traditionalists like Horton Foote, Romulus Linney, and Robert Anderson. Despite these broadly applied labels, clearly the output of these playwrights cannot be neatly pigeonholed even individually--let alone collectively--to describe any prevailing mode. Therefore, interviewer DiGaetani has chosen to stay with the appellation postmodernism, a widely accepted critical term in the arts used to signify a reaction to what is now an old-fashioned modernism.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

JOHN L. DiGAETANI is Associate Professor of English at Hofstra University and specializes in modern literature and theater.

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Table of Contents


Robert Anderson

Alan Ayckbourn

Eric Bentley

Ed Bullins

Mart Crowley

Jules Feiffer

Horton Foote

Michael Frayn

Larry Gelbart

Amlin Gray

Simon Gray

John Guare

A. R. Gurney

Christopher Hampton

William Hoffman

Israel Horovitz

Tina Howe

David Henry Hwang

Albert Innaurato

David Ives

Barrie Keeffe

Romulus Linney

Craig Lucas

Terrence McNally

Adrian Mitchell

Richard Nelson

Marsha Norman

Eric Overmyer

David Storey

Timberlake Wertenbaker

August Wilson

Lanford Wilson

Paul Zindel



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