Acts of War: Iraq and Afghanistan in Seven Plays

Overview

As Karen Malpede points out in her introduction to Acts of War, drama "arose as a complement to, perhaps also as an antidote to, war." Like the great ancient Greek playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the playwrights in this volume see the theater as an art form uniquely capable of addressing the effects of warfare.

From the violence on the battlefield and in the cells of Guantanamo to the toll exacted on veterans, victims, and civil society, these wars in Iraq and ...

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Overview

As Karen Malpede points out in her introduction to Acts of War, drama "arose as a complement to, perhaps also as an antidote to, war." Like the great ancient Greek playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the playwrights in this volume see the theater as an art form uniquely capable of addressing the effects of warfare.

From the violence on the battlefield and in the cells of Guantanamo to the toll exacted on veterans, victims, and civil society, these wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Writing with poetic passion, humor, and erotic charge, American and British playwrights bear-witness to the realities of these wars for combatants and civilians alike and ask what it means to be a citizen in a democracy at war. With an introduction that sets the plays in the broader context to the theater's roots and recent history and a galvanizing foreword from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Chris Hedges, Acts of War is a remarkable testament to the social conscience and moral importance of contemporary theater.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"We in America are confounded by contradictions and are here challenged to look, to see, to know ourselves--our lies and hypocrisy, our courage and goodness." -- Olympia Dukakis
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810127326
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 3/30/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Malpede is author of fifteen produced plays, short stories, and essays on theater and human rights, and a collection of early plays, A Monster Has Stolen the Sun and Other Plays (1987). She is cofounder, with George Bartenieff and the late Lee Nagrin, of Theater Three Collaborative. She has taught Greek and contemporary drama and writing at Smith College, New York University, and the CUNY Graduate Center’s Continuing Education Program.

Michael Messina was the publisher at Applause Theatre & Cinema Books and Limelight Editions (Hal Leonard Corporation).He has also worked for Da Capo Press, Cooper Square Press, and the American Booksellers Association.

Bob Shuman is the owner of Marit Literary Agency in New York, and is an editor, a playwright, a college professor, an author, and a composer. He is coeditor of Duo!: The Best Scenes for Two for the 21st Century (2009). A fellow of the Lark Theatre Company, he is the recipient of Hunter College’s Irv Zarkower Award for excellence in playwriting. Visit Shuman’s theater website, Stage Voices, at www.stagevoices.com.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Chris Hedges vii

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction Karen Malpede xv

Guantanamo: "Honor Bound to Defend Freedom" Victoria Brittain Gillian Slovo 3

American Tet Lydia Stryk 45

The Vertical Hour David Hare 97

Prophecy Karen Malpede 179

9 Circles Bill Cain 251

No Such Cold Thing Naomi Wallace 317

A Canopy of Stars Simon Stephens 343

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