Anglo-American Interplay in Recent Drama

Overview

The provocative notion of a contemporary cross-cultural exchange within the medium of theatre is here imposed upon a dozen contemporary Anglo-American dramatists: Alan Ayckbourn and Neil Simon, Edward Bond and Sam Shepard, David Mamet and Harold Pinter, Caryl Churchill and Maria Irene Fornes, David Hare and David Rabe, Christopher Hampton and Richard Nelson. In each pairing, Ruby Cohn unites a British with an American playwright, exploring similarities both apparent and embedded - similarities that serve as a ...
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Overview

The provocative notion of a contemporary cross-cultural exchange within the medium of theatre is here imposed upon a dozen contemporary Anglo-American dramatists: Alan Ayckbourn and Neil Simon, Edward Bond and Sam Shepard, David Mamet and Harold Pinter, Caryl Churchill and Maria Irene Fornes, David Hare and David Rabe, Christopher Hampton and Richard Nelson. In each pairing, Ruby Cohn unites a British with an American playwright, exploring similarities both apparent and embedded - similarities that serve as a springboard for the exposure of a more profound, culturally based difference. Cohn brings a critical eye of unusual versatility and experience to the reading of these paired playwrights. In Pinter and Mamet, for example, she notes the shared sense of linguistic play. In the plays of Bond and Shepard, on the other hand, she explores the plight of the artist in society; in those of Simon and Ayckbourn, the comic exposition of middle-class mores. Without engaging in cultural reductivism or misleading stereotypes, Cohn demonstrates how such themes lend themselves to differing interpretations in Great Britain and in the United States. A certain transatlantic double focus thus illuminates both the composition and the interpretation of dramatic works in an increasingly globally minded age.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"To say Cohn's coverage is panoramic would be to understate the matter. As Cohn discusses no fewer than twelve playwrights and close to one hundred plays, one can't help being impressed with her graceful manipulation of so much material....In sum, Professor Cohn's facility of language and her insights into both American and English theatrical worlds construct an artistic bridge between America and Britain that will instruct and delight scholars and educators who claim (like Ms. Cohn) contemporary drama as their 'turf.'" Martha Gilman Bower, American Literature

"Cohn has certainly done her homework, and applies her findings with the intelligence that characterizes much of her vast body of writing-notably her Beckett criticism." James Frieze, Theatre Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521472678
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Pages: 202
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Funny money in New York and Pendon: Neil Simon and Alan Ayckbourn 9
2 Artists' arias: Edward Bond and Sam Shepard 36
3 Phrasal energies: Harold Pinter and David Mamet 58
4 Reading and teaching: Maria Irene Fornes and Caryl Churchill 94
5 Males articulating women: David Hare and David Rabe 117
6 Englobing intimacies: Christopher Hampton and Richard Nelson 141
Notes 167
Bibliography 177
Index of plays and playwrights 187
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