A Companion to Twentieth-Century American Drama / Edition 1

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This Companion provides an authoritative survey of twentieth-century American drama studies. Comprising over 30 original essays written by some of the best scholars and critics in the field, it emphasizes research and in-depth analysis, and is informed by debates drawn from past and present dramaturgical discussions. The volume balances studies of leading dramatists, such as Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Eugene O'Neill, and Gertrude Stein, with discussion of previously marginalized playwrights. The contributors examine the movements and themes that framed these playwrights' work, such as the Harlem Renaissance, lesbian and gay drama, and the solo performances of the 1980s and 1990s. They also situate twentieth-century American drama within larger discussions about American ideas and culture, allowing readers both to get an overview and to make new connections between particular plays and playwrights.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This Companion provides an original and authoritative survey of twentieth-century American drama studies, written by some of the best scholars and critics in the field.”  (Stephen Baker Hot Fiction Books, 31 December 2012)

“This volume includes more than 30 meticulously researched essays, some with illustrations, by the best-known contemporary experts on American drama and theater … Highly recommended. All collections; all levels.”

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Product Details

Meet the Author

David Krasner is an instructor in Theatre Studies, English, and African American Studies at Yale University. He is the author of Resistance, Parody, and Double Consciousness in African American Theatre, 1895–1910 and A Beautiful Pageant: African American Theatre, Drama, and Performance in the Harlem Renaissance (2002). He has twice won the Errol Hill Award from the American Society for Theatre Research for the best book or essay on African American theatre history. He has also worked as a professional actor and director.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction : the changing perceptions of American drama 1
2 American drama, 1900-1915 3
3 Ethnic theatre in America 18
4 Susan Glaspell and Sophie Treadwell : staging feminism and modernism, 1915-1941 34
5 American experimentalism, American expressionism, and early O'Neill 53
6 Many-faceted mirror : drama as reflection of uneasy modernity in the 1920s 69
7 Playwrights and plays of the Harlem renaissance 91
8 Reading across the 1930s 106
9 Famous unknowns : the dramas of Djuna Barnes and Gertrude Stein 127
10 Eugene O'Neill : American drama and American modernism 142
11 Fissures beneath the surface : drama in the 1940s and 1950s 159
12 Tennessee Williams 175
13 Expressing and exploring faith : religious drama in America 192
14 The American Jewishness of Arthur Miller 209
15 Drama of the 1960s 229
16 Fifteen-love, thirty-love : Edward Albee 247
17 The drama of the black arts movement 263
18 Sam Shepard and the American sunset : enchantment of the mythic west 285
19 Staging the binary : Asian American theatre in the late twentieth century 301
20 August Wilson 318
21 Native American drama 334
22 John Guare and the popular culture hype of celebrity status 352
23 Writing beyond borders : a survey of US Latina/o drama 370
24 "Off the porch and into the scene" : southern women playwrights Beth Henley, Marsha Norman, Rebecca Gilman, and Jane Martin 388
25 David Mamet : America on the American stage 406
26 1970-1990 : disillusionment, identity, and discovery 423
27 Maria Irene Fornes : acts of translation 440
28 From eccentricity to endurance : Jewish comedy and the art of affirmation 456
29 Repercussions and remainders in the plays of Paula Vogel : an essay in five moments 473
30 Lesbian and gay drama 486
31 American drama of the 1990s on and off-Broadway 504
32 Solo performance drama : the self as other? 519
33 Experimental drama at the end of the century 536
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