A Companion to Twentieth-Century American Drama / Edition 1

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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.

  • Balances consideration of canonical material with discussion of works by previously marginalized playwrights
  • Includes studies of leading dramatists, such as Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Eugene O'Neill and Gertrude Stein
  • Allows readers to make new links between particular plays and playwrights
  • Examines the movements that framed the century, such as the Harlem Renaissance, lesbian and gay drama, and the solo performances of the 1980s and 1990s
  • Situates American drama within larger discussions about American ideas and culture
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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

List of Illustrations.

Notes on Contributors.

Preface: Molly Smith (Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.).


1. Introduction: The Changing Perceptions of American Drama: David Krasner (Yale University).

2. American Drama 1900-1915: Mark Evans Bryan (Dennison University).

3. Ethnic American Drama: Rachel Shteir (DePaul University).

4. Susan Glaspell and Sophie Treadwell: Staging Feminism and Modernism, 1915-1941: J. Ellen Gainor (Cornell University) and Jerry Dickey (University of Arizona).

5. American Experimentalism, American Expressionism, and Early O'Neill: DeAnna M. Toten Beard (Baylor University).

6. Many-Faceted Mirror: Drama as Reflection of Uneasy Modernity in the Twenties: Felicia Hardison Londré (University of Missouri-Kansas City).

7. Playwrights and Plays of the Harlem Renaissance: Annemarie Bean (Williams College).

8. Reading Across the 1930s: Anne Fletcher (Southern Illinois University-Carbondale).

9. Famous Unknowns: The Dramas of Djuna Barnes and Gertrude Stein: Sarah Bay-Cheng (Colgate University).

10. Eugene O'Neill: American Drama and American Modernism: David Krasner (Yale University).

11. Fissures Beneath the Surface: Drama in the 1940s and 1950s: Thomas Adler (Purdue University).

12. Tennessee Williams: Brenda Murphy (University of Connecticut).

13. Expression and Exploring Faith: Religious Drama in America: Peter Civetta (Cornell University).

14. The Jewishness of Arthur Miller: Murray Biggs (Yale University).

15. Drama of the 1960s: Christopher Olsen (York College and Millerville University).

16. Fifteen-Love, Thirty-Love: Edward Albee: Steven Price (University of Wales, Bangor).

17. The Drama of the Black Arts Movement: Mike Sell (Indiana University of Pennsylvania).

18. Sam Shepard and the American Sunset: Enchantment of the Mythic West: Leslie A. Wade (Louisiana State University).

19. Staging the Binary: Asian American Theatre in the Late Twentieth Century: Daphne Lei (University of California, Irvine).

20. August Wilson: Harry J. Elam, Jr. (Stanford University).

21. Native American Drama: Ann Haugo (Illinois State University).

22. John Guare and the Popular Culture Hype of Celebrity Status: Gene A. Plunka (University of Memphis).

23. Writing Beyond Borders: A Survey of U. S. Latina/o Drama: Tiffany Ana Lopez (University of California, Riverside).

24. Off the Porch and into the Scene: Southern Women Playwrights Beth Henley, Marsha Norman, Rebecca Gilman and Jane Martin: Linda Rohrer Paige (Georgia Southern University).

25. David Mamet: America on the American Stage: Janet V. Haedicke (University of Louisiana at Monroe).

26. 1970-1990: Disillusionment, Identity, and Discovery: Mark Fearnow (Hanover College).

27. Maria Irene Fornes: Andrew Sofer (Boston College).

28. From Eccentricity to Endurance: Jewish Comedy and the Art of Affirmation: Julia Listengarten (University of Central Florida).

29. Repercussions and Remainders in the Plays of Paul Vogel: An Essay in Five Moments: Ann Pellegrini (New York University).

30. Lesbian and Gay Drama: Jill Dolan (University of Texas).

31. American Drama of the 1990s On- and Off-Broadway: June Schlueter (Lafayette College).

32. Solo Performance Drama: The Self as Other? Stephen Bottoms (University of Glasgow).

33. Experimental Drama at the End of the Century: Ehren Fordyce (Stanford University).


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