Hurlyburly and Those the River Keeps: Two Playsby David Rabe
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Nominated for the Tony Award when it was first produced in 1984, Hurlyburly was immediately hailed as a classic American drama. This edition is the definitive version of the prize-winning author's most celebrated work, reflecting his continued exploration of the play through several productions-in particular the one he directed in 1988 at the Westwood Playhouse in Los Angeles-and his latest thoughts regarding the text.
Now prize-winning playwright David Rabe has matched and deepened it with Those the River Keeps, an intense psychological exploration of Hurlyburly's most dangerous and enigmatic character. This edition contains the definitive versions of these works, a foreword in which Rabe examines the interwoven relationship of the plays, and an afterword in which he discusses the process of their construction.
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Hurlyburly sets the stage for Those the River Keeps. Hurlyburly was a good idea in and of itself but the prequel Those the River Keeps, I think, may only satisfy the author. Those the River Keeps focuses on Phil and the events surrounding his life that lead to his end in HurlyBurly. Inceredibly long monologues that seem to have almost nothing to do with the story at hand break out all over this play. The point of each character in this play is nearly lost and by the end you are feeling you have "lost yourself." Use Hurlyburly to do in depth character analysis and Those the River Keeps for scene study as both of these plays really push the acting student to understand his character and learn the art of acting without a director.