Stoppard's Theatre: Finding Order amid Chaos

Overview

With a thirty-year run of award-winning, critically acclaimed, and commercially successful plays, from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1967) to The Invention of Love (1997), Tom Stoppard is arguably the preeminent playwright in Britain today. His popularity also extends to the United States, where his plays have won three Tony awards and his screenplay for Shakespeare in Love won the 1998 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

John Fleming offers the first ...

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Overview

With a thirty-year run of award-winning, critically acclaimed, and commercially successful plays, from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1967) to The Invention of Love (1997), Tom Stoppard is arguably the preeminent playwright in Britain today. His popularity also extends to the United States, where his plays have won three Tony awards and his screenplay for Shakespeare in Love won the 1998 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

John Fleming offers the first book-length assessment of Stoppard's work in nearly a decade. He takes an in-depth look at the three newest plays (Arcadia, Indian Ink, and The Invention of Love) and the recently revised versions of Travesties and Hapgood, as well as at four other major plays (Rosencrantz, Jumpers, Night and Day, and The Real Thing). Drawing on Stoppard's personal papers at the University of Texas Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRHRC), Fleming also examines Stoppard's previously unknown play Galileo, as well as numerous unpublished scripts and variant texts of his published plays.

Fleming also mines Stoppard's papers for a fuller, more detailed overview of the evolution of his plays. By considering Stoppard's personal views (from both his correspondence and interviews) and by examining his career from his earliest scripts and productions through his most recent, this book provides all that is essential for understanding and appreciating one of the most complex and distinctive playwrights of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This volume is, as advertised, the first book-length appreciation of Tom Stoppard's work "in nearly a decade." Fleming, director of graduate studies at Southwest Texas State University's theater arts department, had access to Stoppard's papers on deposit at the University of Texas, which allowed him access to unpublished correspondence and unproduced scripts, as well as many variant readings of texts. The result is a thoughtful and well-considered appreciation of Stoppard's theatrical work. It is not an easy book to read; Fleming moves cautiously and with great deliberation through the major plays and also offers a chapter on the unpublished "Galileo" and asides on various radio and television scripts. But then, neither is Stoppard an easy playwright to appreciate. He brings to his writing material that would seem to defy dramatization, from the imagined travels and travails of two unlucky minor Shakespearean characters to a staged explanation of chaos theory. Yet Stoppard's language in the mouths of actors can reach a wide audience, and Fleming's book details how that is possible. It will be of value to directors as well as to theater instructors and playwriting classes. Recommended for undergraduate and graduate libraries. Larry Schwartz, Minnesota State Univ., Moorhead Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292725331
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 12/15/2001
  • Series: Literary Modernism Series
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 343
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Annotated Chronology of Stoppard's Career
Introduction
Ch. 1 Career before Rosencrantz and Guildenstern 10
Ch. 2 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead 47
Ch. 3 Galileo 66
Ch. 4 Jumpers 82
Ch. 5 Travesties 101
Ch. 6 Examining Eastern Bloc Repression 121
Ch. 7 Night and Day 137
Ch. 8 The Real Thing 155
Ch. 9 Hapgood 175
Ch. 10 Arcadia 191
Ch. 11 Indian Ink 208
Ch. 12 The Invention of Love 224
Conclusion 245
Notes 255
Bibliography 303
Index 317
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