A Search for a Postmodern Theater: Interviews with Contemporary Playwrights (Contributions in Drama & Theatre Studies No 41)
By: John Louis DiGaetani (author)Paperback
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Thirty-three leading American and British playwrights, from Robert Anderson to Paul Zindel, discuss their views on their own work and contemporary drama, and offer projections about theater for the 21st century. Proceeding from the premise that recent drama in various ways is a reaction to the modernism of Theater of the Absurd, the interviewer, John DiGaetani, terms the diverse responses postmodernism. This concept, while not universally accepted by the playwrights interviewed, becomes a point of departure for lively dialogue, providing insights into the particular playwrights and on contemporary theater in general. Included among the interviewees are farcists, such as Alan Ayckbourn, Tina Howe, and Michael Frayn; playwrights of ethnic and black theater, such as Amlin Gray, Ed Bullins, and August Wilson; embodiments of Chekhovian theater, such as Simon Gray and A. R. Gurney; Maximalists like David Henry Hwang; feminists like Marsha Norman and Timberlake Wertenbaker; exponents of gay theater like Mart Crowley and William Hoffman; social critics like David Storey and Israel Horovitz; and traditionalists like Horton Foote, Romulus Linney, and Robert Anderson.
Despite these broadly applied labels, clearly the output of these playwrights cannot be neatly pigeonholed even individually--let alone collectively--to describe any prevailing mode. Therefore, interviewer DiGaetani has chosen to stay with the appellation postmodernism, a widely accepted critical term in the arts used to signify a reaction to what is now an old-fashioned modernism.
JOHN L. DiGAETANI is Associate Professor of English at Hofstra University and specializes in modern literature and theater. He also has a very strong avocational interest in opera. His publications, including A Companion to Pirandello Studies (Greenwood Press, 1991), Carlo Gozzi: Translations of The Love of Three Oranges, Turandot, and The Snake Lady with a Bio-Critical Introduction (Greenwood, 1988), Puccini the Thinker, Richard Wagner and the Modern British Novel, Penetrating Wagner's Ring and Invitation to the Opera, reflect his wide-ranging interests.
Introduction Robert Anderson Alan Ayckbourn Eric Bentley Ed Bullins Mart Crowley Jules Feiffer Horton Foote Michael Frayn Larry Gelbart Amlin Gray Simon Gray John Guare A. R. Gurney Christopher Hampton William Hoffman Israel Horovitz Tina Howe David Henry Hwang Albert Innaurato David Ives Barrie Keeffe Romulus Linney Craig Lucas Terrence McNally Adrian Mitchell Richard Nelson Marsha Norman Eric Overmyer David Storey Timberlake Wertenbaker August Wilson Lanford Wilson Paul Zindel Bibliography Index
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