"American Drama/Critics: Writings and Readings" is a collection of essays on acknowledged classics of American drama such as "Death of a Salesman," "The Glass Menagerie," and "Our Town," and on newer but no less esteemed works like David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross" and Sam Shepard's "Buried Child." Included are interviews with the great American drama critics Eric Bentley and Stanley Kauffmann; a consideration of the practice of American dramaturgy; an analysis of the adaptation to film of several American dramas; and an examination of experimental playwriting and production in the United States, as seen in the work of Gertrude Stein as well as that of other, lesser-known avant-garde dramatists. This book's thesis is not only the generally accepted one that American drama is essentially a representational one and that its avant-garde experiments are just that--experimental detours that ultimate lead back to the main highway of realism and naturalism.
The thesis of "Americam Drama/Critics" is also that the decline of American drama in the late twentieth to early twenty-first century is paralleled by, and even attributable to, the decline or disappearance of American dramatic criticism.
Bert Cardullo is Professor of American Culture and Literature at Ege (Aegean) University in Izmir, Turkey. He is the editor, most recently, of "Theater of the Avant-Garde, 1890-1950: A Critical Anthology," "In Search of Cinema: Writings on International Film Art," and the translator of "A Critical Edition of Two Modern Plays on the Dramatic Character of Sir John Falstaff."