This is a comprehensive guide to the writing career of the author of ""Angels in America"".""Understanding Tony Kushner"" surveys the acclaimed writings of the author of the Pulitzer Prize - winning drama ""Angels in America"" and coauthor of the Academy Award-nominated screenplay for the film ""Munich"". Viewing Kushner as a sociopolitical dramatist in the tradition of Henrik Ibsen, George Bernard Shaw, and Bertolt Brecht, James Fisher guides readers through Kushner's influences and creations to map the importance of the writer's body of work in expanding the postmodern literary and cultural landscapes. After grounding his discussions in Kushner's early plays, ""A Bright Room Called Day"" and ""Hydriotaphia"", or ""The Death of Dr. Brown"", Fisher engages with the two plays of ""Angels in America"" to identify the major themes to be revisited in subsequent works. Fisher reads the depiction of the clash of values in the mid-1980s in Angels as Kushner's placement of humanity's fate at the nexus of divergent views on morality, politics, religion, history, gender, and sexuality, views that complicate individual and national identity and beg the overarching question, is change to be embraced or challenged? Fisher concludes with an exploration of how Kushner moves his themes from stage to screen in Munich and the forthcoming film Lincoln, both directed by Steven Spielberg.
James Fisher is a professor and chair of the Department of Theatre at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2007 Fisher received the Betty Jean Jones Award for Excellence in the Teaching of American Theatre from the American Theatre and Drama Society. His other books include The Theater of Tony Kushner: Living Past Hope, Tony Kushner: New Essays on the Art and Politics of the Plays, and Historical Dictionary of American Theater: Contemporary.