Covering the period 1879 to 1959, and taking in everything from Ibsen to Beckett, this book is volume one of a two-part comprehensive examination of the plays, dramatists, and movements that comprise modern world drama. Contains detailed analysis of plays and playwrights, connecting themes and offering original interpretations Includes coverage of non-English works and traditions to create a global view of modern drama Considers the influence of modernism in art, music, literature, architecture, society, and politics on the formation of modern dramatic literature Takes an interpretative and analytical approach to modern dramatic texts rather than focusing on production history Includes coverage of the ways in which staging practices, design concepts, and acting styles informed the construction of the dramas
In this collection of essays by avant-garde theatre's most creative practitioners—directors, playwrights, performers, and designers—these writings provide direct access to the thinking behind much of the most stimulating playwriting and performance of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
An essential volume for theater artists and students alike, this anthology includes the full texts of sixteen important examples of avant-garde drama from the most daring and influential artistic movements of the first half of the twentieth century, including Symbolism, Futurism, Expressionism, Dada, and Surrealism. Each play is accompanied by a bio-critical introduction by the editor, and a critical essay, frequently written by the playwright, which elaborates on the play’s dramatic and aesthetic concerns. A new introduction by Robert Knopf and Julia Listengarten contextualizes the plays in light of recent critical developments in avant-garde studies. By examining the groundbreaking theatrical experiments of Jarry, Maeterlinck, Strindberg, Artaud, and others, the book foregrounds the avant-garde’s enduring influence on the development of modern theater.
Over the last few centuries, the world as we know it has seen remarkable change and the arts – including theatre – have faced new challenges. Theatre is now no longer a simple point of entertainment laced with instruction or dissent, but is perceived as a more collaborative idea that looks at ever-changing paradigms. All over the world, theatre now is a dynamic process that simultaneously retains tradition and delves into extreme experimentations. This book represents a starting point for a much-needed critical interrogation. It looks at the constant features of European theatre and brings in some Indian elements, positing both in their respective locations, as well as looking at the symbiosis that has been functioning for some time.
Analyzing plays from the early Trifles (1916) through Springs Eternal (1943) and the undated, incomplete Wings, author Emeline Jouve illustrates the way that Susan Glaspell's dramas addressed issues of sexism, the impact of World War I on American values, and the relationship between individuals and their communities, among other concerns. Jouve argues that Glaspell turns the playhouse into a courthouse, putting the hypocrisy of American democracy on trial. A must for students of Glaspell and her contemporaries, as well as scholars of American theatre and literature of the first half of the twentieth century.
Neil Cornwell's study, while endeavouring to present an historical survey of absurdist literature and its forbears, does not aspire to being an exhaustive history of absurdism. Rather, it pauses on certain historical moments, artistic movements, literary figures and selected works, before moving on to discuss four key writers: Daniil Kharms, Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett and Flann O'Brien. The absurd in literature will be of compelling interest to a considerable range of students of comparative, European (including Russian and Central European) and English literatures (British Isles and American) – as well as those more concerned with theatre studies, the avant-garde and the history of ideas (including humour theory). It should also have a wide appeal to the enthusiastic general reader.
By concentrating on Sam Shepard's visual aesthetics, Emma Creedon argues that a consideration of Shepard's plays in the context of visual and theoretical Surrealism illuminates our understanding of his experimental approach to drama.
In this book, Gene A. Plunka argues that the most important single element that solidifies all of Genet's work is the concept of metamorphosis. Genet's plays and prose demonstrate the transition from game playing to the establishment of one's identity through a state of risk taking that develops from solitude. However, risk taking per se is not as important as the rite of passage. Anthropologist Victor Turner's work in ethnography is used as a focal point for the examination of rites of passage in Genet's dramas. Rejecting society, Genet has allied himself with peripheral groups, marginal men, and outcasts--scapegoats who lack power in society. Much of their effort is spent in revolt or direct opposition in mainstream society that sees them as objects to be abused. As an outcast or marginal man, Genet solved his problem of identity through artistic creation and metamorphosis. Likewise, Genet's protagonists are outcasts searching for positive value in a society over which they have no control; they always appear to be the victims or scapegoats. As outcasts, Genet's protagonists establish their identities by first willing their actions and being proud to do so. Unfortunately, man's sense of Being is constantly undermined by society and the way individuals react to roles, norms, and values. Roles are the products of carefully defined and codified years of positively sanctioned institutional behavior. According to Genet, role playing limits individual freedom, stifles creativity, and impedes differentiation. Genet equates role playing with stagnant bourgeois society that imitates rather than invents; the latter is a word Genet often uses to urge his protagonists into a state of productive metamorphosis. Imitation versus invention is the underlying dialectic between bourgeois society and outcasts that is omnipresent in virtually all of Genet's works. Faced with rejection, poverty, oppression, and degradation, Genet's outcasts often escape their horrible predicaments by living in a world of illusion that consists of ceremony, game playing, narcissism, sexual and secret rites, or political charades. Like children, Genet's ostracized individuals play games to imitate a world that they can not enter. Essentially, the play acting becomes catharsis for an oppressed group that is otherwise confined to the lower stratum of society. Role players and outcasts who try to find an identity through cathartic game playing never realize their potential in Genet's world. Instead, Genet is interested in outcasts who immerse themselves in solitude and create their own sense of dignity free from external control. Most important, these isolated individuals may initially play games, yet they ultimately experience metamorphosis from a world of rites, charades, and rituals to a type of "sainthood" where dignity and nobility reign. The apotheosis is achieved through a distinct act of conscious revolt designed to condemn the risk taker to a degraded life of solitude totally distinct from society's norms and values.
Hegemony and Fantasy in Irish Drama, 1899-1949 offers a theoretically innovative reconsideration of drama produced in the Irish Renaissance, as well as an engagement with non-canonical drama in the under-researched period 1926-1949.
Michael Y. Bennett's accessible Introduction explains the complex, multidimensional nature of the works and writers associated with the absurd - a label placed upon a number of writers who revolted against traditional theatre and literature in both similar and widely different ways. Setting the movement in its historical, intellectual and cultural contexts, Bennett provides an in-depth overview of absurdism and its key figures in theatre and literature, from Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter to Tom Stoppard. Chapters reveal the movement's origins, development and present-day influence upon popular culture around the world, employing the latest research to this often challenging area of study in a balanced and authoritative approach. Essential reading for students of literature and theatre, this book provides the necessary tools to interpret and develop the study of a movement associated with some of the twentieth century's greatest and most influential cultural figures.
The spectacles of Imperial Rome, the religious festivals, public games, circus, animal hunts, processions and dramas, were used by emperors and politicians to convey ideologies and political policies and to test public opinion. Just as Octavian sought to gain and sway public opinion after the assassination of Caesar, so Nero held many banquets and dramatic events to ensure and maintain his popularity. Richard Beacham draws on the early Imperial accounts of Dio, Tacitus and Suetonius, as well as archaeological evidence, to trace the changes in these entertainments throughout the period; he discusses the information they contain for a better understanding of a range of policies and activities in Early Imperial ROme.
The A to Z of American Theater: Modernism focuses on legitimate drama, both as influenced by European modernism and as impacted by the popular entertainment that also enlivened the era. This is accomplished through a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and hundreds of cross-referenced entries on plays; music; playwrights; great performers like Maude Adams, Otis Skinner, Julia Marlowe, and E.H. Sothern; producers like David Belasco, Daniel Frohman, and Florenz Ziegfeld; critics; architects; designers; and costumes.
This book explores the performance of Irish collective memories and forgotten histories. It proposes an alternative and more comprehensive criterion of Irish theatre practices. These practices can be defined as the 'rejected', contested and undervalued plays and performativities that are integral to Ireland's political and cultural landscapes.
Despite Eduardo Manet's impressive accomplishments extending over half a century, this extraordinarily talented Cuban-French author remains relatively unknown in the United States. Phyllis Zatlin's book is the first to examine the multifaceted career of this dynamic bilingual writer. Playwright and novelist, theater and film director, Eduardo Manet (b. 1930) has been a major participant in the cultural worlds of both Cuba and France. His works have been internationally acclaimed: he has been nominated for the Prix Goncourt and was awarded a special Goncourt youth prize, and his novels and plays have been translated into twenty-one languages. Manet's work, however, has often been overlooked by both French and Spanish-American critics because of his unique position as a Latin American writing in French. Zatlin sets out to correct this oversight by offering a detailed analysis of Manet's many genres and themes. She begins with his work in Cuba, from his youthful poetry and plays to the films he directed in revolutionary Cuba. She then examines his seven full-length novels, all written in French but typically reflective of Cuban experience. Finally, Zatlin concludes her study by considering Manet's early plays of entrapment and enclosure and his later theater, defined by its metatheatrical and multicultural themes. Through the lenses of multiculturalism, postmodernism, metatheater, and farce, Zatlin provides a perceptive and comprehensive examination of this significant yet neglected figure. Zatlin's book will do the important work of introducing Manet to a North American audience.
Despite distance and differences in culture, the early twentieth century was a time of literary cross-pollination between Ireland and Japan. Notably, the Irish poet and playwright William Butler Yeats had a powerful influence on Japanese letters, at the same time that contemporary and classical Japanese literature and theatre impacted Yeats’s own literary experiments. Citing an extraordinary range of Japanese and Irish texts, Aoife Hart argues that Japanese translations of Irish Gaelic folklore and their subsequent reception back in Ireland created collisions, erasures, and confusions in the interpretations of literary works. Assessing the crucial roles of translation and transnationalism in cross-cultural exchanges between the Celtic Revival and Japanese writers of the modern period, Hart proves that interlingual dialogue and folklore have the power to reconstruct a culture’s sense of heritage. Rejecting the notion that the Celtic Revival was inward and parochial, Hart suggests that, seeking to protect their heritage from the forces of globalization, the Irish adapted their understanding of heritage to one that exists within the transnational contexts of modernity – a heritage that is locally produced but internationally circulated. In doing so, Hart maintains that the cultural contact and translation between the East and West traveled in more than one direction: it was a dialogue presenting modernity’s struggles with cosmopolitanism, gender, ethnic identity, and transnationalism. An inspired exploration of transpacific literary criticism, Yeats scholarship, and twentieth-century Japanese literature, Ancestral Recall tracks the interplay of complex ideas across languages and discourses.