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Staging Difference

Cultural Pluralism in American Theatre and Drama – Second Printing

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Edited By Marc Maufort

This volume seeks to determine how contemporary American playwrights and theatre practitioners translate the current debate on cultural pluralism in the United States. While offering re-visions of the Melting Pot, they often challenge its idealistic assumptions, thus inscribing in their work the cultural difference of minorities. Up to now, scholars have studied isolated aspects of this phenomenon. Staging Difference tries to offer a more comprehensive vision, examining the influence of multiculturalism both on performance and dramatic literature.

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Appendices 363

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Appendices This page intentionally left blank Across the Boundaries of Cultural Identity: An Interview with David Henry Hwang Robert Cooperman This interview is a transcript of a telephone conversation Robert Cooperman had with the playwright on 25 October, 1993. I have thought it appropriate to preserve the informal tone of the interview. [Ed.] COOPERMAN: I wanted to ask you this one background question: a couple of sources that I have suggest that you came upon theatre rather suddenly. I've read that Arthur Kopit's Indians was one source [which started your playwriting career], another was Wilder's The Matchmaker. This sort of gave you the playwriting bug. Is this still accurate? What I'm getting at is: you were never exposed to theatre while you were growing up? HWANG: Not particularly, no. The only way that I was exposed to theatre growing up was, since I was a musician, I had played in the pit orchestras of a lot of musicals. So, I had some familiarity with the basic repertoire of American musical theatre that's done in high school. But other than that not really, no. Indians was actually the first play that I saw-non-musical-and that was my senior year of high school. And then, well, there's The Matchmaker, I guess I did see that my freshman year in college, at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, but certainly it wasn't the only play I saw that year. And I wouldn't say that it's necessarily more influential than some of the other...

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