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New Readings in American Drama

Something's Happening Here

Norma Jenckes

New Readings in American Drama, an anthology of some of the best essays that have been published in the scholarly journal, American Drama, showcases the latest research and applies the newest theoretical approaches to the huge body of writing for the American stage, screen, and television. Rounding-up all the usual canonical subjects from O’Neill to Miller to Mamet, this book also highlights marginalized writers from earlier decades of the twentieth century and stresses the work of women and African-American playwrights. Although many people sheepishly confess that they rarely read poetry or fiction once they leave school, most must admit that they are daily viewers of drama, a ubiquitous experience that people enjoy on television, videos, and at the movies. This popular ascendancy of drama bolsters the argument for using the classroom to raise the level of discussion of what students are actually going to watch for the rest of their lives – and this book provides the tools to facilitate that conversation.
Contents: Deborah R. Geis: Staging Hypereloquence: Edward Albee and the Monologic Voice – Marcia Noe: Reconfiguring the Subject/Recuperating Realism: Susan Glaspell’s Unseen Woman – Jennifer Gillan: Staging a Staged Crisis in Masculinity: Race and Masculinity in Six Degrees of Separation – John Gruesser: Lies That Kill: Lorraine Hansberry’s Answer to Heart of Darkness in Les Blancs – Penny Farfan: From Birth and After Birth to One Shoe Off: Tina Howe and the Uses of Feminism – Jeff Johnson: Gendermandering: Stereotyping and Gender Role Reversal in the Major Plays of William Inge – James Hurt: Arthur Kopit’s Wings and the Languages of the Theater – Janet V. Haedicke: Decoding Cipher Space: David Mamet’s The Cryptogram and America’s Dramatic Legacy – Granger Babcock: «What’s the Secret?»: Willy Loman as Desiring Machine – Albert Wertheim: Hollywood’s Moral Landscape: Clifford Odets’s The Big Knife – Philip J. Hanson: The Emperor Jones: Naturalistic Tragedy in Hemispheric Perspective – David Radavich: Collapsing Male Myths: Rabe’s Tragicomic Hurlyburly – Barry Witham: Between Two Worlds: Elmer Rice Chairs the Thirties Debate – Gaylord Brewer: He’s Still Falling: Wallace Shawn’s Problem of Morality – Nancy L. Nester: The Agoraphobic Imagination: The Protagonist Who Murders and the Critics Who Praise Her – Gene A. Plunka: McLuhan, Perfect People, and the Media Plays of Jean-Claude van Italie – Verena Foster: Desire, Death and Laughter: Tragicomic Dramaturgy in A Streetcar Named Desire – Harry J. Elam, Jr.: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: Singing Wilson’s Blues – Marc Silverstein: «Any Baggage You Don’t Claim, We Trash»: Living With(in) History in Wolfe’s The Colored Museum.