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Staging a Cultural Paradigm

The Political and the Personal in American Drama


Barbara Ozieblo and Miriam López-Rodríguez

The conflict between the political and the personal, an opposition which pervades the whole of American Literature, informs the essays on twentieth-century American theater gathered in this volume. Prominent theater scholars from Europe and America address the cultural paradigm created by the clash of private needs with public expectations. The difficulty of reconciling the two has led many dramatists to turn to the complexities of intertextuality in order to express their rebellions and rejections of inherited cultural values and myths. Essays on Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, Susan Glaspell, H.M. Koutoukas, Dolores Prida, or Suzan Lori-Parks (to name but a few of the dramatists discussed here) reflect the vibrancy of American drama and the depth of the interaction of the political with the personal.
Contents: Barbara Ozieblo: Introduction: The Political and the Personal in American Drama – Brenda Murphy: Tennessee Williams and Cold-War Politics – Ana Antón-Pacheco: Coping with the Personal: Tennessee Williams’s Minimalist Plays – Gary Harrington: The Smashed Mirror: Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire – Stuart Marlow: Interrogating The Crucible: Revisiting the Biographical, Historical and Political Sources of Arthur Miller’s Play – Russell DiNapoli: Maxwell Anderson’s Misuse of Poetic Discourse in Winterset – Johan Callens: Going Public, Performing Stein – Cheryl Black/Robert K. Sarlós: On the Threshold of Sexual Politics in American Theater and Drama: The Provincetown Players – Marcia Noe: The New Woman in the Plays of Susan Glaspell – Marta Fernández-Morales: The Two Spheres in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles and The Verge – Karin Ikas: The Promise and the Reality of the American Dream in Mexican-American Plays – María Luisa Ochoa-Fernández: Weaving the Personal and the Political in Dolores Prida’s Beautiful Señoritas, Coser y Cantar and Botánica – Mar Gallego: Redefining African-American Female Space: Lorraine Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun and Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls – Araceli González-Crespán: Against «Ruby Lip and Saucy Curl»: Breaking the Great Divide among Women in Beah Richards’s A Black Woman Speaks – Stephen J. Bottoms: Untidying Her Passions: The Medea of H.M. Koutoukas – Antonia Rodríguez-Gago: Re-Creating Herstory: Suzan-Lori Parks’s Venus – Claudia Barnett: «In Your Dreams!»: Deb Margolin’s Fantasy/Drama – Félix Martín-Gutiérrez: Fragments from the Political Unconscious in Adrienne Kennedy’s Plays – La Vinia Delois Jennings: Reflection of Self as Other: Mimetic Parallels between Minstrelsy and Anna Deveare Smith’s Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities – Katherine Weiss: Sam Shepard’s Family Trilogy: Breaking Down Mythical Prisons – Inés Cuenca-Aguilar: Representations of Women in Sam Shepard’s Theater – N.J. Stanley: Screamingly Funny and Terrifyingly Shocking: Paula Vogel as Domestic Detective.