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Lecture 4, 20 c america

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  • By 1917, there were more than 50 of these "little theatres." Usually, these theatres used unpaid volunteers and used a subscription system for making money. They produced several plays per year, using European experimental techniques, which were called "New Stagecraft" in  the United States. Between 1912 and 1920, they helped prepare audiences for you drama and methods. After 1920, little theatres arose, just like community theatres, which had begun around 1905.  By 1925, about 2000 community theatres or little theatres were registered with the Drama League of America. Drama also began in  colleges and universities.  There had been no courses in Drama till 1903 -- although there had been performances. In 1903, George Pierce Baker (1836-1935) began teaching play writing at Radcliffe, then opened it up to Harvard, then in 1913 included workshops for production.  His classes studied Eugene O'Neill, S.N. Behrman, and Robert Edmund Jones In 1945, Baker went to Yale, and established a drama department. Meanwhile, Thomas Wood Stevens was teaching drama at Carnegie by 1914; by 1918, Frederick Koch was working with the Carolina Playmakers. By 1940, Drama education in colleges became accepted. The  "New Stagecraft" (European techniques) was really made respectable by  1940.  American playwriting was encouraged by such organizations as the Provincetown Players and Theatre Guild.
  • The Washington Square Players was a New York theatrical production company founded in 1914. Its debut production in 1915 was a collection of one-act plays, some of which had been written for the event. In 1916 the troupe started presenting full-length plays, among which were Shaw 's Mrs Warren's Profession and translations of Chekhov 's The Seagull and Ibsen 's Ghosts . That same year it moved into the Comedy Theatre , where it subsequently performed Eugene O'Neill 's one-act play In the Zone in 1917. In 1918 the company produced Elmer Rice 's The Home of the Free . In the same year, the Washington Square Players disbanded, but its work served as the roots for the foundation of the Theatre Guild in 1919. Katharine Cornell is one of its most famous members.
  • The Theatre Guild, developed in 1919 (discussed below), to bring important foreign works to improve United States theatre, lead to U.S. playwrights competing with the foreign plays. Theresa Helburn , Lawrence Langner , and Armina Marshall . Founders Its original purpose was to produce non-commercial works by American and foreign playwrights. It differed from other theaters at the time in that its board of directors shared the responsibility of choosing plays, management, and production. The Theatre Guild contributed greatly to the success of Broadway from the 1920s throughout the 1970s. The Guild has produced a total of 228 plays on Broadway, including 18 by George Bernard Shaw and seven by Eugene O'Neill. Other major playwrights introduced to theatre-going Americans include Robert Sherwood, Maxwell Anderson, Sidney Howard, William Saroyan, and Philip Barry. In the field of musical theatre, the Guild has promoted works by Richard Rodgers, teamed with both Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II, George and Ira Gershwin, Jule Styne, and... Bonds of Interest (1919), but the group's success was signaled by its second mounting, John Ferguson (1919). Other early productions included Jane Clegg (1920), Heartbreak House (1920), Mr. Pim Passes By (1921), Liliom (1921), He Who Gets Slapped (1922), Back to Methuselah (1922), and R. U. R . (1922), all of which were foreign works. Not until its production of Elmer Rice 's The Adding Machine (1923) did the group begin to mount American works as aggressively as it had mounted imported ones. Among its subsequent productions of note, both American and European, were Saint Joan (1923), The Guardsman (1924), They Knew What They Wanted (1924), The Garrick Gaieties (1925), Ned McCobb's Daughter (1926), The Silver Cord (1926), The Second Man (1927), Porgy (1927), Marco Millions (1928), Strange Interlude (1928), Dynamo (1929), Hotel Universe (1930), Elizabeth the Queen (1930), Mourning Becomes Electra (1931), Reunion in Vienna (1931), Biography (1932), Both Your Houses (1933), Ah, Wilderness! (1933), Mary of Scotland (1933), Days Without End (1934), Valley Forge (1934), Porgy and Bess (1935), End of Summer (1936), and Idiot's Delight (1936). By the mid‐1930s political, artistic, and financial disagreements had resulted in the formation of two major breakaway organizations, the Group Theatre and the Playwrights' Company . Thereafter, both the Guild's daring and its success waned, although over the next few years it produced The Philadelphia Story (1939), The Time of Your Life (1939), There Shall Be No Night (1940), and The Pirate (1942). It was on the verge of financial collapse when the success of Oklahoma! (1943) saved it, but it was never again so important a producer. Its later offerings included the Robeson ‐ Ferrer Othello (1943); Carousel (1945); The Iceman Cometh (1946); Come Back, Little Sheba (1950); and Sunrise at Campobello (1958), as well as several other hits. By the 1970s the Guild existed only on paper, its productions so infrequent that most thought the group was gone. Its last official offering was as co‐producer of the unsuccessful musical State Fair (1996). In its heyday the Guild was the principal producer of such playwrights as George Bernard Shaw , Eugene O'Neill , Maxwell Anderson , and Robert Sherwood and greatly advanced the careers of such players as Lunt and Fontanne . Its pioneering subscription plan guaranteed audiences in New York and elsewhere the best in modern theatre, and in turn assured the Guild a loyal, knowledgeable group of playgoers.
  • D: ps_the_2036 "Set designed by Sergei Soudekine for the Theatre Guild's production of Porgy & Bess, New York City." (n.d)
  • Provincetown Players American theatrical company that first introduced the plays of Eugene O'Neill . The company opened with his Bound East for Cardiff at the Wharf Theatre, Provincetown, on Cape Cod in 1916 and later worked in New York City in conjunction with the Greenwich Village Theatre under the auspices of Robert Edmond Jones , Kenneth Macgowan, and O'Neill. By producing plays that were generally considered noncommercial, the company gave unrecognized dramatists the opportunity to experiment with new ideas. The group disbanded in 1929 but through its efforts, together with those of the Washington Square Players, a truly American theater was realized. Among the well-known writers associated with the Provincetown Players were Edna St. Vincent Millay and Djuna Barnes .
  • BOUND EAST FOR CARDIFF, 1916
  • Beyond the Horizon explores what happens when two men love the same woman and the compromises each will make to have her. Eugene O ’Neill won the Pulitzer Prize for this 1920 drama. Anna Christie is the story of a former prostitute who falls in love, but runs into difficulty in turning her life around. O'Neill's first version of the play, begun in January 1919, was entitled Chris Christopherson and performed as Chris in out-of-town tryouts. O ’Neill revised it radically, changing the barge captain’s daughter Anna from a pure woman needing to be protected into a prostitute who finds reformation and love from life on the sea. The new play, now entitled Anna Christie received its premiere on Broadway at the Vanderbilt Theatre on 2 November 1921 for 177 performances before closing in April 1923. The production was staged by Arthur Hopkins starring Pauline Lord . Awards 1922 Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1993 Drama Desk Award for Best Revival of a Play 1993 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play
  • na Christie featured actors George Marion and Pauline Lord at New York's Vanderbilt Theater in 1921. The New York Times praised Lord's performance and said the play was "worth seeing again and again.""
  • EMPORER JONES: OFF-Broadway transfer. First black leading actor not played in blackface. First play to offer racially integrated cast. THE HAIRY APE: Premiered by Provincetown Players. Powerful commentary on human toil; influenced by america ’s transition from agrarian to industrial society; dealt with dehumanization of industrial society; FBI feared the play was radical propaganda; DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS: Banned in Boston and England, narrowly escaping a ban in New York, and its Los Angeles cast arrested for obscenity, Desire Under the Elms , with incest, adultery, and infanticide openly treated, brought O ’Neill into conflict with various censors and brought much of the public to the box office. It ran for 208 performances on and off Broadway and may be the first important American tragedy. The play demonstrates O ’Neill's exploration of Greek theater. It does not derive directly from any particular play, but its material echoes Hippolytus and Medea , which... THE GREAT GOD BROWN: Innovative use of masks. Opened to critical pans but the interest factor led to a 283 performance run at new York ’s Greenwich Theatre. They help the characters hide and thus protect their vulnerable inner selves while, at the same time, allowing them to project pleasing public images in an attempt to restore their confidence in themselves. Yet, ultimately, the tensions that result from not being able to reveal their true selves cause the characters to suffer and further isolate themselves from each other. The Great God Brown presents a penetrating study of the inner workings of the human psyche as it struggles to cope with betrayal, failure, and a search for identity. MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA: Mourning Becomes Electra is considered O'Neill's most ambitious work. In the play, he adapts the Greek tragic myth Oresteia to nineteenth-century New England. Generally, critics praised the play as one of O'Neill's best. Even though performances ran almost six hours long, audiences seemed to agree; it ran for 150 performances. Like Oresteia , O'Neill's play features themes of fate, revenge, hubris, adultery, and honor. Many critics note that the play reflects his recurring concerns about the unsuccessful struggle of an individual to escape a tragic fate and the dark nature of human existence. The play is structured as a trilogy, with three different plays—The Homecoming, The Hunted , The Haunted —comprising the story.
  • 1920, the Provincetown Players premiered The Emperor Jones . In the New York Tribune , Heywood Broun called it "the most interesting play which has yet come from the most promising playwright in America."
  • Alexander Woollcott described this production of The Hairy Ape , which opened in New York in 1922, as "turbulent and tremendous" in a New York Times review.
  • The Great God Brown featured actor William Harrigan in 1926. The New York Times said it "poured a powerful flood of feeling across the footlights" but The New York Post judged it a "superb failure
  • Mourning Becomes Electra featured Alla Nazimova and Alice Brady in 1931. The play was structured as a trilogy that took six hours to perform. In the New York Times , J. Brooks Atkinson wrote, "to this department, which ordinarily reserves its praise for the dead, Mourning Becomes Electra is Mr. O'Neill's masterpiece.
  • AH, WILDERNESS The play takes place on the Fourth of July , 1906, and focuses on the Miller family, presumably of New London, Connecticut . The main plot deals with the middle son, 17-year-old Richard, and his coming of age . The title derives from Quatrain XI of Edward Fitzgerald 's translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam , which is one of Richard's favorite poems. Ah, Wilderness! is a comedy by American playwright Eugene O'Neill that premiered on Broadway at the Guild Theatre on 2 October 1933. LONG DAY ’S JOURNEY not produced until 1956, three years after his death. He had originally stipulated that it was not to be produced or published until twenty-five years after he died. \\ The Stockholm production, which opened on February 10, 1956, was very successful and prompted wide interest in the play. Nine months later, on November 7, the play opened to mixed but mostly favorable reviews at the Helen Hayes Theatre in New York. Featured in the cast were Frederic March as James Tyrone, Florence Eldridge as Mary, Jason Robards, Jr. as Jamie, Bradford Dilman as Edmund, and Katherine Ross as Cathleen. Jose Quintero both produced and directed the play. Carlotta O'Neill, the playwright's widow, saw to the play's publication in the same year. In 1955 she had copyrighted the work as an unpublished play, and in the following year she asked Random House to publish it. The editors declined, even though they held a sealed copy of the script that O'Neill had originally deposited with them. Mrs. O'Neill then offered the publication rights to the Yale Library, which arranged its release through the Yale University Press with the provision that the play royalties would be used to endow the Eugene O'Neill Memorial Fund at the Yale School of Drama. The published work met with great critical acclaim and won for O'Neill a fourth Pulitzer Prize. MOON A Moon for the Misbegotten is a play by Eugene O'Neill . The play can be thought of as a sequel to the autobiographical Long Day's Journey into Night . Jim Tyrone is an older version of Jamie Tyrone from the first play, and they are both based on Eugene O'Neill's older brother, Jamie O'Neill. TOUCH OF THE POET A Touch of the Poet is a play by Eugene O'Neill . It and its sequel, More Stately Mansions , were intended to be part of a nine- play cycle entitled A Tale of Possessors Self-Dispossessed . Set in the dining room of Melody's Tavern, located in a village a few miles from Boston , it centers on Major Cornelius ("Con") Melody, a braggart, social climber, and victim of the American class system in 1828 Massachusetts . The play has been produced on Broadway four times. The original production, directed by Harold Clurman , opened on October 2, 1958 at the Helen Hayes Theatre , where it ran for 284 performances. The cast included Helen Hayes , Eric Portman , Betty Field , and Kim Stanley . Both the play and Stanley earned Tony Award nominations.
  • Premiere 1933
  • In 1956 Jason Robards and Bradford Dillman portrayed the two Tyrone brothers in the first New York production of Long Day's Journey Into Night . The New York Daily News pronounced it "a magnificent work" that "exploded like a dazzling skyrocket over the humdrum of Broadway theatricals."
  • From the 2000 Broadway revival
  • From the 1959 original production at the Helen Hayes Theatre
  • e Group Theatre, formed in 1931, was outwardly anti-commercial.  It wanted to do plays that had social relevance, and it popularized the "method" style of acting based on the Stanislavsky system.  Its predominant visual style was selective (or simplified) realism.  Perhaps the most famous playwright to come from the Group Theatre was Clifford Odets (1906-63), whose Waiting For Lefty (1935) was the best example of 1930s "agitprop" theatre. \\ The Group Theatre organization formed in New York City in 1931 by Harold Clurman , Cheryl Crawford, and Lee Strasberg . Its founders, who had worked earlier with the Provincetown Players , wished to revive and redefine American theater by establishing a permanent company to present contemporary plays of social significance and by developing the theaterical arts, in particular, that of acting. Under Strasberg's tutelage, the actors explored the interior techniques based on Stanislavsky 's teachings that evolved into the American Method style of acting. Although never financially secure, the group was recognized as a vital theatrical force. It was at its height between 1935 and 1937, when it produced Awake and Sing, Waiting for Lefty, and Golden Boy, all by Clifford Odets . In 1937, Clurman became sole director. Although the group disbanded in 1941, its influence was great; many of its members became prominent actors, teachers, and directors.
  • On a retreat at Clurman’s home in Brookfield, CT 1931
  • About Waiting for Lefty After working as an actor for several years in New York City's avant-garde, left-wing Group Theatre repertory company, Clifford Odets produced his first play, " Waiting for Lefty ," in 1935. To call it a smash hit would be an understatement. Its first production stands out in theatrical memory for its rare and complete convergence between the performers and the audience. Swept up in the fervor of the performance at the Civic Repertory Theater on Manhattan's 14th Street, the audience cheered on and participated in the actors' lines, especially the concluding call to "STRIKE!" The actors, led by star and future film director legend Elia Kazan, broke down in tears, so moved were they by the audience's reaction. rnum=Math.round(Math.random() * 100000); ts=String.fromCharCode(60); if (window.self != window.top) { nf='' } else { nf='NF/' }; document.write(ts+'script src="http://www.burstnet.com/cgi-bin/ads/ad9283a.cgi/v=2.1S/sz=300x250A/NZ/'+rnum+'/'+nf+'RETURN-CODE/JS/" type="text/javascript">'+ts+'/script>'); <SCRIPT language='JavaScript1.1' SRC="http://ad.doubleclick.net.40206.9309.302br.net/jss/adj/N884.burstmedia/B4851755.33;abr=!ie;sz=300x250;click=http://www.burstnet.com/ads/ad9283a-map.cgi/BCPG184932.272598.324973/VTS=35IvH.kzEw/SZ=300X250A/V=2.1S//REDIRURL=;ord=96603?"></SCRIPT> While a universal call for power restored to the working class, "Waiting for Lefty" is very much of its time. America was in the midst of the Great Depression in 1935 and saw no light near the end of the tunnel. The national unemployment rate reached a peak of 25% in 1933, and since everyone needed work, employers were able to reduce wages drastically. As depicted in John Steinbeck's novel " The Grapes of Wrath ," the workers were forced to fight for the meager earnings, which dropped even more because of the intense competition. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Democrat who won the Presidency from incumbent Herbert Hoover in 1932, came to the rescue with his populist "New Deal." His social and economic programs were some of the most progressive and sweeping reforms of the 20th-century, such as his federal insurance of banks (to prevent panics of massive withdrawals leading to bankruptcy and hyper-inflation) and the passage of the 1933 National Industrial Recovery Act, which boosted industrial wages and promoted workers' unions. Indeed, the major solution to the problem of fruitless competition was unionization and collective bargaining: workers in specific trades would bond together and receive, among other benefits, standardized wages and greater job security. Their weapon was the threat to cease work. While organizations such as the American Federation of Labor rose to prominence during World War I, in a country founded upon the legend of the self-made man and fearful of communal action, unions were frequently criticized as Communist practices designed to overthrow the American way of capitalism. Moreover, strikes frequently failed if there were not total cooperation, and there was always a ready supply of "scabs," or replacement workers, willing to take over the strikers' jobs. Odets used a taxi drivers' strike in 1934 as inspiration for the play's underlying conflict. A member of the American Communist Party from 1934, Odets borrows liberally from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels's "The Communist Manifesto ," the foundational treatise on Communism. His distrust of big business and his romanticization of the worker stems directly from Marx and Engels, and several lines in the play originate from their manifesto, as well. Odets also critiques the isolationist policy of the U.S. at the time; the country learned its lesson from massive loss of life and money in WWI and had decided to stay away from the international arena in the 30s. Unfortunately, Odets's few predictions in the play about war and the dangers of isolationism would come true in just a few short years. At least WWII helped bring the U.S. out of the Great Depression, but "Waiting for Lefty" remains to this day a salient work on the ill effects of capitalism, and on the ways the common man can combat them.
  • On a retreat at Clurman’s home in Brookfield, CT 1931
  • On a retreat at Clurman’s home in Brookfield, CT 1931
  • On a retreat at Clurman’s home in Brookfield, CT 1931
  • Clifford Odets, the son of Jewish immigrants, was born in Philadelphia, on 18th July, 1906. He left school at the age of 17 to become an actor. After a series of small parts working in the theatre and on radio, Odets helped form the Group Theatre in New York. Members held left-wing political views and wanted to produce plays that dealt with important social issues. Odets, who joined the American Communist Party in 1934, had his first play produced, Waiting for Lefty , in 1935. The play that dealt with trade union corruption, was an immediate success. With his next two plays, Awake and Sing! and Till the Day I Die , Odets established himself as a champion of the underpriviledged. After the production of Paradise Lost (1935), Odets accepted a lucrative offer to become a film screenwriter and while in Hollywood met and married the actress, Luise Rainer . However, he continued to write plays and with Golden Boy (1937) he had his greatest commercial success. This was followed by Rocket to the Moon (1938), Night Music (1940), Clash By Night (1941), The Big Knife (1949), and The Country Girl (1950). Investigated by Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1953, Odets argued that he had never been under the infuence of the American Communist Party and his work had been based on his deep sympathy for the working classes. Unlike many writers and actors who had been members of the party, Odets was not blacklisted and continued to work in Hollywood. This included the screenplay for the acclaimed, Sweet Smell of Success (1957). Clifford Odets died on 18th August, 1963.
  • Clifford Odets, the son of Jewish immigrants, was born in Philadelphia, on 18th July, 1906. He left school at the age of 17 to become an actor. After a series of small parts working in the theatre and on radio, Odets helped form the Group Theatre in New York. Members held left-wing political views and wanted to produce plays that dealt with important social issues. Odets, who joined the American Communist Party in 1934, had his first play produced, Waiting for Lefty , in 1935. The play that dealt with trade union corruption, was an immediate success. With his next two plays, Awake and Sing! and Till the Day I Die , Odets established himself as a champion of the underpriviledged. After the production of Paradise Lost (1935), Odets accepted a lucrative offer to become a film screenwriter and while in Hollywood met and married the actress, Luise Rainer . However, he continued to write plays and with Golden Boy (1937) he had his greatest commercial success. This was followed by Rocket to the Moon (1938), Night Music (1940), Clash By Night (1941), The Big Knife (1949), and The Country Girl (1950). Investigated by Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1953, Odets argued that he had never been under the infuence of the American Communist Party and his work had been based on his deep sympathy for the working classes. Unlike many writers and actors who had been members of the party, Odets was not blacklisted and continued to work in Hollywood. This included the screenplay for the acclaimed, Sweet Smell of Success (1957). Clifford Odets died on 18th August, 1963.
  • INTRODUCTION During the late 1920's and early 1930's, an important theatrical movement developed: The Workers' Theatre Movement. It eventually diminished in importance around the middle of the 1930's, and one of the developments aiding the decline of the Workers' Theatre Movement, by using many of its methods and theatrical devices, was the formation of the Federal Theatre Project. Once the government took on the task of putting people to work producing theatre, it was able, in part, to subsume the movement. The Federal Theatre Project attempted to put unemployed theatre workers back to work (popular radio and talking movies has virtually replaced vaudeville as America's favorite forms of entertainment, and most vaudevillians saw their jobs disappear); the FTP tried, further, to present theatre that was relevant--socially and politically, was regional--reflected its local area, and had popular prices--many of the shows were free. Most of its famous productions, although not all of them, came out of New York City: New York had a classical unit, Negro unit, and units performing vaudeville, children ’s plays, puppet shows, caravan productions, and the new plays unit. The Federal Theatre Project was the only fully government-sponsored theatre ever in the United States.
  • INTRODUCTION During the late 1920's and early 1930's, an important theatrical movement developed: The Workers' Theatre Movement. It eventually diminished in importance around the middle of the 1930's, and one of the developments aiding the decline of the Workers' Theatre Movement, by using many of its methods and theatrical devices, was the formation of the Federal Theatre Project. Once the government took on the task of putting people to work producing theatre, it was able, in part, to subsume the movement. The Federal Theatre Project attempted to put unemployed theatre workers back to work (popular radio and talking movies has virtually replaced vaudeville as America's favorite forms of entertainment, and most vaudevillians saw their jobs disappear); the FTP tried, further, to present theatre that was relevant--socially and politically, was regional--reflected its local area, and had popular prices--many of the shows were free. Most of its famous productions, although not all of them, came out of New York City: New York had a classical unit, Negro unit, and units performing vaudeville, children ’s plays, puppet shows, caravan productions, and the new plays unit. The Federal Theatre Project was the only fully government-sponsored theatre ever in the United States.
  •   World War II and its attendant horrors produced a widespread sense of the utter meaninglessness of human existence. This sense is brilliantly expressed in the body of plays that have come to be known collectively as the theater of the absurd. By abandoning traditional devices of the drama, including logical plot development, meaningful dialogue, and intelligible characters, absurdist playwrights sought to convey modern humanity's feelings of bewilderment, alienation, and despair—the sense that reality is itself unreal. In their plays human beings often portrayed as dupes, clowns who, although not without dignity, are at the mercy of forces that are inscrutable.     During the last third of the 20th cent. a few continental European dramatists, such as Dario Fo in Italy and Heiner Müller in Germany, stand out in the theater world. However, for the most part, the countries of the continent saw an emphasis on creative trends in directing rather than a flowering of new plays. In the United States and England, however, many dramatists old and new continued to flourish, with numerous plays of the later decades of the 20th cent. (and the early 21st cent.) echoing the trends of the years preceding them.
  • Realism in a number of guises—psychological, social, and political—continued to be a force in such British works as David Storey 's Home (1971), Sir Alan Ayckbourn 's Norman Conquests trilogy (1974), and David Hare 's Amy's View (1998); in such Irish dramas as Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) and Martin McDonagh's 1990s Leenane trilogy; and in such American plays as Jason Miller's That Championship Season (1972), Lanford Wilson 's Talley's Folly (1979), and John Guare 's Six Degrees of Separation (1990). In keeping with the tenor of the times, many of these and other works of the period were marked by elements of wit, irony, and satire.
  • about African Americans. The minstrel shows of the early 19th century are believed by some to be the roots of black theatre, but they initially were written by whites, acted by whites in blackface, and performed for white audiences. After the American Civil War, blacks began to perform in minstrel shows (then called “Ethiopian minstrelsy”), and by the turn of the 20th century they were producing black musicals, many of which were written, produced, and acted entirely by blacks. The first known play by an American black was James Brown's King Shotaway (1823). William Wells Brown 's The Escape; or, A Leap for Freedom (1858), was the first black play published, but the first real success of a black dramatist was Angelina W. Grimké 's Rachel (1916). Will Marion Cook and Bob Cole brought black-written musical comedy to Broadway in 1898. Cook's Clorindy; or, The Origin of the Cakewalk , an hour-long sketch that was the first all-black show to play in a prestigious Broadway house, Casino Theatre 's Roof Garden. Cole's A Trip to Coontown was the first full-length New York musical comedy written, directed and performed exclusively by blacks. The approach of the two composers were diametrically opposed: Cole believed that African Americans should try to compete with European Americans by proving their ability to act similarly on- and offstage, while Cook thought African Americans should not imitate European Americans but instead create their own style. Bob Cole and brothers John Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson focused on elevating the lyrical sophistication of African American songs. Their first collaboration was Louisiana Lize , a love song written in a new lyrical style that left out the watermelons, razors, and "hot mamas" typical of earlier " coon songs ." [2] Cole and the Johnson brothers went on to create musicals such as The Belle of Bridgeport , The Red Moon (with Joe Jordan ), The Shoo-Fly Regiment , In Newport , Humpty Dumpty , and Sally in Our Alley (featuring Bob Cole's "Under The Bamboo Tree"). Bob Cole's suicide in 1911 ended "one of the promising musical comedy teams yet seen on Broadway
  • about African Americans. The minstrel shows of the early 19th century are believed by some to be the roots of black theatre, but they initially were written by whites, acted by whites in blackface, and performed for white audiences. After the American Civil War, blacks began to perform in minstrel shows (then called “Ethiopian minstrelsy”), and by the turn of the 20th century they were producing black musicals, many of which were written, produced, and acted entirely by blacks. The first known play by an American black was James Brown's King Shotaway (1823). William Wells Brown 's The Escape; or, A Leap for Freedom (1858), was the first black play published, but the first real success of a black dramatist was Angelina W. Grimké 's Rachel (1916). Will Marion Cook and Bob Cole brought black-written musical comedy to Broadway in 1898. Cook's Clorindy; or, The Origin of the Cakewalk , an hour-long sketch that was the first all-black show to play in a prestigious Broadway house, Casino Theatre 's Roof Garden. Cole's A Trip to Coontown was the first full-length New York musical comedy written, directed and performed exclusively by blacks. The approach of the two composers were diametrically opposed: Cole believed that African Americans should try to compete with European Americans by proving their ability to act similarly on- and offstage, while Cook thought African Americans should not imitate European Americans but instead create their own style. Bob Cole and brothers John Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson focused on elevating the lyrical sophistication of African American songs. Their first collaboration was Louisiana Lize , a love song written in a new lyrical style that left out the watermelons, razors, and "hot mamas" typical of earlier " coon songs ." [2] Cole and the Johnson brothers went on to create musicals such as The Belle of Bridgeport , The Red Moon (with Joe Jordan ), The Shoo-Fly Regiment , In Newport , Humpty Dumpty , and Sally in Our Alley (featuring Bob Cole's "Under The Bamboo Tree"). Bob Cole's suicide in 1911 ended "one of the promising musical comedy teams yet seen on Broadway
  • about African Americans. The minstrel shows of the early 19th century are believed by some to be the roots of black theatre, but they initially were written by whites, acted by whites in blackface, and performed for white audiences. After the American Civil War, blacks began to perform in minstrel shows (then called “Ethiopian minstrelsy”), and by the turn of the 20th century they were producing black musicals, many of which were written, produced, and acted entirely by blacks. The first known play by an American black was James Brown's King Shotaway (1823). William Wells Brown 's The Escape; or, A Leap for Freedom (1858), was the first black play published, but the first real success of a black dramatist was Angelina W. Grimké 's Rachel (1916). Will Marion Cook and Bob Cole brought black-written musical comedy to Broadway in 1898. Cook's Clorindy; or, The Origin of the Cakewalk , an hour-long sketch that was the first all-black show to play in a prestigious Broadway house, Casino Theatre 's Roof Garden. Cole's A Trip to Coontown was the first full-length New York musical comedy written, directed and performed exclusively by blacks. The approach of the two composers were diametrically opposed: Cole believed that African Americans should try to compete with European Americans by proving their ability to act similarly on- and offstage, while Cook thought African Americans should not imitate European Americans but instead create their own style. Bob Cole and brothers John Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson focused on elevating the lyrical sophistication of African American songs. Their first collaboration was Louisiana Lize , a love song written in a new lyrical style that left out the watermelons, razors, and "hot mamas" typical of earlier " coon songs ." [2] Cole and the Johnson brothers went on to create musicals such as The Belle of Bridgeport , The Red Moon (with Joe Jordan ), The Shoo-Fly Regiment , In Newport , Humpty Dumpty , and Sally in Our Alley (featuring Bob Cole's "Under The Bamboo Tree"). Bob Cole's suicide in 1911 ended "one of the promising musical comedy teams yet seen on Broadway
  • Black theatre flourished during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and '30s. Experimental groups and black theatre companies emerged in Chicago, New York City, and Washington, D.C. Among these was the Ethiopian Art Theatre, which established Paul Robeson as America's foremost black actor. Garland Anderson's play Appearances (1925) was the first play of black authorship to be produced on Broadway, but black theatre did not create a Broadway hit until Langston Hughes 's Mulatto (1935) won wide acclaim. In that same year the Federal Theatre Project was founded, providing a training ground for blacks. In the late 1930s, black community theatres began to appear, revealing talents such as those of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. By 1940 black theatre was firmly grounded in the American Negro Theater and the Negro Playwrights' Company.
  • Langston Hughes James Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. His parents divorced when he was a small child, and his father moved to Mexico. He was raised by his grandmother until he was thirteen, when he moved to Lincoln, Illinois, to live with his mother and her husband, before the family eventually settled in Cleveland, Ohio. It was in Lincoln, Illinois, that Hughes began writing poetry. Following graduation, he spent a year in Mexico and a year at Columbia University. During these years, he held odd jobs as an assistant cook, launderer, and a busboy, and travelled to Africa and Europe working as a seaman. In November 1924, he moved to Washington, D.C. Hughes's first book of poetry, The Weary Blues , was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1926. He finished his college education at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania three years later. In 1930 his first novel, Not Without Laughter, won the Harmon gold medal for literature. Hughes, who claimed Paul Lawrence Dunbar , Carl Sandburg , and Walt Whitman as his primary influences, is particularly known for his insightful, colorful portrayals of black life in America from the twenties through the sixties. He wrote novels, short stories and plays, as well as poetry, and is also known for his engagement with the world of jazz and the influence it had on his writing, as in "Montage of a Dream Deferred." His life and work were enormously important in shaping the artistic contributions of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. Unlike other notable black poets of the period—Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, and Countee Cullen—Hughes refused to differentiate between his personal experience and the common experience of black America. He wanted to tell the stories of his people in ways that reflected their actual culture, including both their suffering and their love of music, laughter, and language itself. Langston Hughes died of complications from prostate cancer in May 22, 1967, in New York. In his memory, his residence at 20 East 127th Street in Harlem, New York City, has been given landmark status by the New York City Preservation Commission, and East 127th Street has been renamed "Langston Hughes Place." In addition to leaving us a large body of poetic work, Hughes wrote eleven plays and countless works of prose, including the well-known “Simple” books: Simple Speaks His Mind , Simple Stakes a Claim,Simple Takes a Wife , and Simple's Uncle Sam . He edited the anthologies The Poetry of the Negro and The Book of Negro Folklore, wrote an acclaimed autobiography (The Big Sea) and co-wrote the play Mule Bone with Zora Neale Hurston. A Selected Bibliography Poetry Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz (1961) Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (1994) Dear Lovely Death (1931) Fields of Wonder (1947) Fine Clothes to the Jew (1927) Freedom's Plow (1943) Montage of a Dream Deferred (1951) One-Way Ticket (1949) Scottsboro Limited (1932) Selected Poems (1959) Shakespeare in Harlem (1942) The Dream Keeper and Other Poems (1932) The Panther and the Lash: Poems of Our Times (1967) The Weary Blues (1926) Prose Good Morning, Revolution: Uncollected Social Protest Writings by Langston Hughes (1973) I Wonder as I Wander (1956) Laughing to Keep From Crying (1952) Not Without Laughter (1930) Remember Me to Harlem: The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten, 1925-1964 (2001) Simple Speaks His Mind (1950) Simple Stakes a Claim (1957) Simple Takes a Wife (1953) Simple's Uncle Sam (1965) Something in Common and Other Stories (1963) Tambourines to Glory (1958) The Arna Bontemps-Langston Hughes Letters (1980) The Big Sea (1940) The Langston Hughes Reader (1958) The Ways of White Folks (1934) Drama Black Nativity (1961) Collected Works of Langston Hughes, vol. 5: The Plays to 1942: Mulatto to The Sun Do Move (2000) Don't You Want to Be Free? (1938) Five Plays by Langston Hughes (1963) Little Ham (1935) Mulatto (1935) Mule Bone (1930) Simply Heavenly (1957) Soul Gone Home (1937) The Political Plays of Langston Hughes (2000) Poetry in Translation Cuba Libre (1948) Gypsy Ballads (1951) Selected Poems of Gabriela Mistral (1957) Translation Masters of the Dew (1947)
  • The 1960s saw the emergence of a new black theatre, angrier and more defiant than its predecessors, with Amiri Baraka (originally LeRoi Jones) as its strongest proponent. Baraka's plays, including the award-winning Dutchman (1964), depicted whites' exploitation of blacks. He established the Black Arts Repertory Theatre in Harlem in 1965 and inspired playwright Ed Bullins and others seeking to create a strong “black aesthetic” in American theatre. During the 1980s and '90s August Wilson , Suzan-Lori Parks , and George Wolfe were among the most important creators of black theatre. in the Sun (1959) and other successful black plays of the 1950s portrayed the difficulty of blacks maintaining an identity in a society that degraded them.
  • Hansberry, Lorraine (1930–1965), playwright, essayist , poet, and leading literary figure in the civil rights movement. Lorraine Vivian Hansberry was twenty-eight years old when her first play, A Raisin in the Sun , opened on Broadway to instant success. Capturing the spirit of the civil rights movement, this play won the 1959 New York Drama Critics Circle Award and made Hansberry the first black, youngest person, and fifth woman to win that prize. A Raisin in the Sun , the first play by an African American woman produced on Broadway , has become a classic of the American theater and has enjoyed numerous professional revivals. The roots of Hansberry's artistic vision and activism are in Chicago. Born into a family of substantial means, Hansberry was the youngest of four children—Carl, Jr., Perry, and Mamie . Her father, Carl Augustus Hansberry, Sr., was from Gloucester, Mississippi, moved to Chicago after attending Alcorn College, and became known as the “kitchenette king” after subdividing large homes vacated by whites moving to the suburbs and selling these small apartments or kitchenettes to African American migrants from the South. Hansberry's mother, Nannie Perry, a schoolteacher and, later, ward committeewoman , was from Tennessee . At the time of Lorraine 's birth, she had become an influential society matron who hosted major cultural and literary figures such as Paul Robeson , Langston Hughes , and Joe Louis . Although Lorraine and her siblings enjoyed privileges unknown to their working-class schoolmates, the parents infused their children with racial pride and civic responsibility. They founded the Hansberry Foundation, an organization designed to inform African Americans of their civil rights, and encouraged their children to challenge the exclusionary policies of local restaurants and stores. Carl and Nannie Hansberry challenged restrictive real estate covenants by moving into an all-white neighborhood. A mob of whites gathered in front of the house and threw a brick through the front window, narrowly missing eight-year-old Lorraine and forcing the family to move out. Her father won a narrow victory over restrictive covenants from the Supreme Court, but the decision failed to set precedent on this issue. Hansberry attended public schools: Betsy Ross Elementary and Englewood High School, where she encountered the children of the working class whose independence and courage she came to admire. Their struggle would become the subject of her first major play. Departing from the family tradition of attending black colleges, Hansberry enrolled at the University of Wisconsin at Madison , a predominantly white university, to study journalism, but was equally attracted to the visual arts. She integrated an all-white women's dormitory and became active in the campus chapter of the Young Progressive Association, a national left-wing student organization, serving as its president during her sophomore year. After seeing a moving performance of Sean O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock , she decided to become a writer and to capture the authentic voice of the African American working class. Hansberry left Wisconsin after two years and moved to New York City in 1950. She took a job with Freedom , a newspaper founded by Paul Robeson, whose passport had been revoked by the U.S. State Department. She soon became associate editor, working closely with Louis Burnham, who became her mentor. In 1952, she replaced Robeson at a controversial, international peace conference in Montevideo , Uruguay, and subsequently spoke at public rallies and meetings, often critiquing U.S. policy. Hansberry's association with Freedom placed her in the midst of Harlem 's rich cultural, artistic, and political life. She read avidly and widely in African American history and culture, politics, philosophy, and the arts, and was especially influenced by the works of W. E. B. Du Bois , Frederick Douglass , William Shakespeare, and Langston Hughes . While participating in a demonstration at New York University, she met Robert Barron Nemiroff, son of progressive Russian Jewish immigrants, and after a short courtship, married him on 20 June 1953. Having earned his master's degree four months earlier at New York University, he had begun writing a book on Theodore Dreiser , his thesis topic. The young couple moved to Greenwich Village and Hansberry began to write extensively about the people and lifestyles that she observed around her. She was already an experienced writer and editor, having published articles, essays, and poetry in Freedom, New Challenge , and other leftist magazines. After leaving Freedom in 1953 to concentrate on her writing, Hansberry worked various odd jobs including tagger in the garment industry, typist, program director at Camp Unity (an interracial summer camp), recreation leader for the physically disabled, and teacher at the Marxist-oriented Jefferson School for Social Science. When her husband cowrote “Cindy Oh Cindy” (1956), a ballad that became an instant hit, the revenue freed Hansberry to devote her full energies to a play about a struggling, working-class black family, like the families who rented her father's properties on Chicago's South Side— A Raisin in the Sun . A Raisin in the Sun depicts the frustrations of a black family whose dreams of economic progress have been thwarted. After a pre-Broadway tour, it opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York City on 11 March 1959 to instant critical and popular success. In 1961, it was produced as a film with most of the original cast and won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival . During this period, Hansberry was much in demand as a public speaker. She articulated her belief that art is social and that black writers must address all issues of humankind. As the civil rights movement intensified, she helped to organize fund-raising activities in support of organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), called for the abolition of the House Un-American Activities Committee, and declared that President John E. Kennedy had endangered world peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis . During the last four years of her life, Hansberry worked hard on several plays. The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window was produced on Broadway in 1964, but critics were less receptive to this play that challenged the ennui of Greenwich Village intellectuals. During its short run, Hansberry battled pancreatic cancer, diagnosed in 1963. She died on 12 January 1965, the same night that her play closed. Hansberry left a number of finished and unfinished writings that indicate the breadth of her social and artistic vision. Robert Nemiroff, whom she had divorced in 1964 but designated as her literary executor, adapted some of her writings for the stage under the title To Be Young, Gifted and Black , a show that became the longest-running drama of the 1968–1969 Off-Broadway season and toured colleges and communities in the United States during 1970 and 1971. He also edited and published an anthology of her work (reissued in 1994) that included Les Blancs , a play about liberation movements; The Drinking Gourd , a television play commissioned by NBC but shelved as too controversial to produce; and What Use Are Flowers? , a fantasy on the consequences of nuclear holocaust. Among her other writings were a musical adaptation of Oliver LaFarge 's Laughing Boy; an adaptation of The Marrow of Tradition by Charles Waddell Chesnutt ; a screenplay based on Jacques Romain's novel about Haiti , Masters of the Dew; and a critical commentary on Simone de Beauvoir 's The Second Sex , a book that had significant impact on Hansberry's thinking. Until 1991 when he died, Robert Nemiroff devoted his life to editing, promoting, and producing Hansberry's works on stage and television. Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun is a classic of the American theater, frequently produced and an inspiration for young writers and artists. In recent years, a feminist revisioning of her plays and some of her unpublished writings affirm her politically progressive views, her sophistication about gender issues, and her sensitivity to homosexuality and opposition to homophobia. As more of her work is made accessible, the full extent of Hansberry's vision and contribution to American letters will be revealed.
  • Hansberry, Lorraine (1930–1965), playwright, essayist , poet, and leading literary figure in the civil rights movement. Lorraine Vivian Hansberry was twenty-eight years old when her first play, A Raisin in the Sun , opened on Broadway to instant success. Capturing the spirit of the civil rights movement, this play won the 1959 New York Drama Critics Circle Award and made Hansberry the first black, youngest person, and fifth woman to win that prize. A Raisin in the Sun , the first play by an African American woman produced on Broadway , has become a classic of the American theater and has enjoyed numerous professional revivals. The roots of Hansberry's artistic vision and activism are in Chicago. Born into a family of substantial means, Hansberry was the youngest of four children—Carl, Jr., Perry, and Mamie . Her father, Carl Augustus Hansberry, Sr., was from Gloucester, Mississippi, moved to Chicago after attending Alcorn College, and became known as the “kitchenette king” after subdividing large homes vacated by whites moving to the suburbs and selling these small apartments or kitchenettes to African American migrants from the South. Hansberry's mother, Nannie Perry, a schoolteacher and, later, ward committeewoman , was from Tennessee . At the time of Lorraine 's birth, she had become an influential society matron who hosted major cultural and literary figures such as Paul Robeson , Langston Hughes , and Joe Louis . Although Lorraine and her siblings enjoyed privileges unknown to their working-class schoolmates, the parents infused their children with racial pride and civic responsibility. They founded the Hansberry Foundation, an organization designed to inform African Americans of their civil rights, and encouraged their children to challenge the exclusionary policies of local restaurants and stores. Carl and Nannie Hansberry challenged restrictive real estate covenants by moving into an all-white neighborhood. A mob of whites gathered in front of the house and threw a brick through the front window, narrowly missing eight-year-old Lorraine and forcing the family to move out. Her father won a narrow victory over restrictive covenants from the Supreme Court, but the decision failed to set precedent on this issue. Hansberry attended public schools: Betsy Ross Elementary and Englewood High School, where she encountered the children of the working class whose independence and courage she came to admire. Their struggle would become the subject of her first major play. Departing from the family tradition of attending black colleges, Hansberry enrolled at the University of Wisconsin at Madison , a predominantly white university, to study journalism, but was equally attracted to the visual arts. She integrated an all-white women's dormitory and became active in the campus chapter of the Young Progressive Association, a national left-wing student organization, serving as its president during her sophomore year. After seeing a moving performance of Sean O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock , she decided to become a writer and to capture the authentic voice of the African American working class. Hansberry left Wisconsin after two years and moved to New York City in 1950. She took a job with Freedom , a newspaper founded by Paul Robeson, whose passport had been revoked by the U.S. State Department. She soon became associate editor, working closely with Louis Burnham, who became her mentor. In 1952, she replaced Robeson at a controversial, international peace conference in Montevideo , Uruguay, and subsequently spoke at public rallies and meetings, often critiquing U.S. policy. Hansberry's association with Freedom placed her in the midst of Harlem 's rich cultural, artistic, and political life. She read avidly and widely in African American history and culture, politics, philosophy, and the arts, and was especially influenced by the works of W. E. B. Du Bois , Frederick Douglass , William Shakespeare, and Langston Hughes . While participating in a demonstration at New York University, she met Robert Barron Nemiroff, son of progressive Russian Jewish immigrants, and after a short courtship, married him on 20 June 1953. Having earned his master's degree four months earlier at New York University, he had begun writing a book on Theodore Dreiser , his thesis topic. The young couple moved to Greenwich Village and Hansberry began to write extensively about the people and lifestyles that she observed around her. She was already an experienced writer and editor, having published articles, essays, and poetry in Freedom, New Challenge , and other leftist magazines. After leaving Freedom in 1953 to concentrate on her writing, Hansberry worked various odd jobs including tagger in the garment industry, typist, program director at Camp Unity (an interracial summer camp), recreation leader for the physically disabled, and teacher at the Marxist-oriented Jefferson School for Social Science. When her husband cowrote “Cindy Oh Cindy” (1956), a ballad that became an instant hit, the revenue freed Hansberry to devote her full energies to a play about a struggling, working-class black family, like the families who rented her father's properties on Chicago's South Side— A Raisin in the Sun . A Raisin in the Sun depicts the frustrations of a black family whose dreams of economic progress have been thwarted. After a pre-Broadway tour, it opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York City on 11 March 1959 to instant critical and popular success. In 1961, it was produced as a film with most of the original cast and won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival . During this period, Hansberry was much in demand as a public speaker. She articulated her belief that art is social and that black writers must address all issues of humankind. As the civil rights movement intensified, she helped to organize fund-raising activities in support of organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), called for the abolition of the House Un-American Activities Committee, and declared that President John E. Kennedy had endangered world peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis . During the last four years of her life, Hansberry worked hard on several plays. The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window was produced on Broadway in 1964, but critics were less receptive to this play that challenged the ennui of Greenwich Village intellectuals. During its short run, Hansberry battled pancreatic cancer, diagnosed in 1963. She died on 12 January 1965, the same night that her play closed. Hansberry left a number of finished and unfinished writings that indicate the breadth of her social and artistic vision. Robert Nemiroff, whom she had divorced in 1964 but designated as her literary executor, adapted some of her writings for the stage under the title To Be Young, Gifted and Black , a show that became the longest-running drama of the 1968–1969 Off-Broadway season and toured colleges and communities in the United States during 1970 and 1971. He also edited and published an anthology of her work (reissued in 1994) that included Les Blancs , a play about liberation movements; The Drinking Gourd , a television play commissioned by NBC but shelved as too controversial to produce; and What Use Are Flowers? , a fantasy on the consequences of nuclear holocaust. Among her other writings were a musical adaptation of Oliver LaFarge 's Laughing Boy; an adaptation of The Marrow of Tradition by Charles Waddell Chesnutt ; a screenplay based on Jacques Romain's novel about Haiti , Masters of the Dew; and a critical commentary on Simone de Beauvoir 's The Second Sex , a book that had significant impact on Hansberry's thinking. Until 1991 when he died, Robert Nemiroff devoted his life to editing, promoting, and producing Hansberry's works on stage and television. Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun is a classic of the American theater, frequently produced and an inspiration for young writers and artists. In recent years, a feminist revisioning of her plays and some of her unpublished writings affirm her politically progressive views, her sophistication about gender issues, and her sensitivity to homosexuality and opposition to homophobia. As more of her work is made accessible, the full extent of Hansberry's vision and contribution to American letters will be revealed.
  •   A Raisin in the Sun can be considered a turning point in American art because it addresses so many issues important during the 1950s in the United States. The 1950s are widely mocked in modern times as an age of complacency and conformism, symbolized by the growth of suburbs and commercial culture that began in that decade. Such a view, however, is superficial at best. Beneath the economic prosperity that characterized America in the years following World War II roiled growing domestic and racial tension. The stereotype of 1950s America as a land of happy housewives and blacks content with their inferior status resulted in an upswell of social resentment that would finally find public voice in the civil rights and feminist movements of the 1960s. A Raisin in the Sun, first performed as the conservative 1950s slid into the radical sixties, explores both of these vital issues.  
  •     High School: Gladstone High School (dropped out)     Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1987 for Fences     Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1990 for The Piano Lesson     Tony 1987 for Fences     National Humanities Medal 1999     Guggenheim Fellowship     German Ancestry Paternal     Risk Factors: Liver Cancer Wrote plays: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1982, "1920s") Jitney (1982, "1970s") Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1984, "1910s") Fences (1985, "1950s") The Piano Lesson (1986, "1930s") Two Trains Running (1990, "1960s") Seven Guitars (1995, "1940s") King Hedley II (2001, "1980s") Gem of the Ocean (2003, "1900s") Radio Golf (2005, "1990s")
  •     High School: Gladstone High School (dropped out)     Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1987 for Fences     Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1990 for The Piano Lesson     Tony 1987 for Fences     National Humanities Medal 1999     Guggenheim Fellowship     German Ancestry Paternal     Risk Factors: Liver Cancer Wrote plays: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1982, "1920s") Jitney (1982, "1970s") Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1984, "1910s") Fences (1985, "1950s") The Piano Lesson (1986, "1930s") Two Trains Running (1990, "1960s") Seven Guitars (1995, "1940s") King Hedley II (2001, "1980s") Gem of the Ocean (2003, "1900s") Radio Golf (2005, "1990s")
  •     High School: Gladstone High School (dropped out)     Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1987 for Fences     Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1990 for The Piano Lesson     Tony 1987 for Fences     National Humanities Medal 1999     Guggenheim Fellowship     German Ancestry Paternal     Risk Factors: Liver Cancer Wrote plays: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1982, "1920s") Jitney (1982, "1970s") Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1984, "1910s") Fences (1985, "1950s") The Piano Lesson (1986, "1930s") Two Trains Running (1990, "1960s") Seven Guitars (1995, "1940s") King Hedley II (2001, "1980s") Gem of the Ocean (2003, "1900s") Radio Golf (2005, "1990s")
  •     High School: Gladstone High School (dropped out)     Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1987 for Fences     Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1990 for The Piano Lesson     Tony 1987 for Fences     National Humanities Medal 1999     Guggenheim Fellowship     German Ancestry Paternal     Risk Factors: Liver Cancer Wrote plays: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1982, "1920s") Jitney (1982, "1970s") Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1984, "1910s") Fences (1985, "1950s") The Piano Lesson (1986, "1930s") Two Trains Running (1990, "1960s") Seven Guitars (1995, "1940s") King Hedley II (2001, "1980s") Gem of the Ocean (2003, "1900s") Radio Golf (2005, "1990s")
  • The play is set in Chicago in the 1920s (the only play in the group not set in Pittsburgh ), and deals with issues of race, art, religion and the historic exploitation of black recording artists by white producers. The play's title refers to a song of the same title by Ma Rainey referring to the Black Bottom dance .
  • The Piano Lesson is the fourth of August Wilson’s cycle of plays about the African American experience in the twentieth century. It opened at the Yale Repertory Theater in 1987, and, later, on Broadway, to great success. The play was inspired by Romare Bearden’s painting Piano Lesson . It is set in Pittsburgh in 1936 and focuses upon the relationship between the Charles siblings, Berniece and Boy Willie, who clash over whether or not their family’s piano should be sold. In the mid-nineteenth century, when the Charles family were slaves, two members of the family were sold by their owners, the Sutters, for a piano. Subsequently, a master-carpenter in the Charles family was ordered by the Sutters to carve the faces of the sold slaves into the piano. He did that and more: he carved the family’s entire history into the piano. The instrument was later stolen by Berniece and Boy Willie’s father, who was then killed by the Sutters in retribution. The play explores African Americans’ relationship to family history, particularly to the history of their slave ancestors. While Wilson’s cycle of plays is set during the twentieth century, all of his plays explore the legacy of slavery and the roots of American racism—this play is as concerned with the Ante-bellum period as it is with America during the Great Depression.
  •   Lance Reddick and Cassandra Freeman star in August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars,” directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson.   Seven Guitars is a 1995 play by American playwright , August Wilson . It focuses on seven African American characters in the year 1948. The play begins and ends after the funeral of one of the main characters, showing events leading to the funeral in flashbacks. Seven Guitars represents the 1940s entry in Wilson's Pittsburgh Cycle , a decade-by-decade anthology of African-American life in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the twentieth century; Wilson would revisit the stories of some of these characters in King Hedley II , set in the 1980s.
  •     High School: Gladstone High School (dropped out)     Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1987 for Fences     Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1990 for The Piano Lesson     Tony 1987 for Fences     National Humanities Medal 1999     Guggenheim Fellowship     German Ancestry Paternal     Risk Factors: Liver Cancer Wrote plays: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1982, "1920s") Jitney (1982, "1970s") Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1984, "1910s") Fences (1985, "1950s") The Piano Lesson (1986, "1930s") Two Trains Running (1990, "1960s") Seven Guitars (1995, "1940s") King Hedley II (2001, "1980s") Gem of the Ocean (2003, "1900s") Radio Golf (2005, "1990s")
  •   The play takes place in the Hill District , an African American neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1969. It explores the social and psychological manifestations of changing attitudes toward race from the perspective of urban blacks.
  •     High School: Gladstone High School (dropped out)     Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1987 for Fences     Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1990 for The Piano Lesson     Tony 1987 for Fences     National Humanities Medal 1999     Guggenheim Fellowship     German Ancestry Paternal     Risk Factors: Liver Cancer Wrote plays: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1982, "1920s") Jitney (1982, "1970s") Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1984, "1910s") Fences (1985, "1950s") The Piano Lesson (1986, "1930s") Two Trains Running (1990, "1960s") Seven Guitars (1995, "1940s") King Hedley II (2001, "1980s") Gem of the Ocean (2003, "1900s") Radio Golf (2005, "1990s")
  •   King Hedley II is the eighth in August Wilson's series of plays chronicling African-Americans in each decade of the twentieth century. The play depicts the lives of residents of Pittsburgh's Hill District as they attempt to rise above their impoverished surroundings.
  • Premiered Yale Rep 2005, Broadway 2007
  • The late decades of the 20th century were also a time of considerable experiment and iconoclasm. Experimental dramas of the 1960s and 70s by such groups as Beck's Living Theater and Jerzy Grotowski 's Polish Laboratory Theatre were followed by a mixing and merging of various kinds of media with aspects of postmodernism , improvisational techniques, performance art , and other kinds of avant-garde theater. Some of the era's more innovative efforts included productions by theater groups such as New York's La MaMa (1961–) and Mabou Mines (1970–) and Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Co. (1976–); the Canadian writer-director Robert Lepage's intricate, sometimes multilingual works, e.g. Tectonic Plates (1988); the inventive one-man shows of such monologuists as Eric Bogosian, Spalding Gray, and John Leguizamo; the transgressive drag dramas of Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theater, e.g., The Mystery of Irma Vep (1984); and the operatic multimedia extravaganzas of Robert Wilson , e.g. White Raven (1999). Thematically, the social upheavals of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s—particularly the civil rights and women's movements, gay liberation, and the AIDS crisis—provided impetus for new plays that explored the lives of minorities and women. Beginning with Lorraine Hansberry 's A Raisin in the Sun (1959), drama by and about African Americans emerged as a significant theatrical trend. In the 1960s plays such as James Baldwin 's Blues for Mr. Charley (1964), Amiri Baraka 's searing Dutchman (1964), and Charles Gordone's No Place to Be Somebody (1967) explored black American life; writers including Ed Bullins (e.g., The Taking of Miss Janie, 1975), Ntozake Shange (e.g., For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, 1976) and Charles Fuller (e.g., A Soldier's Play, 1981) carried these themes into later decades. One of the most distinctive and prolific of the century's African-American playwrights, August Wilson , debuted on Broadway in 1984 with Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and continued to define the black American experience in his ongoing dramatic cycle into the next century.
  • Certainly one key element in this marvelously rich theatre is the work of the group. Too often when speaking about the Living there is an element missing, and that element is the dialectic between not only Judith and Julian (tempestuous as it was at times, so I am told), but also most importantly the dialectic between those two power dynamos and the company. Theatre, more than most arts, is a collaborative effort and with the Living one cannot minimize the importance of the group: those plays which brought the Living its greatest notoriety could only have been produced by the challenging presence of an ensemble. Challenging, because as Judith explains, there is an dynamic correlation between a social movement with that of an avant-garde of political artists: often the movement may follow behind the artists; at other times it is the artists that need to catch-up to the movement. dedicated to transforming the organization of power within society from a competitive, hierarchical structure to cooperative and communal expression. The troupe attempts to do so by counteracting complacency in the audience through direct spectacle. They oppose the commercial orientation of Broadway productions and have contributed to the off-Broadway theater movement in New York City, staging poetic dramas. The primordial text for The Living Theatre is The Theater and Its Double, an anthology of essays written by Antonin Artaud , the French playwright. It was published in France in 1937 and by the Grove Press in the U.S. in 1958. This work deeply influenced Julian Beck, a bisexual painter of abstract expressionist works. The troupe reflects Artaud's influence by staging multimedia plays designed to exhibit his metaphysical Theatre of Cruelty . In these performances, the actors attempt to dissolve the fourth wall between themselves and the spectators.
  • Jerzy Grotowski 's Polish Laboratory Theatre were followed by a mixing and merging of various kinds of media with aspects of postmodernism , improvisational techniques, performance art , and other kinds of avant-garde theater The concept of Poor Theatre started with the Polish director Jerzy Grotowski (1933 - 1999). Theatre in general became very elaborate and relied heavily on theatrical devices such as light, sound, costume and decor sets to add spectacle to the performance. The skills of the actors were overshadowed and became of less importance.   Motion pictures added sound and colour to their repertoire and it was impossible for theatre to compete with this new genre.   Grotowski argued that there was no point in trying to compete with film but that theatre should rather convert back to its roots. In his own words, "If it [the stage] cannot be richer than the cinema, then let it be poor."   The actor's voice and body skills should be the primary spectacle on stage
  • Jerzy Grotowski 's Polish Laboratory Theatre were followed by a mixing and merging of various kinds of media with aspects of postmodernism , improvisational techniques, performance art , and other kinds of avant-garde theater The concept of Poor Theatre started with the Polish director Jerzy Grotowski (1933 - 1999). Theatre in general became very elaborate and relied heavily on theatrical devices such as light, sound, costume and decor sets to add spectacle to the performance. The skills of the actors were overshadowed and became of less importance.   Motion pictures added sound and colour to their repertoire and it was impossible for theatre to compete with this new genre.   Grotowski argued that there was no point in trying to compete with film but that theatre should rather convert back to its roots. In his own words, "If it [the stage] cannot be richer than the cinema, then let it be poor."   The actor's voice and body skills should be the primary spectacle on stage
  • LA MAMA   La MaMa Experimental Theatre is a world-renowned cultural organization led by founder Ellen Stewart. For 48 years La MaMa has passionately pursued its original mission to develop, nurture, support, produce and present new and original performance work by artists of all nations and cultures. We believe that in order to flourish, art needs the company of colleagues, the spirit of collaboration, the comfort of continuation, a public forum in which to be evaluated and fiscal support. Since La MaMa's doors first opened in 1961, our primary dedication has been to new works. Many of the best plays and playwrights of the 60's and 70's have come from our lower East Side stages and workshops. The face of Theatre as we now know it on Broadway and beyond was influenced by and infused with the spirit and work of La MaMa artists. Not only is the work we do experimental because of new directions in writing, but also because of the exciting collaborations that we foster, especially musical ones. To date we have presented over 1000 original scores on our stages. Creative risk-taking, experimentation, and challenging artistic boundaries have always been the focus of the work created and performed at La MaMa. La MaMa envisions art as a universal language. Cultural pluralism and ethnic diversity have been inherent in the work created at La MaMa. To sustain this global vision, La MaMa has become one of this country's foremost presenters of international performance. We are delighted to call artists from over seventy nations part of the La MaMa family. La MaMa has been honored with over thirty Obie Awards, dozens of Drama Desk Awards, Bessie Awards and Villager Awards. La MaMa has an incredible roster of theatre, movie and multi-media luminaries for whom La MaMa was an early artistic home. La MaMa was one of the first "non-mainline" theatres to support full-time resident companies. This list includes: The La MaMa Troupe directed by Tom O'Horgan; Mabou Mines, directed by Lee Breuer; The E.T.C. Company directed by Wilford Leach; La MaMa Plexus directed by Joel Zwick; The Great Jones Repertory directed by Andrei Serban and Elizabeth Swados; The Jarboro Troupe directed by Hugh Gittens; The Third World theatre Institute, T.W.I.T.A.S (Philippines); Theatre of the Eye directed by Tom Eyen; The Play-House of the Ridiculous, directed by John Vaccaro; The American Indian Theatre Ensemble directed by Hanay Geiogamah; La MaMa Chinatown, directed by Wu Jing-jyi and Ching Yeh of Taiwan -- out of which grew The Pan Asian Repertory directed by Tisa Chang; Ping Chong and Company; Laughing Stone directed by Sin Cha Hong; The Trocadero Gloxinia Ballet directed by Larry Ree; Kinding Sindaw, directed by Potri Ranka Manis from the Maranao people of the Philippines, dedicates their works to preserve the indigenous ritual and court dances and music of Southern Philippines; The Yara Arts Group (Mongolia) directed by Virlana Tkacz, which introduced the Buryat; Slant (Asia), created by Rick Ebihara, Wayland Quintero and Perry Yung; Otrabanda directed by Roger Babb; and The Shaliko Company directed by Lee Shapiro. These companies have served as ambassadors of experimental culture in all corners of the world. La MaMa began as a tiny basement theatre dedicated to the playwright and all aspects of the theatre. In the past 48 years, La MaMa has grown into an arts complex of national and international celebrity. La MaMa houses three theatres, "The First Floor Theatre", "The Club" and "The Annex", an art gallery, a 6-story rehearsal/studio building, and a extensive archive documenting the history of off-off Broadway theatre. The La MaMa facilities are still located on the Lower East Side where they provide dozens of jobs and bring goodwill and health to the neighborhood. Our First Floor theatre is a small, intermediate space in which plays that are in a developmental stage are created. Our large theatre, the La MaMa Annex, had it's official opening on October 18, 1974. We showed the complete trilogy of Electra, Trojan Women, and Medea directed by Andrei Serban, with music composed by Elizabeth Swados, performed by the La MaMa Repertory Troupe, now called The Great Jones Repertory Company. The Annex has near perfect acoustics and has become a world-class venue. Because of its flexible design, companies can construct their world within its walls. It is a chameleon space that changes to suit the art that it embraces. The Annex has been a "port of entry" for artists from around the world. It is a spiritual place where artists can work without fear. The Club, La MaMa's cabaret space, gives voice to established and emerging multi-disciplinary performance artists. Annex Building - 66 East 4th Street (circa 1875) We offer exhibition space in our art gallery, La MaMa's La Galleria, to a wide variety of artists at various stages of their careers. It is our aim to give as many artists and art forms as possible an opportunity to exhibit. The gallery, as with our theatres, is a place where artistic experimentation is nurtured. This exhibition space is offered free of charge to the artists and the art-viewing public. In addition to art exhibits, La Galleria hosts a developmental play-reading series called EXPERIMENTS as well as a poetry reading series called POETRY ELECTRIC. This program gives emerging playwrights and other writers the opportunity to hear and see their work read before an audience, and to receive feedback in informal audience response sessions after the readings. One of La MaMa's most valuable resources is a six-story loft building at 47 Great Jones. Purchased in 1970, this property has served as "no or low cost" rehearsal and workshop space for hundreds of community artists and citywide nonprofit arts groups. This space enables development of projects free of financial pressures or the need for critical approval. Each year, the building provides over 20,000 work hours to over 200 groups, who otherwise might not be able to afford a substantial rehearsal period. Ellen Stewart had the exceptional foresight to keep records of all activities taking place on stage and behind the scenes at La MaMa. Without realizing it she created an archive that is one of the premier informational resources for contemporary American theatre, especially the Off-Off Broadway movement. Today, the La MaMa Archive is unique in its documentation of the genesis and development of a movement, which changed the face of contemporary art forms in American theatre, and affected international cultural movements as well. La MaMa's Archive is extraordinary and unique for: the critical acclaim accorded many artists who began their artistic careers at La MaMa; the cultural role the Off-Off Broadway movement has played in the national and international theatrical arena; and the fact that it is the only comprehensive collection of source material spanning 43 years that is available. Ongoing activities at La MaMa include the presentation of new works thereby creating opportunities for new playwrights, directors, designers and performers; an American showcase for the international avant-garde; and a performance venue for composers and choreographers. We offer an educational internship program at both the high school and college level that allows students to gain invaluable experience. A ticket subsidy program enables students, senior citizens, the physically and mentally challenged and those undergoing rehabilitation to attend La MaMa performances at no cost. Each year we distribute 5,000-6,000 free tickets to nonprofit social service organizations. Still under the directorship and helm of the founder and artistic director, Ellen Stewart, La MaMa continues its original vision and mission of bringing artists, dancers, writers, musicians, actors, puppeteers, choreographers, directors and technicians together in order to gather, to investigate and create. In 1986, with the proceeds from her MacArthur "Genius Award," Ellen Stewart founded La MaMa Umbria, an international artist retreat and residence in the hills of Umbria, Italy in Santa Maria Reggiana. Workshops and mini-festivals are held each summer in a haven of nature, nurture, creativity and community.
  • History Timeline Browse Seasons Select 2011-2012 2010-2011 2009-2010 2008-2009 2007-2008 2006-2007 2005-2006 2004-2005 2003-2004 2002-2003 2001-2002 2000-2001 1999-2000 1998-1999 1997-1998 1996-1997 1995-1996 1994-1995 1993-1994 1992-1993 1991-1992 1990-1991 1989-1990 1988-1989 1987-1988 1986-1987 1985-1986 1984-1985 1983-1984 1982-1983 1981-1982 1980-1981 1979-1980 1978-1979 1977-1978 1976-1977 1974-1975 List All Productions Our Mission Committed to the principle of ensemble performance through the collaboration of a company of actors, directors and playwrights, Steppenwolf Theatre Company's mission is to advance the vitality and diversity of American theater by nurturing artists, encouraging repeatable creative relationships and contributing new works to the national canon. The company, formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, is dedicated to perpetuating an ethic of mutual respect and the development of artists through on-going group work. Steppenwolf has grown into an internationally renowned company of forty-two artists whose talents include acting, directing, playwriting, filmmaking and textual adaptation. The Beginning In January of 1974, in Highland Park, Illinois, Gary Sinise was approached by high school classmates Rick Argosh and Leslie Wilson about putting on a production of Paul Zindel's And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little . Sinise had recently graduated from high school and Rick and Leslie had one semester remaining. Highland Park High School was where co-founders Jeff Perry and Gary Sinise had met and became fast friends having done several plays together. Jeff was now attending college at Illinois State University where he had met co-founder Terry Kinney. Gary agreed to be in the production of Zindel's play and proceeded to seek out a space where Rick, Leslie and Gary could produce the play. Gary's parents had a very good friend who had designed a beautiful Unitarian church on Half Day Road in Deerfield, Illinois and it was through this family friend that he was able to secure the right to use the church for this inaugural production of The Steppenwolf Theatre Company. The name Steppenwolf came from the book by Herman Hesse which Argosh happened to be reading at the time. Three more plays were produced under this very first incarnation of Steppenwolf. Grease , which Sinise would produce, direct and act in with Argosh in the band and Wilson acting on stage, The Glass Menagerie , which Argosh directed with Sinise appearing as Tom, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead , also directed by Argosh, which would reunite high school pals Sinise and Perry and be the first teaming of Terry Kinney , Jeff Perry , and Gary Sinise , our three founders. It was during this production, in June of 1974, that the three founders decided that when Kinney and Perry were finished with college they would find a permanent space and would attempt to start a professional resident ensemble theatre company. Steppenwolf incorporated as a non for profit in 1975 and, after a series of meetings, the founders expanded the ensemble to include six other friends from Illinois State University. The company took up residence in the basement of a Catholic school in Highland Park in the summer of 1976 and produced its first season of plays. The nine original members were founders Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry, Gary Sinise and H.E. Baccus, Nancy Evans, Moira Harris, John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf and Alan Wilder. In 1980 the company moved from Highland Park to the city of Chicago, expanded the ensemble and produced its work in two different spaces before, in 1991, it built its current theatre at 1650 North Halsted Street. Steppenwolf has now grown into a company which includes forty-three theater artists whose strengths include acting, directing, playwriting, and textual adaptation. Now in its fourth decade as a professional theater company, Steppenwolf has received unprecedented national and international recognition from media, theater critics, and audiences alike. While Steppenwolf continues to live up to its many accolades, the company has not lost sight of its original vision. Today Steppenwolf remains committed to producing dynamic and exciting theater. The company's subscription base of over 20,000 is an indicator of the Chicago community's enthusiasm for Steppenwolf Theatre.
  • "The Theatre of the Ridiculous" made a break with the dominant trends in theatre of naturalistic acting and realistic settings. It employed a very broad acting style, often with surrealistic stage settings and props, frequently making a conscious effort at being shocking or disturbing. "Ridiculous" theatre brought some elements of queer/ camp performance to avant-garde theater. Cross-gender casting was common, with players often recruited from non-professional sources, such as drag queens or other "street stars". [3] The scenarios used in "Ridiculous" plays were often parodies or re-workings of pop-culture fiction, used as vehicles for social commentary or humor. Improvisation played a large role in the often chaotic Ridiculous productions, where the script was treated as just a starting point. [4] The phrase "The Theatre of the Ridiculous" was created by the author Ronald Tavel to describe some of his works, which were later recognized as the beginning of the genre. In a reference to Artaud 's concept of a Theatre of the Absurd , in 1965 Tavel promoted the first "Ridiculous" performances with the one-line manifesto: "We have passed beyond the absurd: our position is absolutely preposterous." [5]
  • Charles Ludlam and Black Eyed Susan in Eunuchs of the Forbidden City, 1971. Photo by Leandro Katz  
  • Charles Ludlam and Black Eyed Susan in Eunuchs of the Forbidden City, 1971. Photo by Leandro Katz  
  • Lola Pashalinsky and Charles Ludlam in Bluebeard
  • FILM: THE SORROWS OF DELORES
  • Feminist and other women-centered themes dramatized by contemporary female playwrights were plentiful in the 1970s and extended in the following decades. Significant figures included England's Caryl Churchill (e.g., the witty Top Girls, 1982), the Cuban-American experimentalist Maria Irene Forńes (e.g., Fefu and Her Friends, 1977) and American realists including Beth Henley (e.g., Crimes of the Heart, 1978), Marsha Norman (e.g., 'Night Mother, 1982), and Wendy Wasserstein (e.g., The Heidi Chronicles, 1988). Skilled monologuists also provided provocative female-themed one-women shows such as Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues (1996) and various solo theatrical performances by Lily Tomlin, Karen Finley, Anna Deveare Smith, Sarah Jones, and others.  
  • Gay themes (often in works by gay playwrights) also marked the later decades of the 20th cent. Homosexual characters had been treated sympathetically but in the context of pathology in such earlier 20th-century works as Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour (1934) and Robert Anderson's Tea and Sympathy (1953). Gay subjects were presented more explicitly during the 1960s, notably in the English farces of Joe Orton and Matt Crowley's witty but grim portrait of pre-Stonewall American gay life, The Boys in the Band (1968). In later years gay experience was explored more frequently and with greater variety and openness, notably in Britain in Martin Sherman's Bent (1979) and Peter Gill's Mean Tears (1987) and in the United States in Jane Chambers' Last Summer at Bluefish Cove (1980), Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy (1981), Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart (1986), David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly (1988), which also dealt with Asian identity, and Paul Rudnick's Jeffrey (1993). Tony Kushner 's acclaimed two-part Angels in America (1991–92) is generally considered the century's most brilliant and innovative theatrical treatment of the contemporary gay world. Sections in this article:
  • The play he and Kaufman wrote—and rewrote and rewrote again and again— was Once in a Lifetime . On its opening in September 1930, it became one of the greatest successes of its time. Hart sprang overnight from penury to riches, from oblivion to being one of the brightest stars of the inner circle that was known as the Algonquin Roundtable. It put Kaufman and Hart as a team on a pedestal in the theatrical hall of fame. Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman ’s Once in a Lifetime was one of the pair’s best collaborations, the first of eight they wrote together in the 1930s. Inspired by the rise of the talkies—movies with sound—and the excess of Hollywood, the play is a wisecracking satire, though not particularly mean or bitter. Hart had originally written the play in 1929. Kaufman, a more established comic playwright, collaborated with Hart on several rewrites in late 1929 and early 1930. After several problematic outof- town tryouts, Once in a Lifetime opened on September 24, 1930, at the Music Box in New York City. It ran for 406 performances and won the Roi Cooper Megrue Prize for comedy in 1930. The play was very popular with both critics and audiences, giving them something to think about other than the growing economic depression. Since its original production, Once in a Lifetime was revived regularly through years, both on and off Broadway, as well as regionally and in Europe. Subsequent critics saw the play as a product of its time, but many believed its humor stood up well. The excesses of Hollywood were still contemporary, though some of the plays’ references were dated. As the New York Times’ Howard Taubman wrote in a 1962 review ‘‘ Once in a Lifetime is still pertinent and funny. The film industry has been through more upheavals than an old-time banana republic, but the more it changes the more some of its foibles remain the same.’’
  • You Can't Take It with You opened in New York in December of 1936 to instant critical and popular acclaim. This depiction of a delightfully eccentric family, the third collaboration by playwrights George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, proved to be their most successful and longest-running work. Awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1936, the comedy went on to run 837 performances on Broadway. Kaufman and Hart sold the film rights to Columbia Pictures for a record-setting amount, and the 1938 film won an Academy Award for best picture. Perenially appealing to audiences, You Can't Take It with You has become an American classic, regularly produced by high schools, colleges, and community theaters around the country. Successful Broadway revivals in 1965 and 1983 also attest to the play's timeless appeal. You Can't Take It with You relates the humorous encounter between a conservative family and the crazy household of Grandpa Martin Vanderhof. Grandpa's family of idiosyncratic individualists amuse with their energetic physical antics and inspire with their wholehearted pursuit of happiness. Kaufman and Hart fill the stage with chaotic activity from beginning to end. Critics have admired the witty one-liners, the visual theatricalism, and the balanced construction of the play's three acts. Although You Can't Take It with You is undeniably escapist theater which prompts immediate enjoyment rather than complex analysis, it has clearly influenced American comedy. The formula originated by Kaufman and Hart—a loveable family getting into scrapes and overcoming obstacles—has been adopted as a format by most of today's television situation comedies.
  • The Man Who Came to Dinner is a comedy in three acts by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart . It debuted on October 16, 1939 at the Music Box Theatre in New York City . It then enjoyed a number of New York and London revivals. The play is set in the small town of Mesalia, Ohio in the weeks leading to Christmas in the 1930s. The exposition reveals that the famously outlandish radio wit Sheridan Whiteside of New York City was invited to dine at the house of rich factory owner Ernest W. Stanley and his family. However, before Whiteside enters the house, he slips on a patch of ice outside the front door and injures his hip . He is attended by Dr. Bradley, the absent-minded town physician , and Miss Preen, his frantic nurse .
  • The Man Who Came to Dinner is a comedy in three acts by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart . It debuted on October 16, 1939 at the Music Box Theatre in New York City . It then enjoyed a number of New York and London revivals. The play is set in the small town of Mesalia, Ohio in the weeks leading to Christmas in the 1930s. The exposition reveals that the famously outlandish radio wit Sheridan Whiteside of New York City was invited to dine at the house of rich factory owner Ernest W. Stanley and his family. However, before Whiteside enters the house, he slips on a patch of ice outside the front door and injures his hip . He is attended by Dr. Bradley, the absent-minded town physician , and Miss Preen, his frantic nurse .
  • . He reportedly suggested that she write a stage adaptation of 'The Great Drumsheugh Case,' an episode from William Roughead's Bad Companions which detailed the scandal at a Scottish boarding school when a pupil accused two teachers of having a lesbain affair. Hellman's adaptation, The Children's Hour (1934), shocked and fascinated Broadway audiences with its frank treatment of lesbianism and enjoyed a run of 691 performances. It also spawned two film adaptations including These Three (1936) penned by Hellman herself. Hellman also wrote the scripts for such films as Dark Angel (1935), Dead End (1937), and The North Star (1943).   Hellman's next stage success, Little Foxes (1939), has become perhaps her most well-known play. It is a chilling study of the financial and psychological conflicts within a wealthy Southern family. "To hurt innocent people whom I knew many years ago in order to save myself is, to me, inhuman and indecent and dishonorable. I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions, even thAs a result of her defiance, Hellman's name was added to Hollywood's blacklist and she was slapped with an unexpected and unexplainable tax bill. Even worse, her partner, Dashiell Hammett, was sentenced to prison for six months. Alone and cut off from her only source of income, Hellman was soon forced to sell her home. Fortunately, she managed to stage a revival of The Children's Hour and used the proceeds to relocate to New York. ough I long ago came to the conclusion that I was not a political person and could have no comfortable place in any political group."
  • Born in Madison, Wisconsin, and educated at Oberlin, Yale (B.A. 1920) and Princeton (M.A. 1925), Thornton Wilder (1897-1975) was an accomplished novelist and playwright whose works, exploring the connection between the commonplace and the cosmic dimensions of human experience, continue to be read and produced around the world. Wilder is the only writer to win Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and drama--for his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927) and two plays, Our Town (1938) and The Skin of Our Teeth (1942). His other novels, all but one best-sellers, include The Cabala, The Woman of Andros , Heaven's My Destination , The Ides of March , The Eighth Day and Theophilus North . His other major dramas include The Matchmaker (adapted as the musical Hello, Dolly!) and The Alcestiad . The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden and The Long Christmas Dinner
  • Our Town is a favorite at many playhouses mainly because its setting and characters are so much like ordinary towns around the United States–and the rest of the world. Also, it has the one ingredient necessary for a literary work to become great: universality. Its themes apply to everyone everywhere. In addition, its simple mise-en-scène –a nearly bare stage with only a few props and no backdrops–makes it easy to produce. The absence of scenery also underscores the universal themes, inasmuch as there are no representations of structures or landscapes associated with specific locales. Grover ’s Corners could be anywhere. he even speaks with members of the audience. Grover's Corners, New Hampshire. Small, rural, out-of-the-way fictional town. 1901 to 1913. Life is pretty much the same for small towns in America. There is no apparent threat of global conflict or war. Such is the setting of Thornton Wilder's play, Our Town . Received with mixed reviews at its premiere in 1938, but awarded the Pulitzer Prize, Our Town has become one of the most popularly produced plays of the twentieth century. It is quite possible that on almost any given day of the year, somewhere in the world, Our Town is being performed by either a professional company or an amateur troupe of actors. There are echoes of classic Greek drama: the Stage Manager as Chorus and the three-act structure as trilogy. Like its Greek ancestors, Our Town concerns itself with the continuing cycle of life, humankind's nearest understanding of eternity. The central values of the play—Christian morality, community, the family, appreciation of everyday pleasures—are traditional. Yet, Wilder's methods of presenting these values on the stage are anything but. No scenery, few props, mimed actions, & dramatis persona who fluidly travels both in and out of the action of the play—all these make for a radically innovative way of presenting a drama. This was certainly a risk at a time when theater productions were known for their lavish costumes and scenery. However, these "experimental techniques" allow the audience to focus on the characters themselves rather than on their location and how they related to objects that surrounded them. In Our Town , Thornton Wilder artfully manipulates time and place and relates the here-and-now-of a small, New England village to the timeless concerns of all humankind. He builds the action of the play toward the dramatic revelation that human life, however painful, dreary, or inconsequential its daily events, is both a precious gift in its own right as well as a portion of the mysterious plan that rests in the "Mind of God."
  • Thornton Wilder completed his sixth, and perhaps most ambitious, play, The Skin of Our Teeth , on January 1, 1942. After trial runs in New Haven, Connecticut, and Baltimore, Maryland, the play opened on Broadway at the Plymouth Theater on November 18, 1942. The production—directed by Elia Kazan and starring Tallulah Bankhead (Sabina), Frederic March (Mr. Antrobus), and Florence Eldridge (Mrs. Antrobus)—received positive reviews and ran for 355 performances. Audiences and critics applauded Wilder's unconventional drama about the history of humankind. Most reviewers agreed that the playwright had produced a work that would revitalize American theater; as Brooks Atkinson wrote in the New York Times, " The Skin of Our Teeth stands head and shoulders above the monotonous plane of our moribund theater—an original, gay-hearted play that is now and again profoundly moving, as a genuine comedy should be.'' Disrupting traditional notions of linear time, Wilder's play tells the story of the twentieth-century American Antrobus family in three acts which recount such epochal events as the onset of the Ice Age, the start of Great Flood, and the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Ending exactly as it began, the play illustrates the cyclical nature of existence, celebrating humanity's resilience, inventiveness, and will to survive. Although the play offers an age-old message, it does so in an untraditional form, rejecting the conventions of naturalistic drama. Not only do the characters appear to be both middle-class Americans and allegorical figures, but they also repeatedly drop out of character and speak directly to the audience, breaking theatrical illusion and reminding viewers that they are watching a play. Combining modern theatrical experiments and timeless human themes, Wilder produced a work that would both challenge and entertain generations of Americans. Along with Our Town (1938), The Skin of Our Teeth is considered Wilder's theatrical masterpiece and an invaluable cornerstone of modern American drama.
  • Thornton Wilder ’s play The Matchmaker is a farce in the old-fashioned sense. It uses such time-honored conventions as characters hidden under tables and in closets, men disguised as women, a complex conspiracy to bring young lovers together, and a happy ending in which three couples are united with plans to marry. The traditional aspects of the play should come as no surprise: Wilder himself was the first to acknowledge the sources that it was based upon. The character of Dolly Levi came from French playwright Molière’s comedy L’avare, or The Miser, from which Wilder lifted some scenes directly. A closer influence was Johann Nestroy’s Einen Jux will er sich Machen, performed in Vienna in 1842. Wilder referred to his play as a ‘‘free adaptation’’ of Nestroy’s, which itself was adapted from British playwright John Oxenham’s 1835 comedy A Day Well Spent. Wilder’s first adaptation was called The Merchant of Yonkers, which failed on Broadway in 1938, running for only twenty-eight performances. The Matchmaker was itself adapted as Hello, Dolly!, which began in 1963 and ran for years, ranking as one of Broadway’s longest-running musicals. In all of these permutations, the basic plot has been the same as it is in The Matchmaker . In Wilder ’s version, an irascible, penny-pinching store owner, Horace Vandergelder, refuses to let his niece marry the poor artist she loves, although he himself plans to remarry. Dolly Levi, the matchmaker of the title, pretends that she is helping Vandergelder find a suitable bride, but she actually schemes to marry him herself, and she works to help the young lovers gain his approval. Vandergelder’s beleaguered clerk, who is longing for excitement, also meets the woman of his dreams, although she happens to be the one Vandergelder intends to marry. In the end, everyone is happy and just a little smarter.
  • Tennessee Williams (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983) born Thomas Lanier Williams , was an American playwright who received many of the top theatrical awards for his works of drama. He moved to New Orleans in 1939 and changed his name to "Tennessee", the Southeastern U.S. state, his father's birthplace. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1955. In addition, The Glass Menagerie (1945) and The Night of the Iguana (1961) received New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards. His 1952 play The Rose Tattoo received the Tony Award for best play. In 1980 he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter .
  • Arthur Asher Miller (October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005) [1] [2] was an American playwright and essayist . He was a prominent figure in American theatre , writing dramas that include award-winning plays such as All My Sons , Death of a Salesman , and The Crucible . Miller was often in the public eye, particularly during the late 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s, a period during which he testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee , received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama , and was married to Marilyn Monroe .
  • Arthur Asher Miller (October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005) [1] [2] was an American playwright and essayist . He was a prominent figure in American theatre , writing dramas that include award-winning plays such as All My Sons , Death of a Salesman , and The Crucible . Miller was often in the public eye, particularly during the late 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s, a period during which he testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee , received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama , and was married to Marilyn Monroe . Arthur Miller's first success came in 1947 with All My Sons for which he won the New York Drama Critics Circle award. Although it lacked the originality of some of his later works, this family drama, which told the story of a factory owner who caused the death of several American pilots during World War I by selling defective parts to the government, dealt with issues of guilt and dishonesty that Miller would revisit and expand upon in some of his more memorable plays.   His next play, Death of a Salesman , stunned audiences with its brilliance and was quickly earmarked as a classic of the modern theatre. It also sparked heated debates over the true nature of tragedy. Some critics criticized Miller for infusing the play with a deep sense of pity for the commonplace salesman Willy Loman. They insisted that Willy was a "little man" and therefore not worthy of the pathos reserved for such tragic heroes as Oedipus and Medea. Miller, however, argued that the tragic feeling is invoked whenever we are in the presence of a character, any character, who is ready to sacrifice his life, if need be, to secure one thing--his sense of personal dignity. And the "little" salesman was determined to do just that, no matter what the cost.   Arthur Miller was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1949 for Death of a Salesman. He has come to be considered one of the greatest dramatists in the history of the American Theatre, and his plays, a fusion of naturalistic and expressionistic techniques, continue to be widely produced.
  • his 1959 play, The Zoo Story . Originally produced in Berlin where it shared the bill with Samuel Beckett 's Krapp's Last Tape , The Zoo Story told the story of a drifter who acts out his own murder with the unwitting aid of an upper-middle-class editor.
  • his 1959 play, The Zoo Story . Originally produced in Berlin where it shared the bill with Samuel Beckett 's Krapp's Last Tape , The Zoo Story told the story of a drifter who acts out his own murder with the unwitting aid of an upper-middle-class editor.
  • his 1959 play, The Zoo Story . Originally produced in Berlin where it shared the bill with Samuel Beckett 's Krapp's Last Tape , The Zoo Story told the story of a drifter who acts out his own murder with the unwitting aid of an upper-middle-class editor.
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , Edward Albee's first full-length play and his first to appear on Broadway, is considered by many to be his greatest dramatic achievement, as well as a central work in the contemporary American theatre. Virginia Woolf focuses on an embittered academic couple who gradually draw a younger couple, freshly arrived from the Midwest, into their vicious games of marital love-hatred. The play is a dramatic bloodsport fought with words rather than weapons—"verbal fencing," wrote Ruby Cohn in Edward Albee , "in the most adroit dialogue ever heard on the American stage." The play premiered October 13, 1962; at New York's Billy Rose Theatre and starred, in the roles of the battling husband and wife, Arthur Hill as George and Uta Hagen as Martha. The acclaimed production ran for 664 performances and led almost immediately to other successful productions throughout the United States and the world; the play has continued to be revived frequently. Virginia Woolf garnered an impressive collection of awards, including the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, the Foreign Press Association Award, two Antoinette Perry ("Tony'') Awards, the Variety Drama Critics' Poll Award, and the Evening Standard Award. For the play, Albee was additionally selected as the most promising playwright of the 1962-63 Broadway season by the New York Drama Critics' organization. When Albee did not receive the Pulitzer Prize for his widely-acclaimed play because one of the trustees objected to its sexual subject matter, drama advisors John Gassner and John Mason Brown publicly resigned from the jury in protest.
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , Edward Albee's first full-length play and his first to appear on Broadway, is considered by many to be his greatest dramatic achievement, as well as a central work in the contemporary American theatre. Virginia Woolf focuses on an embittered academic couple who gradually draw a younger couple, freshly arrived from the Midwest, into their vicious games of marital love-hatred. The play is a dramatic bloodsport fought with words rather than weapons—"verbal fencing," wrote Ruby Cohn in Edward Albee , "in the most adroit dialogue ever heard on the American stage." The play premiered October 13, 1962; at New York's Billy Rose Theatre and starred, in the roles of the battling husband and wife, Arthur Hill as George and Uta Hagen as Martha. The acclaimed production ran for 664 performances and led almost immediately to other successful productions throughout the United States and the world; the play has continued to be revived frequently. Virginia Woolf garnered an impressive collection of awards, including the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, the Foreign Press Association Award, two Antoinette Perry ("Tony'') Awards, the Variety Drama Critics' Poll Award, and the Evening Standard Award. For the play, Albee was additionally selected as the most promising playwright of the 1962-63 Broadway season by the New York Drama Critics' organization. When Albee did not receive the Pulitzer Prize for his widely-acclaimed play because one of the trustees objected to its sexual subject matter, drama advisors John Gassner and John Mason Brown publicly resigned from the jury in protest.
  • In 1994, after enduring a lull in his theatrical career, Edward Albee won his third Pulitzer Prize for drama. In 1996, Edward Albee ’s play, A Delicate Balance , celebrating its thirtieth birthday on Broadway, won a Tony Award for the best revival play of the year. Together, these awards mark the enduring qualities of both the playwright and his play. A Delicate Balance was first produced at the Martin Beck Theatre on Broadway on September 12, 1966. It came four years after Albee ’s other huge Broadway hit Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962). Both of these plays deal with a recurring theme of Albee’s, which entails a sense of missed opportunity and loss. Both plays also deal with dysfunctional relationships. Both were commercial successes, more easily understood and appreciated by general audiences than Albee’s previous and intermediate plays that leaned toward the absurd. One main difference between the two plays is that Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is known as the play that almost won the Pulitzer (it was nominated, but one of the Pulitzer committee members deemed its language and subject matter too crude), whereas A Delicate Balance did win the coveted prize. Albee ’s career took a slight downturn after the success of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , at least in reference to audience appeal and critical approval. It wasn’t until the production of A Delicate Balance that Albee would again enjoy popular, critical, and financial success. Although A Delicate Balance won Albee his first Pulitzer Prize, most critics at the time considered the play, as Steven Drukman writes in American Theatre , to be one of Albee’s ‘‘last gasps.’’ Although it would not be Albee’s last gasp, Albee would have to wait almost ten years before he would win his second Pulitzer (for Seascape [1975]) and then again almost another twenty years before he would again claim the prize for his Three Tall Women (1994). Despite his erratic successes, Albee has had an extremely significant impact on American theater. His play A Delicate Balance has often been credited with creating an archetype for American drama with its classic study of the American family, albeit a quite dysfunctional one. The play looks into the confusion that erupts in a modern family ’s attempt to avoid pain and discomfort, which, as Albee demonstrates, only creates more pain and discomfort. The play’s major themes are denial of emotions (and often reality itself), loss of opportunities and potential, and regret over paths not taken as re- flected in the lives of a very well-to-do suburban couple who have retired but find their long-sought freedom about to collapse. In the period of one weekend, their home comes under attack by emotionally wounded family members and friends, who, in the end, expose the couple’s own emotional insecurities. The scenes are not easy for audiences to take, but, as Albee states in an interview with Richard Farr in The Progressive : If I wrote plays about everyone getting along terribly well, I don ’t think anyone would want to see them. . . . You have to show people things that aren’t working well . . . in the hope that people will make them work better.
  • In 1994, after enduring a lull in his theatrical career, Edward Albee won his third Pulitzer Prize for drama. In 1996, Edward Albee ’s play, A Delicate Balance , celebrating its thirtieth birthday on Broadway, won a Tony Award for the best revival play of the year. Together, these awards mark the enduring qualities of both the playwright and his play. A Delicate Balance was first produced at the Martin Beck Theatre on Broadway on September 12, 1966. It came four years after Albee ’s other huge Broadway hit Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962). Both of these plays deal with a recurring theme of Albee’s, which entails a sense of missed opportunity and loss. Both plays also deal with dysfunctional relationships. Both were commercial successes, more easily understood and appreciated by general audiences than Albee’s previous and intermediate plays that leaned toward the absurd. One main difference between the two plays is that Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is known as the play that almost won the Pulitzer (it was nominated, but one of the Pulitzer committee members deemed its language and subject matter too crude), whereas A Delicate Balance did win the coveted prize. Albee ’s career took a slight downturn after the success of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , at least in reference to audience appeal and critical approval. It wasn’t until the production of A Delicate Balance that Albee would again enjoy popular, critical, and financial success. Although A Delicate Balance won Albee his first Pulitzer Prize, most critics at the time considered the play, as Steven Drukman writes in American Theatre , to be one of Albee’s ‘‘last gasps.’’ Although it would not be Albee’s last gasp, Albee would have to wait almost ten years before he would win his second Pulitzer (for Seascape [1975]) and then again almost another twenty years before he would again claim the prize for his Three Tall Women (1994). Despite his erratic successes, Albee has had an extremely significant impact on American theater. His play A Delicate Balance has often been credited with creating an archetype for American drama with its classic study of the American family, albeit a quite dysfunctional one. The play looks into the confusion that erupts in a modern family ’s attempt to avoid pain and discomfort, which, as Albee demonstrates, only creates more pain and discomfort. The play’s major themes are denial of emotions (and often reality itself), loss of opportunities and potential, and regret over paths not taken as re- flected in the lives of a very well-to-do suburban couple who have retired but find their long-sought freedom about to collapse. In the period of one weekend, their home comes under attack by emotionally wounded family members and friends, who, in the end, expose the couple’s own emotional insecurities. The scenes are not easy for audiences to take, but, as Albee states in an interview with Richard Farr in The Progressive : If I wrote plays about everyone getting along terribly well, I don ’t think anyone would want to see them. . . . You have to show people things that aren’t working well . . . in the hope that people will make them work better.
  • With Seascape , American playwright Edward Albee won his second Pulitzer Prize for drama. Albee himself directed this Broadway production, which opened on January 26, 1975, at the Sam S. Shubert Theatre. The play was published by Atheneum that same year. Like many of Albee's plays, Seascape focuses on communication in interpersonal relationships, in this case between couples. Albee's first successful play, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), and his first Pulitzer Prize-winning play, A Delicate Balance (1966), also concerned this topic. Seascape is different from these dramas on several counts. The play is not strictly a drama but, according to various critics, has elements of comedy, fantasy, satire, and/or absurdism. In Seascape , Nancy and Charlie, an American couple on the verge of the major life change of retirement, are having problems in their relationship. They are discussing these matters on the beach when another couple appears, two human-sized lizards named Leslie and Sarah who speak and act like people. The lizards have evolved to such a degree that they no longer feel at home in the sea and are compelled to seek life on the land What the lizards experience with Nancy and Charlie nearly drives them back to the sea, but with an offer of help from the human couple, they decide to stay. This relatively happy ending is not common in many of Albee's previous plays, and some critics find it refreshing. Critics are divided in their opinion of the play and its content. Some believe it is witty and original, while others find it to be pompous if not gimmicky, primarily because of the lizard characters. One critic who found Seascape noteworthy, Clive Barnes of the New York Times , writes, "it is a curiously compelling exploration into the basic tenet of life. It is asking in a lighthearted but heavy-minded fashion whether life is worth living. It decides that there is no alternative."jury in protest.
  • With Seascape , American playwright Edward Albee won his second Pulitzer Prize for drama. Albee himself directed this Broadway production, which opened on January 26, 1975, at the Sam S. Shubert Theatre. The play was published by Atheneum that same year. Like many of Albee's plays, Seascape focuses on communication in interpersonal relationships, in this case between couples. Albee's first successful play, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), and his first Pulitzer Prize-winning play, A Delicate Balance (1966), also concerned this topic. Seascape is different from these dramas on several counts. The play is not strictly a drama but, according to various critics, has elements of comedy, fantasy, satire, and/or absurdism. In Seascape , Nancy and Charlie, an American couple on the verge of the major life change of retirement, are having problems in their relationship. They are discussing these matters on the beach when another couple appears, two human-sized lizards named Leslie and Sarah who speak and act like people. The lizards have evolved to such a degree that they no longer feel at home in the sea and are compelled to seek life on the land What the lizards experience with Nancy and Charlie nearly drives them back to the sea, but with an offer of help from the human couple, they decide to stay. This relatively happy ending is not common in many of Albee's previous plays, and some critics find it refreshing. Critics are divided in their opinion of the play and its content. Some believe it is witty and original, while others find it to be pompous if not gimmicky, primarily because of the lizard characters. One critic who found Seascape noteworthy, Clive Barnes of the New York Times , writes, "it is a curiously compelling exploration into the basic tenet of life. It is asking in a lighthearted but heavy-minded fashion whether life is worth living. It decides that there is no alternative."jury in protest.
  • Critics have noted autobiographical elements in several of Albee ’s plays, particularly Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1962) and A Delicate Balance (1966). By his own admission, however, Three Tall Women is Albee’s most intentionally autobiographical work to date. The protagonist of the play, a compelling woman of more than ninety years old, reflects on her life with a mixture of shame, pleasure, regret, and satisfaction. She recalls the fun of her childhood and her marriage, when she had an overwhelming optimism for her future. Yet she bitterly recalls the negative events that resulted in regret: her husband ’s extramarital affairs, the death of her husband, and the estrangement of her gay son. The woman ’s relationship with her son is the clearest indication that Albee was working through some troubled memories of his own in Three Tall Women . The playwright was raised by conservative New England foster parents who disproved of his homosexuality. Like the son in his play, he left home at eighteen. Albee admitted to the Economist that the play ‘‘was a kind of exorcism. And I didn’t end up any more fond of the woman after I finished it than when I started it.’’ Besides exorcising some personal demons with the play, Albee regained some respect among New York theater critics. Many critics despaired that the playwright, who showed such promise during the 1960s and 1970s, had dried up creatively. In fact, Three Tall Women was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1994, as well as the Drama Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, and Outer Critics Circle awards for best play.
  • Neil Simon Marvin Neil Simon was born in the Bronx on July 4, 1927, and grew up in Washington Heights at the northern tip of Manhattan. He attended New York University briefly (1944-45) and the University of Denver (1945-46) before joining the United States Army where he began his writing career working for the Army camp newspaper. After being discharged from the army, Simon returned to New York and took a job as a mailroom clerk for Warner Brother's East Coast office. He and his brother Danny began writing comedy revues and eventually found their way into radio, then television where they toiled alongside the likes of Woody Allen, Mel Brooks and Larry Gelbart writing for The Phil Silvers Show and Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows. Simon received several Emmy Award nominations for his television writing, then moved on to the stage where he quickly established himself as America's most successful commercial playwright by creating an unparalleled string of Broadway hits beginning with Come Blow Your Horn . During the 1966-67 season, Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Sweet Charity and The Star Spangled Girl were all running simultaneously. During the 1970-71 season, Broadway theatregoers had their choice of Plaza Suite, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, and Promises, Promises . Still, critical acclaim came slowly for Simon. In spite of the fact that he had had more smash hits than any other American playwright, critics continued to take pleasure in dismissing him as a mere "writer of gags." In 1973, following the death of his wife, Simon reached a low point in his career with two failures The Good Doctor (1973) and God's Favorite (1976). A move to California, however, reinvigorated him and he produced a much more successful play later that year in California Suite . After marrying actress Marsha Mason, Simon went on to write Chapter Two (1977) which was considered by many critics to be his finest play to that date. His fourth musical, They're Playing Our Song , proved fairly successful in 1979, but his next three plays ( I Ought to Be in Pictures, Fools and a revised version of Little Me ) all proved unsuccessful at the box office. Then, in 1983, Simon began to win over many of his critics with the introduction of his autobiographical trilogy-- Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983), Biloxi Blues (1985) and Broadway Bound (1986)--which chronicled his stormy childhood, his brief Army time, and the beginning of his career in television. Suddenly the critics began taking him seriously. He followed up in 1991 with Lost in Yonkers for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. During the course of his career, Simon has won three Tony Awards for Best Play ( The Odd Couple, Biloxi Blues and Lost in Yonkers .) He has had more plays adapted to film than any other American playwright and, in addition, has written nearly a dozen original screenplays himself. He received Academy Award nominations for his screenplays The Odd Couple (1968), The Sunshine Boys (1975) and California Suite (1978). He has also been the recipient of the Antoinette Perry Award, the Writers Guild Award, the Evening Standard Award, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Shubert Award, the Outer Circle Award, and a 1978 Golden Globe Award for his screenplay, The Goodbye Girl .
  • A witty surrealism also characterized some of the late 20th cent.'s theater, particularly the brilliant wordplay and startling juxtapositions of the many plays of England's Tom Stoppard . In addition, two of late-20th-century America's most important dramatists, Sam Shepard and David Mamet (as well as their followers and imitators), explored American culture with a kind of hyper-realism mingled with echoes of the theater of cruelty in the former's Buried Child (1978), the latter's Glengarry Glen Ross (1983), and other works. While each exhibited his own very distinctive voice and vision, both playwrights achieved many of their effects through stark settings, austere language in spare dialog, meaningful silences, the projection of a powerful streak of menace, and outbursts of real or implied violence.
  • \\ Thorstein Veblen wrote that business wisdom, when reduced to its basest form, frequently resorts to "the judicious use of sabotage"—an idea that David Mamet explores in his American Buffalo . First performed in Chicago in 1975, the play made its way to Broadway in 1977. Although Mamet had already achieved some success with his Sexual Perversity in Chicago (1972) the response to American Buffalo was highly favorable, despite the occasional harsh review. Many critics applauded Mamet's ability to capture the cadences and ambiguities in everyday American speech: Newsweek 's Jack Kroll, for example, remarked that "Mamet is someone to listen to. He's that rare bird, an American playwright who's a language playwright." Edwin Wilson, writing in the Wall Street Journal , stated that Mamet "has a keen ear for the idiosyncrasies and the humor of everyday speech." While some critics dismissed American Buffalo (like the New York Daily News 's Douglas Watt) as "a poor excuse for a play" and (like the Christian Science Monitor 's John Beaufort) "too superficial to waste time upon," most were enthusiastic about Mamet's look at the ways in which three petty crooks plan to steal a coin collection in the name of "good business." Mamet's plays (and this one is no exception) are radically different from ones written in previous theatrical eras and periods. Characters rarely speak in full sentences and their language (depending on the topic at hand) is often a mix of half-thoughts and obscenities, making the plays—at times—difficult to read. When performed, however, these seemingly inarticulate utterances yield a rhythm found in few other playwrights' work. "Part of the fascination of the play," wrote Women's Wear Daily 's Howard Kissel, lies in "noting how the same banal language takes on different colors as we perceive the changing relationships" between the characters. The conflict explored by Mamet here is the clash between business and friendship—between a man's ethics and desire to succeed in a world where so much of the population has subscribed to a shared myth of capitalism. As one character tells his younger friend, "there's business and there's friendship"— two worlds which will be combined and then torn apart by the time the play is finished.
  • David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross was first presented at the small Cottlesloe Theatre of the Royal National Theatre, in London, England, on September 21, 1983. The critics gave the play strongly positive reviews and the production played to sold-out audiences. It was later awarded the Society of West End Theatres Award (similar to the American "Tony" Award) as best new play. The American premier of Glengarry Glen Ross took place at Chicago's Goodman Theatre on February 6, 1984; with one cast change, the production then transferred to Broadway's Golden Theatre on March 25. With very few exceptions, the New York critics recognized the play as brilliant in itself and a major advance for Mamet as a playwright. Nevertheless, ticket sales were slow and the play lost money for two weeks. After it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, sales increased significantly. It ultimately ran for 378 performances, closing on February 17, 1985. Many critics in both England and America pointed out that, for all its use of "four-letter words," Glengarry Glen Ross is a morality play. They noted that the work is an abrasive attack on American business and culture and a withering depiction of the men whose lives and values are twisted by a world in which they must lie, cheat, and even steal in order to survive. Virtually all of the critics commented extensively on Mamet's use of language, not only to create tension and define character, but also as a sort of musical poetry: "hot jazz and wounding blues," as Frank Rich, critic for the New York Times put it. Even those few critics who were lukewarm about the play as a whole appreciated the distinctive, powerful language. Critics also appreciated the savage, scalding comedy of the play. The influences of playwrights Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter on Mamet has been pointed out by numerous critics, and Mamet has said that he has also been influenced by Lanford Wilson, Eugene Ionesco, Bertolt Brecht, and Anton Chekhov. He has also acknowledged the influence of Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class . A strong non-literary influence has been his study of the Stanislavsky system (named for the famed director of the Moscow Art Theatre, Konstantin Stanislavsky) of actor training as interpreted and taught by Sanford Meisner and Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio.
  • In this play, sexual harassment is at the epicenter, but the harassment is dubious, interpreted, skewed, absurdly subliminal if even present, as each of the two characters—John, a professor about to take tenure, and Carol, a student struggling with more than grades—defend their interpretations of the language of the student-professor dynamic. Confused and at the end of her academic rope, Carol comes to John's office to express concerns about failing his course. A male arm around female shoulders, a bargain to come to the office to learn all she can from all he knows, and the...
  • Transcript

    • 1. 20 th Century American Drama
    • 2. 20 th Century American Drama
      • Technical innovation comes to Broadway
      • Spectacle popular on Broadway
      • Realism comes to America
      • Broadway musical theatre popular
      • Non-professional little theatre movement begins
    • 3. Little Theatre Movement
      • Unpaid volunteers
      • Developed subscriptions
      • Introduced “new stagecraft” of simplified realism
      • By 1925, over 2000 community-based theatres
      • Drama comes to universities in 1903
      • Strong support for American playwrights
    • 4. Little Theatre Movement
      • Toy Theatre, Boston, 1912.
      • Chicago Little Theatre, 1912.
      • Neighborhood Playhouse, New York, 1915.
      • Washington Square Players, New York, 1915.
      • Provincetown Players, Massachusetts, 1915.
      • Detroit, Arts and Crafts Theatre, 1916.
    • 5. Independent Theatre Movement
      • Washington Square Players
      • Founded 1914
      • Presented translations of Checkov and Shaw
      • Produced first play by Eugene O ’Neill
      • Disbanded in 1918 to form the Theatre Guild
    • 6. Independent Theatre Movement
      • The Theatre Guild 1919-1996
      • Major producing organization
      • Supported American playwrights to compete with Europe
      • Dedicated to producing non-commercial works on Broadway
    • 7.  
    • 8.  
    • 9.  
    • 10.
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    • 11. Independent Theatre Movement
      • The Provincetown Players
      • Home to Eugene O ’neill
    • 12. Independent Theatre Movement
      • The Provincetown Players
      • Home to Eugene O ’Neill
      • Premiered Bound East for Cardiff , 1916
      • Experimented with new ideas
    • 13. Independent Theatre Movement
      • Eugene O ’Neill
      • 1888-1953
      • America ’s first realist
      • Winner of Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes
      • Theatre Guild ’s primary playwright
    • 14.  
    • 15. Eugene O ’Neill
      • Early Realist Period
      • Beyond the Horizon (1918)
      • Anna Christie (1921)
    • 16.  
    • 17. Eugene O ’Neill
      • Expressionist Period
      • The Emporer Jones (1920)
      • The Hairy Ape (1922)
      • Desire Under the Elms (1925)
      • The Great God Brown (1926)
      • Mourning Becomes Electra (1931)
    • 18.  
    • 19. Eugene O ’Neill
    • 20.  
    • 21.  
    • 22.  
    • 23. Eugene O ’Neill
      • Late Realism Period
      • Ah, Wilderness (1933)
      • Long Day ’s Journey Into Night (1941, 1956*)
      • A Moon for the Misbegotten (1941)
      • A Touch of the Poet (1942)
      * First performed
    • 24.  
    • 25.  
    • 26.  
    • 27.  
    • 28. The Group Theatre, 1931-41
      • Founded by Harold Clurman, Cheryl Crawford and Lee Strasberg
      • Contemporary Plays
      • Anti-commercial
      • Explored Stanislavsky ’s acting technique
      • Clifford Odets was resident playwright
      • Influenced the future of American Theatre
    • 29. The Group Theatre, 1931-41
    • 30. WAITING FOR LEFTY
    • 31. AWAKE AND SING
    • 32. AWAKE AND SING
    • 33. AWAKE AND SING
    • 34. Clifford Odets 1906-1963
      • Waiting for Lefty (1935)
      • Awake and Sing (1936)
      • Golden Boy (1937)
      • Rocket to the Moon (1938)
      • Night Music (1940)
      • Clash By Night (1941)
      • The Big Knife (1949)
      • The Country Girl (1950)
      • Sweet Smell of Success (Film 1957)
    • 35. Clifford Odets 1906-1963
      • Wrote political “Agitprop” plays
      • Champion of under-priveledged
      • Went to Hollywood in 1936
      • Investigated by McCarthy
    • 36. The Federal Theatre Project
      • Part of WPA
      • Sought to put actors back to work
      • Presented relevant theatre
      • Regional productions
      • Free tickets
      • New York City was the center
    • 37. The Federal Theatre Project “Negro Unit” Harlem Federal Theatre Project production of MacBeth
    • 38. WORLD WAR II
      • European artists flocked to USA
      • Drama turned to the abstract
      • Disillusionment and futility
      • Morality plays
      • Musical Theatre reborn
    • 39. 20 th Century American Drama
      • Postwar Theater
        • WWII: Led to feeling of utter senseless after horrors of Nazi Germany exposed
        • Led to rise of existentialism and Theatre of the Absurd
        • The "Angry Young Men" In England & Documentary Drama In Germany
        • Creative trends in directing outweigh playwright
    • 40. 20 th Century Realism
      • Psychological
      • Social
      • Political
    • 41.
          • 20th Century African-American Theater
          • Musical Theatre
          • 1898
          • Cook ’s Clorindy is first all-black short Broadway show
          • A Trip to Coontown is first full-length black Broadway musical
    • 42. Bob Cole (seated) and J.R. Johnson, two of the earliest African American songwriters to succeed on Broadway
    • 43.
          • 1927
          • Blacks and whites appear together in Showboat
    • 44.
          • 1935
          • Porgy and Bess by the Gershwins
    • 45.
          • Harlem Renaissance 1920-1940
          • Black Theatre flourishes
          • Langston Hughes Mulatto: first all-black Broadway non-musical hit
          • Federal Theatre project opens doors for Black performers
    • 46. 20 th Century American Drama
          • Langston Hughes
          • 1902-1967
          • Poet
          • Novelist
          • Playwright
          • Librettist
      • N
    • 47.
          • Langston Hughes
          • 1902-1967
      • N
    • 48.
          • Civil Rights Era
          • Defiance Theatre
          • Amiri Baraka Black Repertory in Harlem, 1965
    • 49.
          • 20th Century African-American Theater
          • Lorraine Hansbury 1930-1965
      • N
    • 50.
          • 20th Century African-American Theater
          • Lorraine Hansbury
      • N
      Playwright Essayist Poet Leading literary figure of the Civil Rights movement
    • 51.
          • A Raisin in the Sun
      • N
    • 52.
          • 20th Century African-American Theater
          • August Wilson
    • 53.
          • August Wilson
          • Century Cycle
      1900s - Gem of the Ocean (2003) 1910s – Joe Turner ’s Come and Gone (1988) 1920s - Ma Rainey's Black Bottom: ( 1984) - set in Chicago 1930s - The Piano Lesson (1990) - Pulitzer Prize 1940s - Seven Guitars (1995) 1950s - Fences (1987) - Pulitzer Prize 1960s - Two Trains Running (1991) 1970s - Jitney (1982) 1980s - King Hedley II (1999) 1990s - Radio Golf (2005)
    • 54.
          • August Wilson
          • Chronicled history of African Americans in the 20 th Century
          • Winner of Pulitzer and Tony
          • Pre-eminent black dramatist of 20 th C.
      • N
    • 55.
          • 1900’s
          • Gem of the Ocean (2004)
      • N
    • 56.
          • 1910
          • Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
      • N
    • 57.
          • 1920’s
          • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, 1982
      • N
    • 58.
          • 1930
          • The Piano Lesson
      • N
    • 59.
          • 1940’s
          • Seven Guitars
      • N
    • 60.
          • 1950’s
          • Fences (1983)
      • N
    • 61.
          • 1960’s
          • Two Trains Running (1990)
      • N
    • 62.
          • 1970’s
          • Jitney (1982)
      • N
    • 63.
          • 1980’s
          • King Hedley II (2001)
      • N
    • 64.
          • 1990’s
          • Radio Golf (2005)
      • N
    • 65. 20 th Century American Drama Commercial Theatre Alternatives Regional Theatre movement Off-Broadway and Off-off Alternative Regional Theatres
    • 66. 20 th Century American Drama
        • 1950’s & 1960’s
        • Time of experimentation
        • Living Theatre
        • Improvisation
    • 67.  
    • 68.
        • The Living Theatre 1947
        • First American experimental theatre
        • Founded by Julian Beck and Judith Malina
        • Ensemble-based
        • “ Dedicated to transforming the organization of power within society from a competitive, hierarchical structure to cooperative and communal expression”
    • 69.
        • Jerzy Grotowsky
    • 70.
        • Jerzy Grotowsky
        • 1933-1999
    • 71. La Mama Theatre
    • 72. La Mama Theatre
    • 73. La Mama Theatre
      • Founded 1961 by Ellen Stewart
      • Mission to develop, nurture, support, produce and present new and original performance work by artists of all nations and cultures
      • Training ground for the best plays and playwrights of the 60 ’s and 70’s
    • 74.
        • Steppenwolf
        • Founded in 1976 by Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry and Gary Sinise
        • High school theatre friends
        • Grew out of ensemble refined at Illinois State
        • Based in Chicago
        • Developed fresh new acting style based on ensemble approach
        • Has spawned internationally famous actors
        • Acclaimed productions
    • 75.  
    • 76. AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY
    • 77. OF MICE AND MEN
    • 78. THE TEMPEST
    • 79.
        • Charles Ludlam ’ s Ridiculous Theatre
        • Formed in 1967
        • “ Theater of the Ridiculous”
        • Mixed theatrical tradition with avante-garde styles
        • Celebrated gay icons
        • Was the first theatre to produce gay themed shows
    • 80.  
    • 81.  
    • 82.  
    • 83.  
    • 84. Feminist Playwrights
        • Caryl Churchill
        • Maria Irene Fornes
        • Beth Henley
        • Marsha Norman
        • Wendy Wasserstein
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bK1y51ouYY
    • 85. Gay Theatre
        • The Children ’s Hour (1934)
        • Joe Orton
        • Matt Crowley: The Boys in the Band (1968)
        • Harvey Fierstein: Torch Song Trilogy (1981)
        • Larry Kramer ’s The Normal Heart (1986)
        • Tony Kushner ’s Angels in America (1991-92)
        • David Henry Hwang: M. Butterfly (1988)
    • 86. American Dramatists 20 th Century Eugene O’Neill Kaufman and Hart Oscar Hammerstein Tennessee Williams Arthur Miller Edward Albee August Wilson Neil Simon
    • 87. George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart 1889-1961 1904-1961
    • 88. George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart Wrote comedy for Broadway, Marx Brothers and films Collaborated from 1930-1940 Wrote 7 Broadway hits Had successful careers after collaboration
    • 89. George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart Once in a Lifetime (1930) Biggest success on B ’way Inspired by the rise of talkies Excesses of Hollywood Ran 2 years
    • 90. George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart
    • 91. George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart You Can ’t Take it With You (1936) Depicted eccentric family Pulitzer Prize winner Ran 887 Performances Made into Oscar-winning film Critics admired wit and theatricalism
    • 92. George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart The Man Who Came to Dinner (1939) Inspired by Alexander Wolcott ’s visit to the home of Kaufman Made into very successful film
    • 93. George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart
    • 94. Oscar Hammerstein 1895-1960 Prolific Broadway lyricist and bookwriter Career spanned 40 years Famous collaboration with Richard Rodgers Showboat Oklahoma Carousel Sound of Music
    • 95. Lillian Hellman 1905-1984 Lillian Hellman
    • 96. Lillian Hellman 1905-1984 Pioneering woman playwright The Children’s Hour (1936) Little Foxes (1939) Blacklisted by House Unamerican Committee
    • 97. William Inge 1913-1973 Inspired by friendship with Tennessee Williams American realist String of hits followed by string of flops Took his own life, convinced he could no longer write
    • 98. William Inge 1913-1973 Come Back, Little Sheba (1950) Picnic (1952) Bus Stop (1955) Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1957) Film: Splendor in the Grass (1961) Won Academy Award
    • 99. Thornton Wilder (1897-1975) Novelist, Playwright and Screenwriter Steeped in classical tradition Broke tradition with expressionist techniques
    • 100. Our Town (1938) One of most oft produced American plays Inspired by Greek Drama Stage Manager and Chorus Three Act Trilogy structure Cycle of Life Traditional story presenting non-traditionally No scenery, props, all mimed Time shifts Ahead of its time
    • 101. Our Town Provincetown Playhouse production with Wilder as Stage Manager 1957
    • 102. The Skin of Our Teeth (1942) Highly experimental epic Traced history of mankind Revitalized Broadway theatre Disrupted notions of linear time Celebrates humanity ’s resilience
    • 103. The Skin of Our Teeth (1942)
    • 104. The Matchmaker (1953) Source material for Hello, Dolly! (1963) Traditional structure and plot Starred Ruth Gordon Written first as The Merchant of Yonkers for directed by Max Reinhardt in 1938 Rewritten at request of Tyrone Guthrie, hit
    • 105. Tennessee Williams 1911-1983 Tennessee Williams
    • 106. Tennessee Williams 1911-1983 Great American Playwright Plays autobiographical The Glass Menagerie (1944) Streetcar Named Desire (1948) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955) Plays dealt with themes of alienation and homosexuality
    • 107. THE GLASS MENAGERIE STARRED LAURETTE TAYLOR
    • 108. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1947) Jessica Tandy, Marlon Brando, Karl Malden
    • 109. Arthur Miller 1915-2005 Arthur Miller
    • 110. Arthur Miller 1915-2005 All My Sons (1947) Death of a Salesman (1949) The Crucible (1953) A View from the Bridge (1955) After the Fall (1964)
    • 111. Edward Albee 1915-2005 Zoo Story (1959) First big hit Premiered on double bill with Beckett’s Krapps Last Tape Gave birth to American absurdist drama Surrealism never far from the surface
    • 112.  
    • 113. Original Provincetown Players Production 1960
    • 114. Edward Albee 1915-2005 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1962) Biggest success Dramatic blood sport Very controversial
    • 115. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1962) Uta Hagen and Arthur Kennedy
    • 116. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966) Liz Taylor and Richard Burton
    • 117. Edward Albee 1915-2005 A Delicate Balance (1966) Pulitzer Prize Missed opportunity and Loss Credited with creating an archetype for American drama
    • 118. A Delicate Balance (1966)
    • 119. Edward Albee 1915-2005 Seascape (1975) Second Pulitzer Comedy, fantasy, satire/absurdism Unusually happy ending
    • 120. Seascape (1975)
    • 121. Three Tall Women (1994)
    • 122. Neil Simon (1927-) America ’s most prolific writer Started as writer for radio, then television Had 4 hits running simultaneously in 1967 B ’way season 3 new in 1971 34 plays, 35 screen plays Oscar, Tony, Pulitzer
    • 123. Barefoot in the Park (1963)
    • 124. The Odd Couple (1965)
    • 125. Sweet Charity (1966)
    • 126. Promises, Promises (1968)
    • 127. Prisoner of Second Avenue (1971)
    • 128. Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983)
    • 129. Biloxi Blues (1985)
    • 130. Broadway Bound (1986)
    • 131. Lost in Yonkers (1991)
    • 132. Come Blow Your Horn 1961 Little Me 1962 Barefood in the Park 1963 The Odd Couple 1965 Sweet Charity 1966 The Star Spangled Girl 1966 Plaza Suite 1968 Promises, Promises 1968 The Last of the Red Hot Lovers 1969 The Gingerbread Lady 1970 The Prisoner of Second Avenue 1971 The Sunshine Boys 1972 The Good Doctor 1973 God’s Favorite 1974 California Suite 1976 Chapter Two 1977 They’re Playing Our Song 1979 I Ought to be in Pictures 1980 Fools 1981 Brighton Beach Memoirs 1983 Biloxi Blues 1985 The Female Odd Couple 1986 Broadway Bound 1986 Rumors 1988 Lost in Yonkers 1991 Jake’s Women 1992 The Goodbye Girl 1993 Laughter on the 27 th Floor 1993 London Suite 1995 Proposals 1997 The Dinner Party 2000 45 Seconds from Broadway 2001 Rose’s Dilemma 2003 PLAYS BY NEIL SIMON
    • 133. David Mamet (1947- )
    • 134. American Buffalo (1975)
    • 135. Glen Garry Glen Ross (1975)
    • 136. Oleanna (1992)