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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

American Drama

In Dialogue, 1714-Present

ISBN 9781137605276
Publication Date May 2017
Formats Paperback Ebook Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave

This text tells the fascinating story of American identity formation through the nation’s unique staged narratives. Divided into seven historical periods, it provides overviews of 38 American plays and their reception, from Robert Hunter’s Androboros (c.1714) to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton (2015). Each historical section begins with an overseas play which proved significantly influential to American playwrights in that period, such as Sheridan’s The School for Scandal (1777), demonstrating an astonishing dialogue taking place across the Atlantic.

Exploring themes such as Indian removal, the slavery question, modern women and the American dream, this text challenges the popular assumptions that American playwrights wrote inside of a vacuum of national self-consciousness, and especially that American drama had no life worth consideration before the early twentieth century. It provides the student of American drama with a unique vantage point over three hundred years of American plays as well as their remarkable engagement with texts from across the Atlantic.

Jacqueline Foertsch is Professor of English at the University of North Texas, USA. She has published widely on American drama, novels and films.

Preface.- SECTION I: UN-AMERICAN ORIGINS (1714-1798).- Transatlantic Touchstone: Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The School for Scandal (1777).- Robert Hunter, Androboros (1714)
Royal Tyler, The Contrast (1787).- William Dunlap, André (1798).- Drama in Dialogue: The Contrast and André.- SECTION II: THE RISE OF MELODRAMA (1798-1870).- Transatlantic Touchstone: René-Charles de Pixérécourt, Coelina, or the Child of Mystery (1800).- James Nelson Barker, The Indian Princess (1808).- John August Stone, Metamora, or the Last of the Wampanoags (1829).- Drama in Dialogue: The Indian Princess and Metamora.- William Henry Smith, The Drunkard (1844).- Anna Cora Mowatt, (1845).- Thomas L. Aiken, Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852).- Dion Boucicault, The Octoroon (1859).- Drama in Dialogue: Uncle Tom's Cabin and The Octoroon.- SECTION III: AN EXPLOSION OF ENTERTAINMENTS – AND THE EMERGENCE OF REALISM (1870-1916).- Transatlantic Touchstone: Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House (1879).- Sam T. Jack, Beauty in Dreamland, or The Pearls of the Orient (1889).- James A. Herne, Margaret Fleming (1890).- Eugene Walter, The Easiest Way (1908).- Drama in Dialogue: Margaret Fleming and The Easiest Way.- SECTION IV: O'NEILL, HIS COHORT, AND THE LEGITIMATE STAGE BETWEEN THE WARS (1916-1945).- Transatlantic Touchstone: Georg Kaiser, From Morn Til Midnight (1912, 1917).- Susan Glaspell, Trifles (1916).- Elmer Rice, The Adding Machine (1923).- Sophie Treadwell, Machinal (1928).- Drama in Dialogue: The Adding Machine and Machinal.- Lillian Hellman, The Children's Hour (1934).- Clifford Odets, Waiting for Lefty (1935).- Thornton Wilder, A Streetcar Named Desire (1947).- Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman (1949).- William Inge, Come Back, Little Sheba (1950).- Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun (1959).- Drama in Dialogue: Death of a Salesman and A Raisin in the Sun.- SECTION VI: ALBEE, OTHERS, AND THE AMERICAN ABSURDIST TRADITION (1959-1980).- Transatlantic Touchstone: Samuel Beckett, Endgame (1957).- Edward Albee, Zoo Story (1959).- Amiri Baraka, Dutchman (1964).- Drama in Dialogue: Zoo Story and Dutchman.- John Guare, House of Blue Leaves (1971).- Maria Irene Fornés, Fefu and her Friends (1977).- Sam Shepard, Buried Child (1978).- Drama in Dialogue: House of Blue Leaves and Buried Child.- SECTION VII: DIVERSITY AND SOCIAL CHANGE (1980-present).- Transatlantic Touchstone: Athol Fugard, Blood Knot (1961).- David Henry Hwang, FOB (1981).- William S. Yellow Robe, Jr., The Independence of Eddie Rose (1986).- August Wilson, Fences (1987).- Drama in Dialogue: Death of a Salesman and Fences.- David Mamet, Oleanna (1992).- Tony Kushner, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes (1993).- Paula Vogel, How I Learned to Drive (1997).- Suzan Lori Parks, Topdog/Underdog (2001).- Drama in Dialogue: Angels in America and Topdog/Underdog.- Nilo Cruz, Anna in the Tropics (2002).- Neil Labute, Fat Pig (2004).- Drama in Dialogue Oleanna and Fat Pig.- John Patrick Shanley, Doubt (2004).- Sarah Ruhl, Dead Man's Cell Phone> (2007).- Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton (2015).


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