20th Century American Drama
Inherit the Wind
The Powerful Courtroom Drama in Which Two Men Wage the Legal War of the Century
A classic work of American theatre, based on the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925, which pitted Clarence Darrow against William Jennings Bryan in defense of a schoolteacher accused of teaching the theory of evolution
The accused was a slight, frightened man who had deliberately broken the law. His trial was a Roman circus. The chief gladiators were two great legal giants of the century. Like two bull elephants locked in mortal combat, they bellowed and roared imprecations and abuse. The spectators sat uneasily in the sweltering heat with murder in their hearts, barely able to restrain themselves. At stake was the freedom of every American. One of the most moving and meaningful plays of our generation. Praise for Inherit the Wind
"A tidal wave of a drama."--New York World-Telegram And Sun
"Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee were classic Broadway scribes who knew how to crank out serious plays for thinking Americans. . . . Inherit the Wind
is a perpetually prescient courtroom battle over the legality of teaching evolution. . . . We're still arguing this case-all the way to the White House."--Chicago Tribune
"Powerful . . . a crackling good courtroom play . . . that] provides two of the juiciest roles in American theater."--Copley News Service
" This] historical drama . . . deserves respect."--The Columbus Dispatch
All My Sons
Celebrating the Arthur Miller centennial year, an eye-catching new Penguin Plays edition of the work that established him as a leading voice in the American theater
In 1947, Arthur Miller exploded onto Broadway with his first major work, All My Sons
, winning both the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best New Play and the Tony for Best Author. The play introduced themes that would preoccupy Miller throughout his career: the relationships between fathers and sons and the conflict between business and personal ethics. This striking new edition adds All My Sons
to the elegant Penguin Plays series--now in beautifully redesigned covers.
Joe Keller and Steve Deever, partners in a machine shop during World War II, turned out defective airplane parts, causing the deaths of many men. Deever was sent to prison while Keller escaped punishment and went back to business, making himself very wealthy in the ensuing years. A love affair between Keller's son, Chris, and Ann Deever, Steve's daughter; the bitterness of George Deever, who returns from the war to find his father in prison and his father's partner free; and the reaction of Chris Keller to his father's guilt escalate toward a climax of electrifying intensity.
More Stately Mansions
The Unexpurgated Edition
Arguing that the 1964 edition of Eugene O'Neill's unfinished play More Stately Mansions, prepared after the playwright's death, was missing a substantial amount of material that O'Neill intended for inclusion, Martha Bower here presents an entirely new edition of the play with this material--dialogue, character description, an entire scene, the epilogue, and large parts of other scenes--restored. Published to coincide with the centennial of O'Neill's birth, it will stand as an important contribution to O'Neill scholarship.
The Theatre of E.E. Cummings
The Theatre of E. E. Cummings collects in their entirety Cummings's long out-of-print theatrical works: the plays HIM (1927), Anthropos (1930), and Santa Claus (1946), and the ballet treatment Tom (1935). In HIM, a creatively blocked artist and his lover, Me, struggle to bridge the impasse in their relationship and in his art. In Anthropos, a Platonic parable, three "infrahumans" brainstorm slogans while a man sketches on a cave wall; and in Santa Claus, Death and Saint Nick exchange identities. Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin is reimagined as dance, transforming the novel into a symbolic attack against Evil itself. Cummings's prodigious creativity is on display in each of these works, which are ultimately about the place of the artist outside of society. "DON'T TRY TO UNDERSTAND IT, LET IT TRY TO UNDERSTAND YOU," Cummings famously wrote about his intentions for the stage. Thoughtful and witty, Cummings's dramas are an integral part of his canon.
An Entertainment with Music
In Oh Calcutta Kenneth Tynan has assembled a group of sketches which deal with almost every conceivable erotic fantasy and sexual reality that Western man has dreamt up or experienced. The distinguished roster of authors includes Samuel Beckett, Edna O'Brien, Jules Feiffer, Leonard Melfi, John Lennon, and, not to be outdone, Kenneth Tynan himself.
The Alchemy of Theatre, the Divine Science
Essays on Theatre and the Art of Collaboration
The editor of Playbill's At This Theatre and founding editor of the new Playbill Broadway Yearbook offers a collection of 26 essays on theatre by the top professionals in their fields. Includes contributions by two recently departed leading lights: playwright Wendy Wasserstein and songwriter Cy Coleman. Also, featured are Chita Rivera and Edward Albee; costume designer William Ivey Long; set designer Robin Wagner, and director and choreographer Susan Stroman.
ACT Like a Man
Challenging Masculinities in American Drama
How men communicate with each other on stage when no women are present--and what it tells us about power and gender
Plays and Pageants from the Life of the Negro
This collection of essays offers a comprehensive ontroduction to the subject of American theater.
American Historical Pageantry
The Uses of Tradition in the Early Twentieth Century
What images shape Americans' perceptions of their past? How do particular versions of history become the public history? And how have these views changed over time? David Glassberg explores these important questions by examining the pageantry craze of the early twentieth century, a time when thousands of Americans joined in civic celebrations by acting out dramatic episodes from their towns' history. His analysis contributes a new perspective to the debate about the allegedly declining interest of Americans in their own history.
At its peak, between 1910 and 1917, pageantry blended elements of the historical oration and the carnival parade and served as a vehicle for local boosterism, patriotic moralizing, and popular entertainment. Many of its promoters, immersed in the world of progressive reform movements, also viewed pageantry as a dramatic public ritual that could bring about social and political transformation. But embedded within the pageant form was a glorification of a distant past at the expense of the present, a facet of American culture that would later become even more prominent.
By the mid-twentieth century, Glassberg shows, public imagery had begun to depict the past as something without ongoing significance for either the present or the future. At the same time, narratives of local community developmentt had given way to an emphasis on national unity, and the popularity of pageantry as a way of representing history in civic celebrations waned.
By 1937, when Paul Green's The Lost Colony opened in Manteo, North Carolina, the historical pageant had become primarily a professionally produced drama depicting a particular period of the past frozen in time for tourists rather than the reenactment of a larger sweep of town history by and for its residents.
Illustrated with more than 100 black-and-white photographs, this portrait of pageantry's development and decline makes public historical celebrations come alive once again.