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This unique anthology provides a wealth of material for actors and acting students, and a wonderful overview of the best recent plays for anyone interested in theatre. The more than 150 monologues cover a diverse range of subjects, and offer a variety of dramatic styles and moods. Each monologue is introduced with a short description of the plot, setting, and character type by the leading plauwrights of our time.Featured dramatists include: Christopher Durang, Wendy Wasserstein, Lanford Wilson, Wallace Shawn, Tina Howe, Caryl Churchill, Athol Fugard, Beth Henley, Sam Shepard, David Henry Hwang, Harry Kondoleon, John Patrick Shanley, Larry Shue, Michael Weller, David Rabe, Marsha Norman, August Wilson, Albert Innaurato, Jules Feiffer, Harold Pinter, David Hare, Jose Rivera, Tom Stoppard, John Guare, David Mamet, Charles Fuller, William Matrosimone, Robert Patrick, Miguel Pinero
Introduced by Francis Fergusson, the Poetics, written in the fourth century B.C., is still an essential study of the art of drama, indeed the most fundamental one we have. It has been used by both playwrights and theorists of many periods, and interpreted, in the course of its two thousand years of life, in various ways. The literature which has accumulated around it is, as Mr. Fergusson points out, "full of disputes so erudite that the nonspecialist can only look on in respectful silence." But the Poetics itself is still with us, in all its suggestiveness, for the modern reader to make use of in his turn and for his own purposes.
Francis Fergusson's lucid, informative, and entertaining Introduction will prove invaluable to anyone who wishes to understand and appreciate the Poetics. Using Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, as Aristotle did, to illustrate his analysis, Mr. Fergusson pints out that Aristotle did not lay down strict rules, as is often thought: "The Poetics," he says, "is much more like a cookbook than it is like a textbook of elementary engineering." Read in this way, it is an essential guide not only to Sophoclean tragedy, but to the work of so modern a playwright as Bertolt Brecht, who considered his own "epic drama" the first non-Aristotelian form.
Jacob Adler, with his performances in the Yiddish King Lear, Uriel Acosta and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, became first a megastar of the exploding Yiddish theatre, and then all of Broadway. His memoirs, originally written and published in Yiddish and now translated (by his granddaughter) into English provides not only a compelling portrait of one of America's greatest actors but a fascinating social history of his time.
"IMMEDIATELY ENGROSSING . . . A] SPLENDID MEMOIR."
--The Wall Street Journal
--Ann Landers "Entertaining . . . The story of a modest man who succeeded extravagantly by remaining mostly himself. . . . His memoir is a short course on the flow of events in the second half of this century--events the world knows more about because of Walter Cronkite's work."
--The New York Times Book Review A MAIN SELECTION OF THE BOOK-OF THE MONTH CLUB
In 1953, Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot premiered at a tiny avant-garde theatre in Paris; within five years, it had been translated into more than twenty languages and seen by more than a million spectators. Its startling popularity marked the emergence of a new type of theatre whose proponents--Beckett, Ionesco, Genet, Pinter, and others--shattered dramatic conventions and paid scant attention to psychological realism, while highlighting their characters' inability to understand one another. In 1961, Martin Esslin gave a name to the phenomenon in his groundbreaking study of these playwrights who dramatized the absurdity at the core of the human condition.Over four decades after its initial publication, Esslin's landmark book has lost none of its freshness. The questions these dramatists raise about the struggle for meaning in a purposeless world are still as incisive and necessary today as they were when Beckett's tramps first waited beneath a dying tree on a lonely country road for a mysterious benefactor who would never show. Authoritative, engaging, and eminently readable, The Theatre of the Absurd is nothing short of a classic: vital reading for anyone with an interest in the theatre.
A cycle of eleven episodes told in Story Theater form, a narrator speaking and life-sized puppets performing simultaneously, The Greek Myths tells the story of Greek mythology from the first moments of creation through its version of the story of the flood, the reign of Zeus, and the trials, tribulations and joys during Zeus's long and continuing reign. It brings to life some of the most memorable episodes and characters in that saga: the Titans, the Cyclops, Zeus himself, Echo and Narcissus, Cupid and Psyche, Theseus, Orpheus and Euridice, and many, many more. This version of the stories by playwright Leon Katz is based on the Roman poet Ovid's epic poem Metamorphoses, the most popular and witty retelling of the tales in Western literature. The Greek Myths has an impressive track record. It ran for ten years in the Vagabond Puppet Company's production and during that time, toured throughout the US. Its appeal has been strong with both young audiences and adults alike and was seen by thousands of theatregoers. Lois Bohovesky, artistic director of the Vagabond Puppet Company, explains "For life-sized puppets performing Greek myths for children, the script had to be exciting, humorous and certainly accurate, the language crystal clear, and the poetry flowing naturally as speech ... We all know people like these gods - Zeus, for instance, the consummate politician. The play is full of humor, and the characters so well written that the actor's job is an easy one."
When Bobbie Ann Mason first heard Elvis Presley on the family radio, she recognized him as "one of us . . . a country person who spoke our language"--Southern, working class, a little wild. In "Elvis Presley," the bestselling author of the two modern American classics "Shiloh and Other Stories" and "In Country" captures all the vibrancy and tragedy of this mythic figure.
With heartfelt intimacy and a novelist's insight, Mason charts the intoxicating life of the first rock-and-roll superstar, whose music shattered barriers and changed the sound of America. Elvis the impassioned singer and charismatic youth embraced the celebrity brought him by a host of top-forty hits and movies. But Elvis the small-town boy and devoted son was in no way prepared for being catapulted into an unimagined stratosphere. This is the riveting story of an unforgettable man and his indelible legacy.
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year"Easily the best book on Orson Welles." --The New Yorker Orson Welles arrived in Hollywood as a boy genius, became a legend with a single perfect film, and then spent the next forty years floundering. But Welles floundered so variously, ingeniously, and extravagantly that he turned failure into "a sustaining tragedy"--his thing, his song. Now the prodigal genius of the American cinema finally has the biographer he deserves. For, as anyone who has read his novels and criticism knows, David Thomson is one of our most perceptive and splendidly opinionated writers on film. In Rosebud, Thomson follows the wild arc of Welles's career, from The War of the Worlds broadcast to the triumph of Citizen Kane, the mixed triumph of The Magnificent Ambersons, and the strange and troubling movies that followed. Here, too, is the unfolding of the Welles persona--the grand gestures, the womanizing, the high living, the betrayals. Thomson captures it all with a critical acumen and stylistic dash that make this book not so much a study of Welles's life and work as a glorious companion piece to them. "Insightful, controversial, and highly readable--Rosebud is biography at its best." --Cleveland Plain Dealer