Theatre History
Featured Items
Lucky Man
Lucky Man
Paperback      ISBN: 0786888741
A funny, highly personal, gorgeously written account of what it's like to be a 30-year-old man who is told he has an 80-year-old's disease. "Life is great. Sometimes, though, you just have to put up with a little more crap." -- Michael J. Fox In September 1998, Michael J. Fox stunned the world by announcing he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease -- a degenerative neurological condition. In fact, he had been secretly fighting it for seven years. The worldwide response was staggering. Fortunately, he had accepted the diagnosis and by the time the public started grieving for him, he had stopped grieving for himself. Now, with the same passion, humor, and energy that Fox has invested in his dozens of performances over the last 18 years, he tells the story of his life, his career, and his campaign to find a cure for Parkinson's. Combining his trademark ironic sensibility and keen sense of the absurd, he recounts his life -- from his childhood in a small town in western Canada to his meteoric rise in film and television which made him a worldwide celebrity. Most importantly however, he writes of the last 10 years, during which--with the unswerving support of his wife, family, and friends -- he has dealt with his illness. He talks about what Parkinson's has given him: the chance to appreciate a wonderful life and career, and the opportunity to help search for a cure and spread public awareness of the disease. He is a very lucky man, indeed.The Michael J. Fox Foundation

Michael J. Fox is donating the profits from his book to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, which is dedicated to fast-forwarding the cure for Parkinson's disease. The Foundation will move aggressively to identify the most promising research and raise the funds to assure that a cure is found for the millions of people living with this disorder. The Foundation's web site, MichaelJFox.org, carries the latest pertinent information about Parkinson's disease, including:
  • A detailed description of Parkinson's disease
  • How you can help find the cure
  • Public Services Announcements that are aired on network and cable television stations across the country to increase awareness
  • Upcoming related Parkinson's disease events and meetings
  • Updates on recent research and developments
The Actor's Book of Contemporary Stage Monologues: More Than 150 Monologues from More Than 70 Playwrights
The Actor's Book of Contemporary Stage Monologues
More Than 150 Monologues from More Than 70 Playwrights
Paperback      ISBN: 0140096493

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
Conversations With Stoppard
Conversations With Stoppard
Paperback      ISBN: 0802134688
Aristotle's Poetics
Aristotle's Poetics
Paperback      ISBN: 0809005271

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: A Life on the Stage, a Memoir
Jacob Adler
A Life on the Stage, a Memoir
Paperback      ISBN: 155783458x

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.

A Reporter's Life
A Reporter's Life
Paperback      ISBN: 034541103x

"IMMEDIATELY ENGROSSING . . . A] SPLENDID MEMOIR."
--The Wall Street Journal

"Run, don't walk to the nearest bookstore and treat yourself to the most heartwarming, nostalgia-producing book you will have read in many a year."
--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
The Theatre of the Absurd
The Theatre of the Absurd
Paperback      ISBN: 1400075238

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.
The Greek Myths
The Greek Myths
Paperback      ISBN: 1557835020

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."

Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Hardcover      ISBN: 0670031747

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.

Rosebud: The Story of Orson Welles
Rosebud
The Story of Orson Welles
Paperback      ISBN: 0679772839

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