In Rhinoceros, as in his earlier plays, Ionesco startles audiences with a world that invariably erupts in explosive laughter and nightmare anxiety. A rhinoceros suddenly appears in a small town, tramping through its peaceful streets. Soon there are two, then three, until the "movement" is universal: a transformation of average citizens into beasts, as they learn to move with the times. Finally, only one man remains. "I'm the last man left, and I'm staying that way until the end. I'm not capitulating "Rhinoceros is a commentary on the absurdity of the human condition made tolerable only by self-delusion. It shows us the struggle of the individual to maintain integrity and identity alone in a world where all others have succumbed to the "beauty" of brute force, natural energy, and mindlessness. Includes Rhinoceros, The Leader, The Future Is in Eggs or It Takes All Sorts to Make a World
This collection of 75 solo speeches and performance pieces for actors has been selected from the finest material being written today for theatre in America and England. Solo presents dramatic monologues on the cutting edge. All selections include acting notes along with the quick and easy guide to the art of auditioning.
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.
Often called the most autobiographical of Arthur Miller's plays, After the Fall probes deeply into the psyche of Quentin, a man who ruthlessly revisits his past to explain the catastrophe that is his life. His journey backward takes him through a troubled upbringing, the bitter death of his mother, and a series of failed relationships.
Only one of these plays (The Purification) is written in verse, but in all of them the approach to character is by way of poetic revelation. Whether Williams is writing of derelict roomers in a New Orleans boarding house (The Lady of Larkspur Lotion) or the memories of a venerable traveling salesman (The Last of My Solid Gold Watches) or of delinquent children (This Property is Condemned), his insight into human nature is that of the poet. He can compress the basic meaning of life--its pathos or its tragedy, its bravery or the quality of its love--into one small scene or a few moments of dialogue.
Mr. Williams's views on the role of the little theater in American culture are contained in a stimulating essay, "Something wild...," which serves as an introduction to this collection.