A companion to twentieth-century American drama by David Krasner

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By David Krasner

This better half presents an unique and authoritative survey of twentieth-century American drama stories, written by means of the superior students and critics within the box.

  • Balances attention of canonical fabric with dialogue of works through formerly marginalized playwrights
  • Includes reports of best dramatists, equivalent to Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Eugene O'Neill and Gertrude Stein
  • Allows readers to make new hyperlinks among specific performs and playwrights
  • Examines the events that framed the century, comparable to the Harlem Renaissance, lesbian and homosexual drama, and the solo performances of the Nineteen Eighties and Nineteen Nineties
  • Situates American drama inside greater discussions approximately American rules and culture

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Extra resources for A companion to twentieth-century American drama

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Of so complicated and treacherous an instrument of artistic expression as the stage’’ (1919: 41). His career is the model of the playwright as theatre professional. Having been a child actor in his native San Francisco, Belasco produced theatre in New York for the Frohman brothers and the Syndicate before, in 1902, he became an independent producer and playwright, bringing dozens of plays to the New York stage prior to 1930. He was a technical innovator, self-consciously realistic – sometimes naturalistic – in stage setting, and famous in his day for the uses of electric lighting effects in his productions.

A supernatural power promises the ailing grandmother that she will see the granddaughter before she dies. Shmendrick (1880) also agitates against the tyranny of arranged marriages. The title character is, as Nahma Sandrow puts it, a ‘‘Jewish Jerry Lewis’’ (1977: 48). In this play, the clever bride manages to dupe the antagonist so that she can marry her sweetheart. In The Two Kuni Lemels (1897), the two title characters are a foolish yeshiva boy and a sly con artist. The former frightens the girl who is his arranged bride: he is half blind, lame, as well as a stammerer.

When Mikhl Goldberg adapted King Lear at the People’s Theatre in 1903 for Thomashevsky, he pared down the roles for the Ethnic Theatre in America 27 supporting actors, turning the focus of the play on an individual. Gordin himself continued to adapt. In 1894, two years after The Jewish King Lear, he wrote The Lithuanian Brothers, a ‘‘Jewish’’ Romeo and Juliet, although it was not advertised as such. Indeed, many of these adaptations were just domestic dramas with Shakespeare’s name added. Because it reverses genders, Jacob Gordin’s sequel to The Jewish King Lear, The Jewish Queen Lear, is a radical departure from the original.

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