It is a very short list of 20th-century American plays that continue to have the same power and impact as when they first appeared—57 years after its Broadway premiere, Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire is one of those plays. The story famously recounts how the faded and promiscuous Blanche DuBois is pushed over the edge by her sexy and brutal brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. Streetcar launched the careers of Marlon Brando, Jessica Tandy, Kim Hunter and Karl Malden, and solidified the position of Tennessee Williams as one of the most important young playwrights of his generation, as well as that of Elia Kazan as the greatest American stage director of the '40s and '50s.
Who better than America's elder statesman of the theater, Williams' contemporary Arthur Miller, to write as a witness to the lightning that struck American culture in the form of A Streetcar Named Desire? Miller's rich perspective on Williams' singular style of poetic dialogue, sensitive characters, and dramatic violence makes this a unique and valuable new edition of A Streetcar Named Desire. This definitive new edition will also include Williams' essay "The World I Live In," and a brief chronology of the author's life.
No play in the modern theatre has so captured the imagination and heart of the American public as Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie. Menagerie was Williams’s first popular success and launched the brilliant, if somewhat controversial, career of our pre-eminent lyric playwright. Since its premiere in Chicago in 1944, with the legendary Laurette Taylor in the role of Amanda, the play has been the bravura piece for great actresses from Jessica Tandy to Joanne Woodward, and is studied and performed in classrooms and theatres around the world. The Glass Menagerie (in the reading text the author preferred) is now available only in its New Directions Paperbook edition. A new introduction by prominent Williams scholar Robert Bray, editor of The Tennessee Williams Annual Review, reappraises the play more than half a century after it won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award: “More than fifty years after telling his story of a family whose lives form a triangle of quiet desperation, Williams’s mellifluous voice still resonates deeply and universally.” This edition of The Glass Menagerie also includes Williams’s essay on the impact of sudden fame on a struggling writer, “The Catastrophe of Success,” as well as a short section of Williams’s own “Production Notes.” The cover features the classic line drawing by Alvin Lustig, originally done for the 1949 New Directions edition.
"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" is an absurdist, existentialist tragicomedy by Tom Stoppard, first staged at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1966.
The play was adapted for a film released in February 1990, with screenplay and direction by Stoppard. The motion picture is Stoppard's only film directing credit: "[I]t began to become clear that it might be a good idea if I did it myself - at least the director wouldn't have to keep wondering what the author meant. It just seemed that I'd be the only person who could treat the play with the necessary disrespect." The cast included Gary Oldman as Rosencrantz, Tim Roth as Guildenstern, Richard Dreyfuss as the Player, Joanna Roth as Ophelia, Ian Richardson as Polonius, Joanna Miles as Gertrude, Donald Sumpter as Claudius, and Iain Glen as Hamlet.
Ann-Marie MacDonald’s love of the fabulous is in full force with this multi-layered reworking of her earlier play, .
Following her father’s death, amateur scientist Pearl MacIsaac struggles to discover the secret of her family’s past, which her father had been kept hidden with the help of the family doctor. Set in Scotland in 1899, this dark and redemptive gothic comedy is a story of family secrets that have come to life and of the birth and evolution of ideas — and truly a play of morals. Reaching out in two directions to reconcile the extremes of rationalism and romanticism, embraces a complex range of turn-of-the-century thought including Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, contemporary medical beliefs and the concept of eugenics.
A startling encounter on a New York subway platform leads two strangers to a run-down tenement where a life or death decision must be made.
In that small apartment, “Black” and “White,” as the two men are known, begin a conversation that leads each back through his own history, mining the origins of two fundamentally opposing world-views. White is a professor whose seemingly enviable existence of relative ease has left him nonetheless in despair. Black, an ex-con and ex-addict, is the more hopeful of the men—though he is just as desperate to convince White of the power of faith as White is desperate to deny it.
Their aim is no less than this: to discover the meaning of life.
Deft, spare, and full of artful tension, “The Sunset Limited” is a beautifully crafted, consistently thought-provoking, and deceptively intimate work by one of the most insightful writers of our time.
Bleak, funny and excruciatingly accurate, Sex with a Stranger examines what it is to be in your twenties, lonely, hollow and uncertain. Adam meets Grace in a club. They go back to hers. Earlier that day, his girlfriend watches as he prepares for his big night out.
For the first time in English, Vladimir Nabokov’s earliest major work, written when he was only twenty-four: his only full-length play, introduced by Thomas Karshan and beautifully translated by Karshan and Anastasia Tolstoy.
The variety, force and richness of Nabokov’s perceptions have not even the palest rival in modern fiction. To read him in full flight is to experience stimulation that is at once intellectual, imaginative and aesthetic, the nearest thing to pure sensual pleasure that prose can offer.
He did us all an honour by electing to use, and transform, our language.
The power of the imagination is not apt soon to find another champion of such vigour.
A horrendous storm looms over a rundown truck stop diner in Grand Island, Nebraska, bringing together ten people who start to reveal damaging secrets as the night goes on. This critically-acclaimed stage play features roles for 7 women and 3 men. The Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance awarded the world premiere with two awards: Best Original Script and Best Original Production. The play received a New York premiere at the Creative Place Theatre.
This volume of Handke's plays includes two full-length and four shorter plays by the young Austrian playwright. The first of the full-length plays, is one of Handke's best-known works. It deals directly with one of Handke's favorite themes: the realities of theater itself, independent of the offstage world, and the way language (dialogue) and objects (props) operate in the skewed world of the stage. Therein it anticipates , Handke's most recent full-length play, which is also in this volume. In some ways more conventional than many of Handke's plays, presents one of his most fascinating protagonists, Quitt, a businessman who first induces a group of colleagues to set up a monopoly and then torpedoes the scheme. The four short plays that round out the book-and -were written between 1966 and 1969, before (1971), and show Handke moving from the experimental mode of his early work toward the richness and complexity that have marked him as the most important dramatist since Becket; they bear witness to the truth of Richard Gilman's observation that "in Handke's theater, language, exposed, assaulted, wrestled with, driven to limits, and pursued still further, begins to take on, like the color returning to the cheeks of a nearly hanged man, the signs of a strange and unexpected resurrection."
"Writers are made, not born," Ayn Rand wrote in another context. "To be exact, writers are self-made." In this fascinating collection of Ayn Rand's earliest work — including a previously unpublished piece, "The Night King" — her own career proves her point. We see here not only the budding of the philosophy that would seal her reputation as a champion of the individual, but also the emergence of a great narrative stylist whose fiction would place her among the most towering figures in the history of American literature.
Dr. Leonard Peikoff worked with Ayn Rand for thirty years; he is her legal heir and the executor of her estate.
Detailing the results of Nolan’s efforts, includes key storyboard sequences, full-color concept art, and an appendix on the workings of the mysterious Pasiv Device that Cobb and his fellow extractors use to initiate the dream-share. An exclusive exploration of a highly original concept, is the record of a writer-director at the height of his craft.
Jon Fosse has been called ‘the Beckett of the 21st century’ (Le Monde), and the Royal Court production of Nightsongs was dubbed ‘Waiting for Godot without the gags’. Just as Beckett’s plays — and those of all great playwrights — grew out of their time, and influenced the current styles of drama, and were part of what brought their times forward, so do Fosse’s plays now. Fosse: Plays Six marks the culmination of this Norwegian playwright’s body of work for the stage to be published in the English language. The volume includes the plays Rambuku, Freedom, Over There, These Eyes, Girl in Yellow Raincoat, Christmas Tree Song and Sea.
Rambuku: Two people. One finds it difficult to speak. The other attempts to understand. But what is Rambuku? Or who is Rambuku? Freedom: There is a sense of otherness in Fosse’s work that challenges our notions of a concept such as ‘freedom’. This play questions if freedom, as we often understand it, is perhaps a prison. Over There: A woman follows a man to his death. But do they see the same images on the way to the top of the mountain? These Eyes: A snapshot of the dreamlike state of life. The characters exist in an in-between space which becomes their reality. Girl in Yellow Raincoat: An examination of our collective weakness, and the fragility of children. It asks questions about notions surrounding fear. Christmas Tree Song: A man celebrates Christmas alone (and reflects in a somewhat ironic way) on his life as he attempts to put up a Christmas tree. Sea: A group of people gathered in a kind of limbo, on a ship, disappearing into something unknown.
In these three plays — each introduced by the author — Mario Vargas Llosa, the internationally acclaimed novelist and a cultural and political figure in Peru, explores the complexities of Peruvian society and the writer's imagination.
The Tony Award — winning play that soars at the intersection of science and art, is an explosive re-imagining of the mysterious wartime meeting between two Nobel laureates to discuss the atomic bomb.
In 1941 the German physicist Werner Heisenberg made a clandestine trip to Copenhagen to see his Danish counterpart and friend Niels Bohr. Their work together on quantum mechanics and the uncertainty principle had revolutionized atomic physics. But now the world had changed and the two men were on opposite sides in a world war. Why Heisenberg went to Copenhagen and what he wanted to say to Bohr are questions that have vexed historians ever since. In Michael Frayn’s ambitious, fiercely intelligent, and daring new play Heisenberg and Bohr meet once again to discuss the intricacies of physics and to ponder the metaphysical — the very essence of human motivation.
Welcome to our war "The Two Worlds of Charlie F" is a soldier's view of service, injury and recovery. Moving from the war in Afghanistan, through the dream world of morphine-induced hallucinations to the physio rooms of Headley Court, the play explores the consequences of injury, both physical and psychological, and its effects on others as the soldiers fight to win the new battle for survival at home. Drawn from the personal experience of the wounded, injured and sick Service personnel involved, Owen Sheers' "The Two Worlds of Charlie F". premiered at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, in January 2012 and toured nationally that summer.
One hundred years after Austrian satirist Karl Kraus began writing his dramatic masterpiece, remains as powerfully relevant as the day it was first published. Kraus’s play enacts the tragic trajectory of the First World War, when mankind raced toward self-destruction by methods of modern warfare while extolling the glory and ignoring the horror of an allegedly “defensive” war. This volume is the first to present a complete English translation of Kraus’s towering work, filling a major gap in the availability of Viennese literature from the era of the War to End All Wars.
Bertolt Brecht hailed as the masterpiece of Viennese modernism. In the apocalyptic drama Kraus constructs a textual collage, blending actual quotations from the Austrian army’s call to arms, people’s responses, political speeches, newspaper editorials, and a range of other sources. Seasoning the drama with comic invention and satirical verse, Kraus reveals how bungled diplomacy, greedy profiteers, Big Business complicity, gullible newsreaders, and, above all, the sloganizing of the press brought down the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the dramatization of sensationalized news reports, inurement to atrocities, and openness to war as remedy, today’s readers will hear the echo of the fateful voices Kraus recorded as his homeland descended into self-destruction.
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