By Christopher Bigsby
The playwrights lined during this research have between them gained many of the on hand awards and skilled enormous luck within the theater. they've got no longer, even though, stumbled on their manner so simply into the tutorial canon. Christopher Bigsby examines, in a few aspect, the constructing careers of a few of America's such a lot interesting and unique dramatic expertise: John Guare, Tina Howe, Tony Kushner, Emily Mann, Richard Nelson, Marsha Norman, David Rabe, Paula Vogel, Wendy Wasserstein, and Lanford Wilson. as well as the recognized works, Bigsby discusses a few of their most up-to-date performs to arrive the degree. This energetic and obtainable booklet might be of curiosity to scholars, students and basic theatergoers alike.
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Extra resources for Contemporary American Playwrights
But he equally sees America settling into a role at the behest of Amos and William Randolph Hearst, surrendering its inﬁnite possibilities to the myth of empire, to a dream of avarice. And Lydie Breeze is as much a play about America as about this group of characters gathered together in what is only a temporary refuge on the country’s margin. The infection of innocence aﬄicts the nation no less than the individual. The corruption of the body is a reﬂection of the body politic. Utopia is as unnatural and unstable a state as total innocence, though the nostalgia for it is considerable.
The gardenia appeals to them because it is organic, since that is essentially the nature of the community they seek to found, of the paradigm they oﬀer the world. The problem, of course, is that the organic is tainted with the logic of its own inevitable decay. Intoxicated with the beauty they identify, propose and pursue, they fail to detect the smell of putrefaction born out of the beauty they celebrate. Gardenia is, I think, overwritten at times but that judgement must be balanced by an awareness of the degree to which rhetoric, the poetic image, hyperbole, constitute the natural mode of those aware that they must invent not only a new society but a new language, a new grammar.
The ﬁnal irony, however, is that we already know what lies ahead. Unlike the characters, we have seen the future, and not only their future. They may sit, brieﬂy, on a Nantucket beach which shines with an intense whiteness, relaxed, poised to reconstruct the world they have seen deconstruct before their eyes, but we know that ahead, for them, lie disillusionment and despair, sexual betrayal and violence. The future of the world they think to reshape (in a strange blend of Marx and Emerson, Whitman and Thoreau), involves not merely the parochial corruptions of the Guilded Age but apocalypse more profound than that experienced on Civil War battleﬁelds.