Best American Plays 1945-1951

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Автор:John Gassner
Издателство:Crown Publishers Inc
Страници:707
Корици:твърди
Година:1952
Броя:1
ISBN: Тегло (гр.): 1117 Формат: 170/245/53 Състояние: Мн. добро
Best American Plays 1945 - 1951 / John Gassner

CONTENTS

Preface
Introduction: The Mid-Century Theatre, a Ivcprise with Variations John Gassner
Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller
A Streetcar Named Desire Tennessee Williams
The Iceman Cometh Eugene O’Neill
The Member of the Wedding Carson McCullers
The Autumn Garden Lillian Heilman
Come Back, Little Sheba William Inge
All My Sons Arthur Miller
Detective Story Sidney Kingsley
Billy Budd Louis О. Сохе and Robert Chapman
Medea Robinson Jeffers
Mister Roberts Thomas Heegen and Joshua Losan
State of the Union Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse
Darkness at Noon Sidney Kingsley
Anne of the Thousand Days Maxwell Anderson
Bell, Book and Candle John van Druten
The Moon Is Blue F. Hugh Herbert
Summer and Smoke Tennessee Williams

Supplementary List of American Non-Musical Plays

American Musical Plays of the Period..........................

Bibliography ......................................................................
.Vote: Special introductions to plays and playwrights will be found on pages 2-3, 50-51, 96, 174, 206, 252, 282, 318, 366, 396, 416, 456-457, 506, 548, 594, 628, 666-667.

***
PREFACE
This anthology is the latest volume of a series that represents the modern American cheatre up to the mid-century mark, the season of 1950-51. Along with three pre-V iously published volumes, this book should furnish the reader with a chronicle since 1916 and with representative plays. The reader of this series of "Best Plays" now has available for study or edification no less than seventy-nine plays. Although the "Best": л the title remains questionable, it is a trademark that can no longer be altered; and ¿¡though more than a few of the plays will not endure strict scrutiny and will certainly not outlast marble, they are part of the record. They should enable us to form in objective estimate of the American drama. These books are not intended to flatter American playwriting but to represent it. If our aim is to know our theatre, it would be a mistake to limit ourselves to masterpieces, even if enough of these could be round to give us an anthology. "A large mind cannot limit itself to what it loves," ays Santayana.

The content of the present volume is confined to the period after World War II, which coincides with the second half of the decade of the nineteen-forties. Since the rrevious volume ended with the Broadway season of 1945-46, some overlapping is:iused by the inclusion of State of the Union, from that season. State of the Union, r.owever, provides a springboard for the present chronicle. It expresses our democratic iJeals as affirmed by the war that was concluded in 1945 and jeopardized once more iuring the peace that followed.

The other plays in this volume illustrate the period’s achievements and trends. Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams, the most important new writers, are represented by their major efforts. These are supplemented with work by the newcomers ’Villiam Inge and Carson McCullers, whose Come Bac, Little Sheba and The Mem-rer of the Wedding supplied the most creative writing after the advent of Miller and Williams. Also new to the Broadway theatre were the authors of Medea and Billy Budd. And since there is no law forbidding older playwrights from contributing what they can, O’Neill is represented with the one new play that he allowed to be produced: n Broadway, Maxwell Anderson with the last of his Elizabethan verse dramas, Sidney Kingsley with his latest realistic moral investigations, Lillian Heilman with mother of her dramatic indictments, van Druten with one of his literate comedies, and F. Hugh Herbert with the last and best of his excursions into the field of Broadway entertainment.

My inventory would have been longer if last-minute calculations had not necessitated the elimination of a few other plays, to which reference will be made elsewhere. Nevertheless, the seventeen examples of contemporary playwriting here salvaged should comprise a useful compilation. Our theatre is shown producing new playwrights and drawing upon the resources of their elders, recording the experience of the last war and its aftermath, pondering immediate and general verities, experimenting some-hat with problems of dramatic form and style, working in earnest, and also turning a handspring or two, for which I daresay no apologies are needed.

A more detailed account and some assessment of this activity follow.

John Gassner
February, 1952.

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