The One-Act Play Today: A Discussion of the Technique, Scope & History of the Contemporary Short Drama

The One-Act Play Today: A Discussion of the Technique, Scope & History of the Contemporary Short Drama

The One-Act Play Today: A Discussion of the Technique, Scope & History of the Contemporary Short Drama

The One-Act Play Today: A Discussion of the Technique, Scope & History of the Contemporary Short Drama

Excerpt

From its antecedents as a convenient curtain miser, the one-act play has grown to maturity as an adult form in the contemporary theatre. Once again--as once before, in the ebullient days of Strindberg, Lady Gregory, Yeats, Synge, the Théâtre Libre, O'Neill, and the Provincetown Theatre--the one-act play has become an impressive form with which creative dramatists seek to forge new ideas and to project exciting, vivified characters onto the stage. Moreover, experimentation in the drama has been effected recently not in the three-act play, which has long been used as a laboratory of experimentation, but in the short drama, especially the social drama. Look, for example, at Odets' Waiting for Lefty, a short multi-scene play of vigorous impact, utilizing for its swiftly contrived episodes a film technique of dissolves, black-outs, flash backs, and fade-ins, and at Irwin Shaw Bury the Dead, a singularly trenchant play combining fantasy with realism.

This tendency on the part of our young venturesome writers to experiment with new forms is significant, for it augurs well of the future drama that the dramatist working within the frame of the one-act play should be anxious to broaden the scope of his material and to try to circumvent the rigid laws of his craft.

It is an undisputed fact that, for many years, the one- act play has been hindered by antiquated laws of construction, scene, and characterization. For some strange reason . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.