Today in American Drama

Today in American Drama

Today in American Drama

Today in American Drama

Excerpt

IF ANYONE IS GOING TO BE BOLD ENOUGH TO CLASSIFY plays at all today, he might as well say at the very beginning that terms like "tragedy," "comedy," "farce" and "melodrama" are after all only labels academically pasted onto stories which creative writers contrive for the stage because they have a story they must tell. The story is the thing as every audience knows and every actor knows and certainly every playwright ought to know. Probably there never was a playwright -- at least not one whose name lingers in the annals of the stage -- who said to himself, "Today, I think I shall write a tragedy". If he were really born to the purple, he had a story to tell and he told it in the most moving way he could tell it because it was that kind of story. If its proportions were heroic and its characters moved with finality toward inevitable catastrophe and the mood of grandeur overshadowed the fact of defeat, then his story was a tragedy. It just happened so.

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