Five Contemporary American Plays

Five Contemporary American Plays

Five Contemporary American Plays

Five Contemporary American Plays

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is to present five modern plays ranging from blank verse tragedy to hilarious musical comedy, which will show what modern American drama is like at its best. No attempt is made to survey the entire field of American drama; such a project is a task for much larger volumes. These five selected plays, however, do illustrate trends and movements in American drama which have developed most completely in the fourth decade of this century. Among the, most important of these trends is the amazing growth of political satire, the increasing interest in the proletarian drama, and the recession from experimentation to the older traditions of the theatre.

The brief biographies are presented as short sketches of living men who are all active in the theatre and are even now writing plays for the American public; they are not intended to be sketches of men who have done their work and have retired to the pages of literary history and volumes of criticism.

The bibliographies are designed for the student. The editors have found that any interest arising in a student's mind concerning an author is not furthered by a mere list of the author's plays. However, if the student is told something about the plot, the characters, and the ideas of the author's other plays, he is apt to become more interested and curious and may therefore read further in that author's works. Also the student should be told in what books common to most libraries these plays appear.

The list of critical articles has been annotated in order to guide the student in his selection of criticism. While not neglecting scholarly publications, the editors recognize that some of the best material concerning ideas, opinions, purposes, and methods of contemporary writers may appear in popular journals.

The editors gratefully acknowledge reprinting permissions given by the following authors and publishers: Eugene O'Neill and Random House, Inc., for the use of Ah, Wilderness!; Maxwell Anderson and Kenneth Anderson for the use . . .

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