Article excerpt

I write in response to your thoughtful essay that appears at the beginning of the Winter 2001 issue. In this essay you state that you would welcome comments from subscribers regarding the issues you discuss in the essay, directions that American Drama should take, etc.

My feeling about American Drama is that it is doing exactly what it should be doing: filling a void in the scholarship by concentrating on the playtext. I am English department trained but teach American drama, and my dissertation, as you know, was on an American dramatist. Since I do not come from the performance end of the spectrum, I have difficulty publishing in other journals that are focused more on performance than on text. But I do not view American Drama as merely a publishing venue. I have every issue you have published and have read them all from cover to cover. In choosing journals to subscribe to and read (I try to read one journal article every day), I look for those that support my teaching and research. American Drama's focus on the playtext fills the bill for me. My students have also found it useful in their research; our library does not subscribe, so I lend them my copies. Since my American drama course, and their research paper assignments, also focus on dramatic literature rather than on performance, your journal has become an essential element in my repertoire of teaching tools for that course.

Secondly, I applaud your resolve to take the journal in new directions by featuring articles on dramatic texts writ-ten for TV radio, and screen, as well as your focus on interviews with playwrights. However, American Drama supports my research and teaching best when it publishes excellent articles on canonical American playwrights. I do find the former articles interesting and enlightening, however, and realize that it is important to expand my horizons and those of my students. Sorry to be such an old stick-in-the-mud (I show my age here!) And while I'm in the stick-in-the-mud mode, please; no articles on performance art. I am not opposed to performance art per se, but it is outside the scope of my teaching and research.

With respect to the prospect of expanding the journal to include a section on pedagogy, I have mixed feelings. …


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