A Search for a Postmodern Theater: Interviews with Contemporary Playwrights

By John L. DiGaetani | Go to book overview

ALAN AYCKBOURN

The contemporary British playwright Alan Ayckbourn has had significant success on both the British and American stages. Most of his theatrical talents were developed because of his mentor, Stephen Joseph, who first encouraged him to write and after whom Ayckbourn named his Theatre in the Round in Scarborough. He has continued to live in Scarborough, directs the Stephen Joseph Theater in the Round, and premieres all his plays at that theater, after which they usually move on to London's West End.

His play Henceforward . . . , written in 1987, was first staged in Scarborough and is in fact his thirty-second play for that theater. More than twenty of Ayckbourn's plays have been subsequently staged in the West End or at the National Theatre since Ayckbourn's initial West End success, Relatively Speaking, which first appeared at the Duke of York's Theater in 1967.

His other major successes include Absurd Person Singular ( 1972), The Norman Conquests ( 1973), Bedroom Farce ( 1975), Just Between Ourselves ( 1976), Ten Times Table ( 1977), Sisterly Feelings ( 1979), Way Upstream ( 1981), A Chorus of Disapproval ( 1984), Woman in Mind ( 1985), and A Small Family Business ( 1987). His Bedroom Farce had a long run both in the West End and on Broadway in New York. Ayckbourn recently took a two-year break from Scarborough and worked at the National Theater in London, where he directed Tons of Money, A View From the Bridge (for which he received the Plays and Players Director of the Year Award), his own A Small Family Business, and 'Tis Pity She's a Whore. More recently, his Henceforward . . . had much success in the West End. His brand of situational comedy depends on irony of situation and brilliant characterization for its wonderfully comic effects. Man of the Moment, opened in Scarborough in 1988, was seen in the West End early in 1990, as was Body Language. The Revengers' Comedies opened in Scarborough in 1989. The New York theater season of 1990-91 saw effective productions of two Ayckbourn plays: Taking Steps and Absent Friends.

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A Search for a Postmodern Theater: Interviews with Contemporary Playwrights
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Robert Anderson 1
  • Alan Ayckbourn 15
  • Eric Bentley 27
  • Ed Bullins 39
  • Mart Crowley 47
  • Jules Feiffer 55
  • Horton Foote 65
  • Michael Frayn 73
  • Larry Gelbart 83
  • Amlin Gray 91
  • Simon Gray 97
  • John Guare 105
  • A. R. Gurney 113
  • ChriS+̄topher Hampton 121
  • William M. Hoffman 133
  • Israel Horovitz 139
  • Tina Howe 149
  • David Henry Hwang 161
  • Albert Innaurato 175
  • David Ives 183
  • Barrie Keeffe 191
  • Romulus Linney 199
  • Craig Lucas 211
  • Terrence Mcnally 219
  • Adrian Mitchell 229
  • Richard Nelson 237
  • Marsha Norman 245
  • Eric Overmyer 253
  • David Storey 259
  • Timberlake Wertenbaker 265
  • August Wilson 275
  • Lanford Wilson 285
  • Paul Zindel 295
  • Bibliography 305
  • Index 309
  • About the Author *
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