A Search for a Postmodern Theater: Interviews with Contemporary Playwrights

By John L. DiGaetani | Go to book overview

HORTON FOOTE

Though a recipient of two Oscars for his screenplays, Horton Foote is more famous as a playwright. His first play, Wharton Dance, was staged in New York in 1940, followed by Texas Town the next year. Daisy Lee, set to music by Bernardo Segall, was produced in New York in 1944. The Trip to Bountiful, perhaps Foote's most famous play, appeared in 1953 and was staged in London in 1956. In the 1950s, Foote also wrote many television plays, including The Midnight Caller, John Turner Davis, The Dancers, and Harrison, Texas.

Foote also wrote the screenplay for To Kill a Mockingbird and wrote a musical adaptation of Gone With the Wind. The Roads to Home appeared in 1982 in New York. Courtship was produced in 1984, and included in a collection of plays containing Courtship, Valentine's Day, and 1918. Both Lily Dale and The Widow Claire were staged in New York in 1986.

DiGaetani: I've often thought of your work as a victim of the sixties. You had great success in the theater in the forties and fifties, and then the sixties came along and your work was considered out of fashion. But your work is again becoming popular.

Foote: I don't think of myself as a victim of anything. I felt the sixties was an interesting period, and I was an interested observer. I wasn't being actively produced in the sixties, but sometimes there's a time for quietness and reflection, and so I was very active myself. I was writing then. All the plays that have come to the surface lately and been staged I was writing and working on in the sixties. It never occurred to me that I wouldn't be produced; I just had my work to do and I went ahead and did it.

DiGaetani: I expected some bitterness on this point.

Foote: I've been on this earth too long to become bitter about things like that. I mean, things go in cycles, and there's no point in resisting the cycles -- just wait them out. I felt that the sixties was a period of excess

-65-

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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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