A Search for a Postmodern Theater: Interviews with Contemporary Playwrights

By John L. DiGaetani | Go to book overview

ROMULUS LINNEY

Romulus Linney was born in Philadelphia, raised in the South, and now lives in New York City. The diversity of his background is reflected in the diversity of his plays, though all are marked by his love and fascination with history. His first play, The Sorrows of Frederick ( 1966) deals with the complex father/son relationship of Frederick the Great with his very difficult father. The Love Suicide at Schofield Barracks ( 1972) concerns the complex social and political issues raised by America's war in Vietnam. Holy Ghosts ( 1974) portrays the complexity of Southern Protestantism, while Childe Byron ( 1977) centers around the figure of the English poet Byron and his very distant relationship with his daughter Ada. The Death of King Philip ( 1979) also involves history as it relates to contemporary American social and political problems.

More recently, Linney has had great success with his Three Poets ( 1989), an evening of three one-act plays whose subject is three female poets. Linney's works include the novels Heathen Valley; Slowly, by Thy Hand Unfurled; and Jesus Tales. Linney has received a National Endowment for the Arts Grant, an Obie Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Mishima Prize for fiction, and in 1984 the Award for Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

DiGaetani: Which playwrights or writers do you feel influenced your own work?

Linney: My evolution as a writer was a bit odd. I was first an actor all through college and drama school. I went to Oberlin College and the Yale Drama School, intending to be an actor. It wasn't until I came to New York and could not make a career as an actor that I began to think about writing. When I began writing, I began writing novels so the writers who influenced me most were novelists: William Faulkner, of course, because I am a Southerner, and I found all kinds of things in his works, and a Swedish writer named Pär Lagerkvist. The reason

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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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