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The King's Wages Cover

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The King's Wages

Augustine Brempong

Containing hints of political satire, The King's Wages is a play that seeks to unmask the wicked absurdity of getting power at all costs. It tells the story of a man called Tutu who wants to be king and murders his own brother in pursuit of his plan. Tutu finally becomes king, but soon realizes that there is more to it than he bargained for. The chief among the Akan gods, Tano, becomes angry and is bent on punishing Tutu for the fratricide he committed. The ghost of Tutu's brother comes back to haunt him and Tutu is desperate to avert this from happening again. He does not only do the unthinkable as an expedient to save his life, but also manifests his weakness by following the advice of his long-time friend Bota. As a result, he is cursed by his own daughter who commits suicide immediately afterwards. In the end, he loses everything but his life. The story may strike us as mythical, but Brempong deliberately goes beyond the limits of the natural to invest his story with more beauty and profound pathos. He uses glittering expressions and simple language, with slight touches of archaism and interspersed with Akan proverbs. The story he tells is interesting enough, but his brilliant writing style also makes it one of the outstanding works to be seen in modern African literature.

A la Tete du Client and Fly Over the Crooks Crooked nest Cover

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A la Tete du Client and Fly Over the Crooks Crooked nest

Mercedes Fouda

A la tete du client is a vitriolic indictment of the unsettling myths and stereotypes surrounding the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Cameroon. It problematizes and lampoons the unethical practices of medical personnel that have made this disease an intractable ailment in Cameroon and beyond. The English translation of A la t�te du client titled Fly over the Crooks� Crooked Nest denounces and scourges the predatory behaviour of the wicked who take advantage of the weakest in a context of HIV/AIDs. When two rascals decide to open their own laboratory for medical analysis, without any skills or equipment, the least harmful results amount to �Obama... blood type O, Axelrod...blood type A...

The Last Hope Cover

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The Last Hope

This play was written as part of an evaluation of Africaís oldest and most diverse rainforest conservation initiative in the Korup area, with the aim of highlighting and sharing some lessons learnt from the creation of the Korup National Park, through a period of full activity, to when activities were considerably reduced. It is a fine blend of the results of the evaluation and some carefully developed fictional, artistic materials for the achievement of an overall dramatic effect. Ekpe Inyang gives an informed artistic touch to achieve dramatic effects, succinctly relating the story of Cameroonís first rainforest national park, Korup.

Latin American Melodrama Cover

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Latin American Melodrama

Passion, Pathos, and Entertainment

Darlene J. Sadlier

Like their Hollywood counterparts, Latin American film and TV melodramas have always been popular and highly profitable. The first of its kind, this anthology engages in a serious study of the aesthetics and cultural implications of Latin American melodramas. Written by some of the major figures in Latin American film scholarship, the studies range across seventy years of movies and television within a transnational context, focusing specifically on the period known as the "Golden Age" of melodrama, the impact of classic melodrama on later forms, and more contemporary forms of melodrama. An introductory essay examines current critical and theoretical debates on melodrama and places the essays within the context of Latin American film and media scholarship._x000B__x000B_Contributors are Luisela Alvaray, Mariana Baltar, Catherine L. Benamou, Marvin D'Lugo, Paula Felix-Didier, Andres Levinson, Gilberto Perez, Darlene J. Sadlier, Cid Vasconcelos, and Ismail Xavier.

Leopard Watch Cover

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Leopard Watch

In beautifully constructed verse, JK Bannavti's Leopard Watch tells the story of a Fon who out of greed and veiled impiety devastates the land over which he rules. The Fon, The King of Bamkov is in a perpetual state of slumber while an illusive beast drives terror into the heart of the kingdom, killing children as well as cattle. Neither the cries of the people nor pressure from the notables seems to have any effect on him. The population of the clan diminishes daily while the Fon sleeps, snores, and drools in the day, and growls, chews, and laps in the night. When finally the notables join the youth vigilante group to hunt down the beast, they come face to face with the devourer who narrowly escapes. A day later, one of the notables, Gwei, in a drunken state encounters and kills the leopard at night as he returns from the market. Amidst jubilation and in honor of Gwei the Fon collapses off his horse and dies. His carcass lies in the same state as that of the dead leopard.

Life's a Dream  Cover

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Life's a Dream

(La Vida es Sueño)

By Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Translated by Michael Kidd

Co-Winner of the 2004 Colorado Endowment for the Humanities Publication Prize

"A snappy, playable though poetic prose translation by Michael Kidd (Carleton College) of Calderón's famous La vida es sueño. That is arguably the best of the 500 plays that survive from this dramatist's alleged 2000 efforts. Moreover, the translation comes with excellent critical introduction, supporting materials, and a glossary. Life's a Dream . . . is the best choice for any university or other theater group that wants to stage this play. The fact that modern English prose cannot capture the florid fol-de-rol of early seventeenth-century Spanish is actually an advantage. The love story and the political implications emerge unscathed."—Chronique, Biliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance

"An excellent and reliable English edition of one of the Spanish Golden Age's more fascinating plays."—Frederick A. de Armas, University of Chicago

”This is a faithful, accurate, and eminently actable poetic prose translation of Calderón's masterpiece, which ingeniously resolves its many intricate linguistic and semantic puzzles."—José María Ruano de la Haza, University of Ottawa

"A first-class version of one of the all-time classics of world literature."—Julio Baena, University of Colorado at Boulder

A beautiful and haunting tale of love, betrayal, knowledge, and power, Life's a Dream (La vida es sueño, 1636) is the best known and most widely admired play of Catholic Europe's greatest dramatist, Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600-1681). Calderón's long life witnessed both the pinnacle and collapse of Spanish political power as well as the great flowering of Spanish classical literature. Michael Kidd's new prose translation renders Calderón's masterpiece into a transparent, modern American idiom that preserves the beauty and complexity of Calderón's Baroque Spanish. The result is a highly readable and adaptable text that is enhanced by a generous selection of supporting materials, including a thorough critical introduction and glossary.

The Lock on My Lips Cover

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The Lock on My Lips

Lock on My Lips, The

The Lock on My Lips foregrounds gender, narrative and identity in its representations. It tells the story of a woman who defies traditional patriarchal boundaries that deny women their rights, most especially the right to landed property and buys land in her name. Discursive constructions, ëtravelling conceptsí, metaphors, multiple perspectives, narrative, imagery, folklore, anthropological objects, and mixed-genre plot structure (narrative-(poetic)-drama), combine to tell the story of gendered beings and thus pave the way for exploring the interdisciplinary potentials of the play-text. Land and genre are gender markers. Land is definable through power and authority, constitutes the material with which masculinities are constructed, and thus becomes a space where women are excluded. The play equates land with patriarchal ideology of male virility and supremacy, but creates a mixed-genre fragmentary structure to disrupt the very patriarchal power erected through the metaphor of land.

The Lord of Anomy Cover

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The Lord of Anomy

In 1875 the Rozvi Kingdom, now in present day Zimbabwe, is indistinctly besieged from within by the convergence of a missionary, Rev. Holbrook, a militant British bourgeoisie aspiring for knighthood, Sir Crowler, and an immorally amorous war emissary allegedly from King Cetshwayo of the feared Zulu Kingdom. The ëZuluí ambassador uncompromisingly makes painstaking demands. While Rev. Holbrook is earnest in his endeavours, Sir Crowler is adamant the natives are enemies of both God and Britain meant for annihilation. The elders cannot consult the oracles; all diviners having fled before the arrival of the foreigners. An enigmatic and malicious hermit comes to the fore in the calamitous confusion that ensues. But nobody can tell with certainty if the hermit is messianic or anarchical.

The Making of Theatrical Reputations Cover

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The Making of Theatrical Reputations

Studies from the Modern London Theatre

Today’s successful plays and playwrights achieve their prominence not simply because of their intrinsic merit but because of the work of mediators, who influence the whole trajectory of a playwright’s or a theatre company’s career. Critics and academic writers are primarily considered the makers of reputations, but funding organizations and various media agents as well as artistic directors, producers, and directors also pursue separate agendas in shaping the reputations of theatrical works. In The Making of Theatrical Reputations Yael Zarhy-Levo demonstrates the processes through which these mediatory practices by key authority figures situate theatrical companies and playwrights within cultural and historical memory.

To reveal how these authorizing powers-that-be promote theatrical events, companies, and playwrights, Zarhy-Levo presents four detailed case studies that reflect various angles of the modern London theatre. In the case of the English Stage Company’s production of John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, she centers on a specific event. She then focuses on the trajectory of a single company, the Theatre Workshop, particularly through its first decade at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, London. Next, she explores the career of the dramatist John Arden, especially its first ten years, in part drawing upon an interview with Arden and his wife, actress and playwright Margaretta D’Arcy, before turning to her fourth study: the playwright Harold Pinter’s shifting reputation throughout the different phases of his career.

May 4th Voices Cover

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May 4th Voices

Kent State, 1970; A Play

On May 4, 1970, National Guardsmen occupying the Kent State University campus fired 67 shots in 13 seconds, leaving four students dead. This tragedy had a profound impact on Northeast Ohio and the nation and is credited as a catalyst in changing Americans’ views toward U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Supported by the Ohio Humanities Council, May 4th Voices was originally written and performed as part of a community arts project for the 40th commemoration of the events of May 4th.

The text of David Hassler’s play is based on the Kent State Shootings Oral History Project, begun in 1990 by Sandra Halem and housed in Kent State University Libraries’ Department of Special Collections and Archives. The collection is comprised of over 110 interviews, with first-person narratives and personal reactions to the events of May 4, 1970, from the viewpoints of members of the Kent community; Kent State faculty, students, alumni, staff, and administrators who were on campus that day; and National Guardsmen, police, hospital personnel, and others whose lives were affected by their experience. Weaving these voices and stories together anonymously, Hassler’s play tells the human story of May 4th and its aftermath, capturing the sense of trauma, confusion, and fear felt by all people regardless of where they stood that day.

Directed by Katherine Burke, May 4th Voices premiered on May 2, 2010, on the Kent State University campus. It offered the Kent community an opportunity to take ownership of its own tragic story and engage in a creative, healing dialogue. Now, with the publication of the play and its accompanying teacher’s guide and DVD, May 4th Voices brings to a national audience the emotional truth of this tragedy, connecting it to the larger issues of war, conflict, and trauma. A powerful work of testimony, May 4th Voices offers a new and unique contribution to the literature of the protest movement and the Vietnam era.

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