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Starring Madame Modjeska Cover

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Starring Madame Modjeska

On Tour in Poland and America

Beth Holmgren

In 1876, Poland's leading actress, Helena Modrzejewska, accompanied by family and friends, emigrated to southern California to establish a utopian commune that soon failed. Within a year Modrzejewska made her debut in the title role of Adrienne Lecouvreur at San Francisco's California Theatre. She changed her name to Modjeska and quickly became a leading star on the American stage, where she reigned for the next 30 years. During this time, she established herself as America's most esteemed Shakespearean actress, playing opposite such celebrated actors as Edwin Booth and Maurice Barrymore. Starring Madame Modjeska traces Modjeska's fabulous life and career from her illegitimate birth in Krakow, to her successive reinventions of herself as a star in both Poland and America, and finally to her enduring legacy.

The Story of Joseph Cover

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The Story of Joseph

A Fourteenth-CenturyTurkish Morality Play

by Sheyyad Hamza

At the heart of this volume is the translation of a fourteenth-century Turkish version of the Joseph story, better known to Western readers from the version in Genesis, first book of the Hebrew Bible. Hickman provides us with a new lens: we see the drama of the Old Testament prophet Joseph, son of Jacob, through Muslim eyes. The poem’s author, Sheyyad Hamza, lived in Anatolia during the early days of the Ottoman Empire. Hamza’s composition is rooted in the recondite and little-studied tradition of oral performance—a unique corner of Turkish verbal arts, situated between minstrelsy and the “divan” tradition—combining the roles of preacher and storyteller. A cultural document as well as a literary text that reflects the prevailing values of the time, Hamza’s play reveals a picture of Ottoman sensibility, both aesthetic and religious, at the level of popular culture in premodern Turkey. To supplement and contextualize the story, Hickman includes an introduction, a historical-literary afterword, and notes to the translation, all ably assisting an unfamiliar reader’s entry into this world.

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Tentative Transgressions

Homosexuality, AIDS, and the Theater in Brazil

Severino J. Albuquerque

Starting at the beginning of the twentieth century, Albuquerque examines the way the Modernist movement both fueled and inhibited the use of gay imagery in Brazilian drama. This elegant and fluid study ultimately becomes an examination of a whole Latin society, and the ways in which Latin theatre has absorbed and reflected the culture's own changing sensibilities, that will intrigue anyone interested in Latin American culture, literature, or theater.

 

Winner, 2008 Elizabeth A. Steinberg Prize

The Theatre of the Holocaust, Volume 1 Cover

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The Theatre of the Holocaust, Volume 1

Four Plays

Edited and with and introduction by Robert Skloot

This volume contains these four plays:

Resort 76 by Shimon Wincelberg
Will the relentless oppression of the starving workers in a ghetto factory destroy their faith in God? Their love of life? Their ability to resist? If a cat is more valuable than a human being, have hope and goodness been eliminated from the world? A moving and terrifying melodrama.

Throne of Straw
by Harold and Edith Lieberman
Through the career of Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, head of the Lodz, Poland Judenrat, we come to understand the horror of “choiceless choice,” of how giving up some to save others was the worst nightmare for those who sought the responsibilities of ghetto leadership. An epic play with music and song.

The Cannibals
by George Tabori
The children of murder victims assemble to enact ritually the destruction of their fathers in the presence of two survivors. As the sons become their fathers, the most profound ethical questions of the Holocaust are raised concerning the limits of humanity in a world of absolute evil. A daring tragicomedy.

Who Will Carry the Word?
by Charlotte Delbo (translated by Cynthia Haft)
In the austere, degraded setting of a concentration camp, twenty-two French women attempt to keep their sanity and hope as, one by one, they fall victim to the Nazi terror. Will anyone believe the story of the survivors? A poetic drama of resistance and witness.

The Theatre of the Holocaust, Volume 2 Cover

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The Theatre of the Holocaust, Volume 2

Six Plays

Edited and with and introduction by Robert Skloot

This second volume of The Theatre of the Holocaust, when combined with the first, represents the most significant and comprehensive international collection of plays on the Holocaust. Since the appearance of Volume 1 in 1982, theatre and Holocaust studies have undergone astonishing transformations. In Volume 2, Skloot presents six plays acknowleding the most recent theatrical forms in our post-modern age.

Theatres of Independence Cover

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Theatres of Independence

Drama, Theory, and Urban Performance in India since 1947

Theatres of Independence is the first comprehensive study of drama, theatre, and urban performance in post-independence India. Combining theatre history with theoretical analysis and literary interpretation, Aparna Dharwadker examines the unprecedented conditions for writing and performance that the experience of new nationhood created in a dozen major Indian languages and offers detailed discussions of the major plays, playwrights, directors, dramatic genres, and theories of drama that have made the contemporary Indian stage a vital part of postcolonial and world theatre.The first part of Dharwadker's study deals with the new dramatic canon that emerged after 1950 and the variety of ways in which plays are written, produced, translated, circulated, and received in a multi-lingual national culture. The second part traces the formation of significant postcolonial dramatic genres from their origins in myth, history, folk narrative, sociopolitical experience, and the intertextual connections between Indian, European, British, and American drama. The book's ten appendixes collect extensive documentation of the work of leading playwrights and directors, as well as a record of the contemporary multilingual performance histories of major Indian, Western, and non-Western plays from all periods and genres. Treating drama and theatre as strategically interrelated activities, the study makes post-independence Indian theatre visible as a multifaceted critical subject to scholars of modern drama, comparative theatre, theatre history, and the new national and postcolonial literatures.

Theatricality as Medium Cover

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Theatricality as Medium

Samuel Weber

Ever since Aristotle's Poetics, both the theory and the practice of theater have been governed by the assumption that it is a form of representation dominated by what Aristotle calls the mythos,or the plot.This conception of theater has subordinated characteristics related to the theatrical medium, such as the process and place of staging, to the demands of a unified narrative. This readable, thought-provoking, and multidisciplinary study explores theatrical writings that question this aesthetical-generic conception and seek instead to work with the medium of theatricality itself. Beginning with Plato, Samuel Weber tracks the uneasy relationships among theater, ethics, and philosophy through Aristotle, the major Greek tragedians, Shakespeare, Kierkegaard, Kafka, Freud, Benjamin, Artaud, and many others who develop alternatives to dominant narrative-aesthetic assumptions about the theatrical medium. His readings also interrogate the relation of theatricality to the introduction of electronic media. The result is to show that, far from breaking with the characteristics of live staged performance, the new media intensify ambivalences about place and identity already at work in theater since the Greeks. Praise for Samuel Weber: What kind of questioning is primarily after something other than an answer that can be measured . . . in cognitive terms? Those interested in the links between modern philosophy nd media culture will be impressed by the unusual intellectual clarity and depth with which Weber formulates the . . . questions that constiture the true challenge to cultural studies today. . . . one of our most important cultural critics and thinkers-MLN

Three Comedies Cover

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Three Comedies

Behind the Scenes in Eden, Rigmaroles, and The Other William

By Jaime Salom, Edited and translated by Gregary J. Racz, Translated by Phyllis Zatlin and Marion Peter Holt

"Jaime Salom has been recognized for decades as one of Spain's most important contemporary dramatists and his work produced throughout the Spanish-speaking Americas . . . . These sparkling translations will surely encourage English language readers and producers to become better acquainted with the work of this engaging and stimulating dramatist. . . . These three witty meditations on theatre, art, sexuality and power have been engagingly rendered into English by three of America's finest Spanish translators, Marion Peter Holt, Gregary J. Racz, and Phyllis Zatlin. The book also contains some excellent supplementary material in the form of a substantial introduction to the life and work of Salom, a complete listing of plays and premieres, a useful selected bibliography, and sixteen interesting production photographs, five of them of the works in this collection."—Bulletin of Spanish Studies

Three Comedies represents the first English-language collection of plays by Jaime Salom, one of Spain's most important contemporary dramatists. His forty-plus works encompass an impressive array of subgenres, including domestic dramas, mysteries, political allegories, historical comedies, metaphysical meditations, and tales of Spanish life. Best known for his veiled critiques of Francisco Franco's regime, Salom went on to explore less overtly politicized themes following the dictator's death in 1975. This welcome new volume features a trio of comedies from his later phase that offer acute insight into life under the eased restraints of a nominally democratic Spain. Included in this collection are Behind the Scenes in Eden (1978; Rigmaroles (1990),; and The Other William (1998). All three comedies revel in the foibles of protagonists who, in their search for self-determination, never quite manage to escape the specter of tyrannical authority.

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Titabet and the Takumbeng

Titabet and the Takumbeng is a play that relives the unprecedented political upheaval of the 1992 first ever multiparty presidential elections in Cameroon. Following the controversial elections, Bamenda - the stronghold of the main opposition party, the Social Democratic Front (SDF) - was plunged into a tense and intense civil disobedience campaign. The violence which ensued pitted SDF militants who claimed their victory was stolen against regime loyalists. The government reacted by imposing a curfew on Bamenda. The army that was dispatched to keep the peace committed ferocious kidnapping, rape, theft and torture, driving women, children and men into the arms of terror. Titabet the protagonist emerges as the leader of the oppressed. He and the sacred women's cult of Takumbeng were the only hope for the people. The sacred cleansing cult and Titabet's courageous resistance apparently brought an end to what would have been too devastating a tale to narrate. Kehbuma Langmia teaches courses in Mass Communications, Broadcast Journalism and Media Studies at Bowie State University. With previous degrees in fine arts, television and film, he earned his PhD in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Howard University. He also has an MA degree in theatre arts from the University of Yaound?, Cameroon. He is also a graduate from the Television Academy in Munich, Germany. Dr. Langmia writes, produces and directs independent productions, and serves as executive producer for students' television projects at Bowie State University.

The Tragedy of Mr No Balance Cover

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The Tragedy of Mr No Balance

This play is a must watch for anyone who is frustrated because of corruption and hopeless about its eradication.

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