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The Stage and Staging
Some of the most famous plays in the English language were performed on the stage of the Rose theater, which stood on the Bankside in Elizabethan London. Henslowe's Rose is the first full-length study of this important theater.
Rhodes gives as full an account as the evidence of contemporary pictures and documents permits of those Rose, the method of its construction, its general plan, its repertory of plays, and its staging. From the action of these plays he deduces the form of the stage itself and the nature of its facilities. The total of five openings in the walls at stage-level is of particular significance, since the most widely held conception of the Shakespearean stage has been based primarily on the De Witt sketch of the Swan theater, showing a two-opening façade.
The contemporary pictorial evidence used by Rhodes is reproduced in this volume for the convenience of the reader. In addition many sketches and plans illustrate Rhodes's findings, which are summed up in a photograph of a model built to specifications derived from such sources as Henslowe's diary, contemporary pictures of the outside of the Rose, and the Vitruvian theater plan.
On the Ideology of Restoration Tragedy
To understand the cultural history of England during the Restoration, one need look no further than the theater, which was attended by the gentry as well as by members of the middle and lower classes. The theater of this period embodied the values, meanings, and power relations of Restoration England. In Heroes and States, Douglas Canfield argues that drama not only represents but actually helps constitute the value and belief systems of an entire culture.
Heroes and States completes Canfield's two-volume cultural history of Restoration drama, begun in Tricksters and Estates: On the Ideology of Restoration Comedy. In this second volume Canfield shows how Restoration playwrights attempted to rein scribe late-feudal aristocratic ideology after the English Civil War.
In the serious drama of the period, conflict is between noble heroes, upon whom states are built, and transgressors of the established order -- tyrants, traitors, usurpers, rapists, and atheists. Canfield considers several sub genres of tragedy. He argues that most of these sub genres reaffirm the older ideology after testing it in the fires of conflict. Tragical satire, on the other hand, the most subversive of these sub genres, exposes the failure of the ruling class to live up to its own codes and, in some cases, the absurdity of the codes themselves.
Canfield also finds playwrights struggling with issues of race and colonialism. He uses the work of modern theorists such as Bakhtin, Girard, Kristeva, Derrida, Althusser, Williams, and Eagleton to illuminate aspects of his inquiries. Restoration tragedy stands on the cusp of a cultural transition from a late feudal to an early bourgeois ideology, and the issues and themes addressed in the theater validate the culture and politics of seventeenth-century England.
Mention southern drama at a cocktail party or in an American literature survey, and you may hear cries for "Stella!" or laments for "gentleman callers." Yet southern drama depends on much more than a menagerie of highly strung spinsters and steel magnolias.
Charles Watson explores this field from its eighteenth- and nineteenth-century roots through the southern Literary Renaissance and Tennessee Williams's triumphs to the plays of Horton Foote, winner of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize. Such well known modern figures as Lillian Hellman and DuBose Heyward earn fresh looks, as does Tennessee Williams's changing depiction of the South -- from sensitive analysis to outraged indictment -- in response to the Civil Rights Movement.
Watson links the work of the early Charleston dramatists and of Espy Williams, first modern dramatist of the South, to later twentieth-century drama. Strong heroines in plays of the Confederacy foreshadow the spunk of Tennessee Williams's Amanda Wingfield. Claiming that Beth Henley matches the satirical brilliance of Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor, Watson connects her zany humor to 1840s New Orleans farces.With this work, Watson has at last answered the call for a single-volume, comprehensive history of the South's dramatic literature. With fascinating detail and seasoned perception, he reveals the rich heritage of southern drama.
A Nahua Drama from Early Colonial Mexico
Identified only in 1986, the Nahuatl Holy Week play is the earliest known dramatic script in any Native American language. In Holy Wednesday, Louise Burkhart presents side-by-side English translations of the Nahuatl play and its Spanish source. An accompanying commentary analyzes the differences between the two versions to reveal how the native author altered the Spanish text to fit his own aesthetic sensibility and the broader discursive universe of the Nahua church. A richly detailed introduction places both works and their creators within the cultural and political contexts of late sixteenth-century Mexico and Spain.
Giovan Maria Cecchi (1517–1587) was the most prolific and popular of sixteenth-century Florentine daramatists. His best-known play, L’Assiuolo (The Horned Owl), brings to the stage the amorous adventure of two students at the university of Pisa who fall in love with the same married lady. Through a servant’s ruse they both succeed in gratifying their senses and in establishing a love affair that will see them through their undergraduate career.
Plays for Preschoolers
Young children love to explore their world through drama—characters, dialogue, story arcs, and props are all standard elements of a child’s play. It is no surprise then that professional theatre has long been regarded as a way to support children’s social-emotional, cognitive, and creative development. Increasingly, there is an international interest in theatre for very young audiences, and the Wall Street Journal reported on a “baby boom” in American theatre, with a marked upswing in the number of stage plays being written and produced for toddlers and preschoolers.
Fueled by ongoing research into developmental psychology and theatre arts, the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) of Minneapolis presents in this book four of its newly commissioned plays for preschoolers. CTC is widely recognized as the leading theatre for young people and families in North America; it received the 2003 Tony award for regional theatre, and Time magazine rated it the number one children’s theatre in the United States. These four plays encompass a broad range of styles and subjects: Bert and Ernie, Goodnight! is a musical about Bert and Ernie’s unlikely but true friendship, written by Barry Kornhauser and based on the original songs and scripts from Sesame Street. The Biggest Little House in the Forest is a toy-theatre play about a group of diverse animals trying to share a very tiny home, adapted by Rosanna Staffa from the book by Djemma Bider. The Cat’s Journey is a dazzling shadow-puppet play with a little girl who rides on a friendly cat, written by Fabrizio Montecchi. And Victoria Stewart’s Mercy Watson to the Rescue!, adapted from the Kate DiCamillo Mercy Watson series, is a comic romp featuring the inadvertent heroics of everyone’s favorite porcine wonder.
While these plays are as different as they could be, they all help young children to develop a moral compass and critical-thinking skills—while also showing them the power of the theatre to amaze, delight, and inspire.
Joseph Wittreich reveals Samson to be an intensely political work that reflects the heroic ambitions and failings of the Puritan Revolution and the tragic ambiguities of the era. He sees in the work not the purveyance of Medieval and early Renaissance typological associations but an interrogation of them and a consequent movement away from them.
Originally published in 1986.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
The Theatre of Adrienne Kennedy
Iredi War was the winner of The Nigeria Prize for Literature 2014. The playwright introduces the notion of �folk script� with its special stamp. The use of the oral literature genre allows for the full exploitation of the creative licence which allows for the swings from the historical to the oral, the natural to the supernatural, the real to the fantastic.