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This Critical Companion to the American Stage Musical provides the perfect introductory text for students of theatre, music and cultural studies. It traces the history and development of the industry and art form in America with a particular focus on its artistic and commercial development in New York City from the early 20th century to the present. Emphasis is placed on commercial, artistic and cultural events that influenced the Broadway musical for an ever-renewing, increasingly broad and diverse audience: the Gilded Age, the Great Depression, the World War II era, the British invasion in the 1980s and the media age at the turn of the twenty-first century. Supplementary essays by leading scholars provide detailed focus on the American musical's production and preservation, as well as its influence on daily life on the local, national, and international levels. For students, these essays provide models of varying approaches and interpretation, equipping them with the skills and understanding to develop their own analysis of key productions.
The Theatre of Eugene O'Neill offers a new comprehensive overview of O'Neill's career and plays in the context of the American theatre. Organised thematically, it considers his Modernist intervention in the theatre, offers readers detailed analysis of the plays, and assesses the recent resurgence in his reputation and new approaches to staging his work. It includes a study of all his major plays - The Emperor Jones, The Hairy Ape, The Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey into Night, A Moon for the Misbegotten and Desire Under the Elms - besides numerous other full length and one act dramas. Eugene O'Neill is generally credited with inventing modern American drama, in a time of cultural ferment and lively artistic and intellectual change. Yet O'Neill's theatrical instincts were always shaped by American stage traditions that were inextricable from his sense of himself and his own national culture. This study shows that his theatrical modernism represents not so much a break from these traditions as a reinvention of their scope and significance in the context of international stage modernism, offering an image of national culture and character that opens new possibilities for the stage while remaining rooted in its past. Kurt Eisen traces O'Neill's Modernism throughout the dramatists's work: his attempts to break from the themes, plots, and moral conventions of the traditional melodramatic theatre; his experiments in stagecraft and theme, and their connection to traditional theatre and his European modernist contemporaries; the turn toward direct and indirect self-representation; and his critique of the family and of American 'pipe dreams' and the allure of success. The volume additionally features four contributed essays providing further critical perspectives on O'Neill's work, besides a chronology of the writer's life and times.
Drawing on major new archival discoveries and recent research, Patrick Lonergan presents an innovative account of Irish drama and theatre, spanning the past seventy years. Rather than offering a linear narrative, the volume traces key themes to illustrate the relationship between theatre and changes in society. In considering internationalization, the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Celtic Tiger period, feminism, and the changing status of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Lonergan asserts the power of theatre to act as an agent of change and uncovers the contribution of individual artists, plays and productions in challenging societal norms. Irish Drama and Theatre since 1950 provides a wide-ranging account of major developments, combined with case studies of the premiere or revival of major plays, the establishment of new companies and the influence of international work and artists, including Tennessee Williams, Chekhov and Brecht. While bringing to the fore some of the untold stories and overlooked playwrights following the declaration of the Irish Republic, Lonergan weaves into his account the many Irish theatre-makers who have achieved international prominence in the period: Samuel Beckett, Siobhán McKenna and Brendan Behan in the 1950s, continuing with Brian Friel and Tom Murphy, and concluding with the playwrights who emerged in the late 1990s, including Martin McDonagh, Enda Walsh, Conor McPherson, Marie Jones and Marina Carr. The contribution of major Irish companies to world theatre is also examined, including both the Abbey and Gate theatres, as well as Druid, Field Day and Charabanc. Through its engaging analysis of seventy years of Irish theatre, this volume charts the acts of gradual but revolutionary change that are the story of Irish theatre and drama and of its social and cultural contexts.
The spellbinding premiere of The Weir at the Royal Court in 1997 was the first of many works to bring Conor McPherson to the attention of the theatre-going public. Acclaimed plays followed, including Shining City, The Seafarer, The Night Alive and Girl from the North Country, garnering international acclaim and being regularly produced around the globe. McPherson has also had significant successes as a theatre director, film director and screenwriter, most notably, with his award-winning screenplay for I Went Down. This companion offers a detailed and engaging critical analysis of the plays and films of Conor McPherson. It considers issues of gender and class disparity, violence and wealth in the cultural and political contexts in which the work is written and performed, as well as the inclusion of song, sound, the supernatural, religious and pagan festive sensibilities through which initial genre perceptions are nudged elsewhere, towards the unconscious and ineffable. Supplemented by a number of contributed critical and performance perspectives, including an interview with Conor McPherson, this is a book to be read by theatre audiences, performance-makers and students who wish to explore, contextualize and situate McPherson's provocative, exquisite and generation-defining writings and performances.
Revised and updated edition of this popular Companion, containing five completely new chapters.
The Cambridge Companion to the Musical provides an accessible introduction to one of the liveliest and most popular forms of musical performance. Written by a team of specialists in the field of musical theatre especially for students and theatregoers, it offers a guide to the history and development of the musical in England and America (including coverage of New York s Broadway and London s West End traditions). Starting with the early history of the musical, the volume comes right up to date and examines the latest works and innovations, and includes information on the singers, audience and critical reception, and traditions. There is fresh coverage of the American musical theatre in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the British musical theatre in the middle of the twentieth century, and the rock musical. The Companion contains an extensive bibliography and photos from key productions.
The Plays of Samuel Beckett provides a stimulating analysis of Beckett's entire dramatic oeuvre, encompassing his stage, radio and television plays. Ideal for students, this major study combines analysis of each play by Katherine Weiss with interveiws and essays from practitioners and scholars.

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