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Three Plays: Melissa Arctic, Orange Flower Water, and The Pavilion
by Craig Wright
foreword by Jane Hamilton
Northwestern University Press, 2012
eISBN: 978-0-8101-6601-1 | Paper: 978-0-8101-2814-9
Library of Congress Classification PS3573.R5322A6 2012
Dewey Decimal Classification 812.54


Craig Wright is one of the most widely produced, consistently entertaining playwrights of his generation. The three plays gathered in this volume—Melissa Arctic (winner of the 2005 Helen Hayes Award), Orange Flower Water, and The Pavilion—are all set in the fictional town of Pine City, Minnesota. The plays share a focus on love and relationships and feature a consistent undercurrent of observation and speculation about the nature of time. Melissa Arctic brings Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale into the present, retaining the original’s captivating mix of the comic and tragic. A brutally frank exploration of marriage, Orange Flower Water examines the irresistible lure and poisonous effects of unrealistic expectations within love, and portrays the inescapably compromised contours of relationships founded on adultery. The Pavilion, a lyrical and rueful homage to Our Town, is a meditation on dashed dreams and unquenchable hopes, set at a twenty-year high school reunion. In all three plays, Wright shows himself to be one of the most perceptive and engaging playwrights working today.

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