Playwrights for Tomorrow was first published in 1975. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
This twelfth volume in the series of collections of plays by writers who have worked under the auspices of the Office for Advanced Drama Research (O.A.D.R.) at the University of Minnesota contains four plays and an introduction by Arthur H. Ballet. The O.A.D.R., of which Professor Ballet is the director, is an experimental project which provides promising playwrights with the opportunity to work with cooperating theatres in the production of their plays.
The plays which make up this collection are The Root by McCarthy Coyle, Wilson by George Greanias, A Lean and Hungry Priest by Warren Kliewer, and A Bunch of the Gods Were Sitting Around One Day by James Spencer. The plays by Mr. Coyle and by Mr. Spencer were produced at the American Conservatory Theatre of San Francisco. Mr. Greanias's play was staged at the Alley Theatre in Houston, and Mr. Kliewer's was given, in an earlier version, at the Scorpio Rising Theatre, Los Angeles.
In his introduction Professor Ballet points out that works by playwrights in the O.A.D.R. program have been produced not only in cooperating theatres in the United States but in Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, and Canada as well. It grows increasingly difficult, he writes, to find playhouses willing to risk an "imperfect" new play and playwright or to challenge their audiences to dare explore unknown dramatic and theatrical territory. "More dangerous still," he comments, "has been the tendency for some directors to make theatre their own, highly personal art. Many important, and many more unimportant, theatres have become showcases for artistic directors who impose their will on all work, old or new."