by Jody McAuliffe
Duke University Press
Paper: 978-0-8223-6502-0

With this special issue, South Atlantic Quarterly presents five never-before-published plays by some of the brightest stars in contemporary American theater. Mysterious Actions presents works that go beyond realism and will challenge audiences’ expectations,moving them toward a revolutionary theatrical experience. The plays by Neal Bell, Nilo Cruz, Erin Cressida Wilson, Marlane Meyer, and Don DeLillo employ techniques and situations that are original and unexpected. Each is followed by a scholarly analysis by such respected critics as Fredric Jameson, José Esteban Muñoz, and Frank Lentricchia, as well as an interview with each playwright.
Monster, by Neal Bell, is a powerful adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, thrusting the violence of the novel into the sharp relief of our times. Nilo Cruz’s Two Sisters and a Piano takes an intimate look at Cuba during the collapse of the Soviet Union and contemplates the meaning of “Cubanness” in today’s culture. The Mystery at the Middle of Ordinary Life, DeLillo’s short play, meditates on the “gradually shattering” nature of human relationships. In The Trail of Her Inner Thigh, Erin Cressida Wilson follows a boy-man as he embarks on an epic journey into emotionality and sensuality with the help of the women in his life. And Marlane Meyer’s play, The Mystery of Attraction, navigates the dangerous waters of contemporary masculinity.

Contributors. Neal Bell, Nilo Cruz, Don DeLillo, Frederic Jameson, William Davies King, Frank Lentricchia, Jody McAuliffe, Marlane Meyer, José Esteban Muñoz, Teri Reynolds, Erin Cressida Wilson

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