Acts of Dramaturgy is a critical frame for Michael Pinchbeck’s The Shakespeare Trilogy, a recent touring project comprising three performances—The Beginning, The Middle, and The End—that explored the role of the dramaturg. This book sets the playtexts in dialogue with reflexive essays and provocations on contemporary dramaturgy from a range of contributors.
Weaving together different modes of writing, the volume reflects on the politics of dramaturgy, authorship, adaptation, performance, and the use of Shakespeare as a stimulus for making contemporary theater. The resulting work is as much a reflection on the entanglements of processes, lineages, and relations that have shaped the work and its reception as it is an exploration of ways of reflecting and being with practice now. A valuable new contribution to the study of contemporary dramaturgy, the book will be of interest to makers and scholars of theater and performance and anyone interested in practice research and creative critical writing.
Federico García Lorca (1898–1936) had enormous impact on the generation of American poets who came of age during the cold war, from Robert Duncan and Allen Ginsberg to Robert Creeley and Jerome Rothenberg. In large numbers, these poets have not only translated his works, but written imitations, parodies, and pastiches—along with essays and critical reviews. Jonathan Mayhew’s Apocryphal Lorca is an exploration of the afterlife of this legendary Spanish writer in the poetic culture of the United States.
The book examines how Lorca in English translation has become a specifically American poet, adapted to American cultural and ideological desiderata—one that bears little resemblance to the original corpus, or even to Lorca’s Spanish legacy. As Mayhew assesses Lorca’s considerable influence on the American literary scene of the latter half of the twentieth century, he uncovers fundamental truths about contemporary poetry, the uses and abuses of translation, and Lorca himself.
As in her Tony Award–winning Metamorphoses, Mary Zimmerman transforms Greek mythology—here the story of Jason and the Argonauts—into a mesmerizing piece of theater. Encountering an array of daunting challenges in their “first voyage of the world,” Jason and his crew illustrate the essence of all such journeys to follow—their unpredictability, their inspiring and overwhelming breadth of emotion, their lessons in the inevitability of failure and loss. Bursts of humor and fantastical creatures enrich a story whose characters reveal remarkable complexity. Medea is profoundly sympathetic even as the seeds are sown for the monstrous life ahead of her, and the brute strength of Hercules leaves him no less vulnerable to the vicissitudes of love. Zimmerman brings to Argonautika her trademark ability to encompass the full range of human experience in a work as entertaining as it is enlightening.
No American playwright is more revered on the international stage than Arthur Miller. In Arthur Miller’s Global Theater—a fascinating collection of new essays by leading international critics and scholars—readers learn how and why audiences around the world have responded to the work of the late theatrical icon. With perspectives from diverse corners of the globe, from Israel to Japan to South Africa, this groundbreaking volume explores the challenges of translating one of the most American of American playwrights and details how disparate nations have adapted meaning in Miller’s most celebrated dramas.
An original and engaging collection that will appeal to theater aficionados, scholars, students, and all those interested in Miller and his remarkable oeuvre, Arthur Miller’s Global Theater illustrates how dramas such as Death of a Salesman,The Crucible, and A View from the Bridge developed a vigorous dialogue with new audiences when they crossed linguistic and national borders. In these times when problems of censorship, repressive regimes, and international discord are increasingly in the news, Arthur Miller’s voice has never been more necessary as it continues to be heard and celebrated around the world.
Enoch Brater is the Kenneth T. Rowe Collegiate Professor of Dramatic Literature at the University of Michigan. His other books include Arthur Miller: A Playwright’s Life and Works and Arthur Miller’s America.
This magical account of King Arthur’s last night on earth, rediscovered in a collection of T. H. White’s papers at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, spent twenty-six weeks on the New York Times bestseller list following its publication in 1977. While preparing for his final, fatal battle with his bastard son, Mordred, Arthur returns to the Animal Council with Merlyn, where the deliberations center on ways to abolish war. More self-revealing than any other of White’s books, Merlyn shows his mind at work as he agonized over whether to join the fight against Nazi Germany while penning the epic that would become The Once and Future King. The Book of Merlyn has been cited as a major influence by such illustrious writers as Kazuo Ishiguro, J. K. Rowling, Helen Macdonald, Neil Gaiman, and Lev Grossman.
“Arriving from beyond the curve of time and apparently from the grave, The Book of Merlyn stirs its own pages, saying, wait: you didn’t get the whole story. . . . It gives us a final glimpse of those two immortal characters, Wart and Merlyn, up close, slo-mo, with a considered and affectionate scrutiny. The book is an elegiac posting from a master storyteller of the twentieth century. Its reissue in our next century is just as welcome as when it first arrived forty years ago. . . . Certainly the moral questions about the military use of force perplex the world still. . . . The efficacy of treaties, the trading of insults among the potentates of the day, the testing of weapons, the weaponizing of trade—these strategies are still front and center. Rather terrifyingly so. We do well to revisit what that old schoolteacher of children, Merlyn, has been trying to point out to us about power and responsibility.”
—Gregory Maguire, from the foreword
The romance genre was a popular literary form among writers and readers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but since then it has often been dismissed as juvenile, unmodern, improper, or subversive. In this study, William J. Scheick seeks to recover the place of romance in fin-de-siècle England and America; to distinguish among its subgenres of eventuary, aesthetic, and ethical romance; and to reinstate ethical romance as a major mode of artistic expression.
Scheick argues that the narrative maneuvers of ethical romance dissolve the boundary between fiction and fact. In contrast to eventuary romances, which offer easily consumed entertainment, or aesthetic romances, which urge upon readers a passive appreciation of a wondrous work of art, ethical romances potentially disorient and reorient their readers concerning some metaphysical insight hidden within the commonplace. They prompt readers to question what is real and what is true, and to ponder the wonder of life and the text of the self, there to detect what the reader might do in the art of his or her own life
The authors whose works Scheick discusses are Nathaniel Hawthorne, H. Rider Haggard, Henry James, C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne, H. G. Wells, John Kendrick Bangs, Gilbert K. Chesterton, Richard Harding Davis, Stephen Crane, Mary Austin, Jack London, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mary Cholmondeley, and Rudyard Kipling. This wide selection expands the canon to include writers and works that highly merit re-reading by a new generation.
What happens when a woman dares to imagine herself a hero? Questing, she sets out for unknown regions. Lighting a torch, she elicits from the darkness stories never told or heard before. The woman hero sails against the tides of great legends that recount the adventures of heroic men, legends deemed universal, timeless, and essential to our understanding of the natural order that holds us and completes us in its spiral. Yet these myths and rituals do not fulfill her need for an empowering self-image nor do they grant her the mobility she requires to imagine, enact, and represent her quest for authentic self-knowledge.
The Feminization of Quest-Romance proposes that a female quest is a revolutionary step in both literary and cultural terms. Indeed, despite the difficulty that women writers face in challenging myths, rituals, psychological theories, and literary conventions deemed universal by a culture that exalts masculine ideals and universalizes male experience, a number of revolutionary texts have come into existence in the second half of the twentieth century by such American women writers as Jean Stafford, Mary McCarthy, Anne Moody, Marilynne Robinson, and Mona Simpson, all of them working to redefine the literary portrayal of American women's quests. They work, in part, by presenting questing female characters who refuse to accept the roles accorded them by restrictive social norms, even if it means sacrificing themselves in the name of rebellion. In later texts, female heroes survive their "lighting out" experiences to explore diverse alternatives to the limiting roles that have circumscribed female development.
This study of The Mountain Lion, Memories of a Catholic Girlhood, Coming of Age in Mississippi, Housekeeping, and Anywhere but Here identifies transformations of the quest-romance that support a viable theory of female development and offer literary patterns that challenge the male monopoly on transformative knowledge and heroic action.
Sayyidi wa Habibi (My Master and My Love) is a novel by acclaimed Lebanese author Hoda Barakat, abridged in the original Arabic in this volume for learners of Arabic at the advanced low proficiency level. Designed as a supplementary text that adds variety and fun to a regular course on Arabic, it is complete with exercises that guide learners through the story and help them improve their Arabic skills, introducing learners of the language to the world of contemporary Arabic literature and improving their knowledge of Arabic culture.
Set against the backdrop of the Lebanese Civil War, this intriguing novel relates the struggles of Wadie, a young man who leaves school and becomes corrupted by crime, and his wife, Samia, who flees with him to Cyprus. Universal questions of existence are masterfully portrayed through eloquent prose that keeps readers engaged until the last line. Laila Familiar provides introductory materials, a short biography of the author, and exercises that develop linguistic and cultural competencies. Audio files of Barakat reading five passages from the work, along with a recorded interview, are available free on the press website in order to help students improve their listening skills.
This authorized version of the abridged text of Sayyidi wa Habibi will be warmly embraced by college and university students of Arabic as well as by independent learners.
“Charming and captivating, these authentic and little-known Japanese folktales are told clearly and simply, making them easily accessible to young listeners at home or in the classroom. Thoughtful comments and notes from the two tellers provide clear tips for successful telling, along with a very useful glossary. If you tell stories to children, this is a must-purchase book!”
—Sherry Norfolk, Storyteller, Author and Teaching Artist
An Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology exposes students to the cultural detail and personal experiences that lie in the anthropological record and extends their anthropological understanding to contemporary issues.
The book is divided into three parts that focus on the main themes of the discipline: ecological adaptations, structural arrangements, and interpretive meanings. Each chapter provides an overview of a particular topic and then presents two case examples that illuminate the range of variation in traditional and contemporary societies. New case examples include herders’ climate change adaptations in the Arctic, matrilineal Muslims in Indonesia, Google’s AI winning the Asian game Go, mass migration in China, cross-cultural differences in the use of social media, and the North American response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Instructors will also have digital access to all the book’s illustrations for class review.
Covering the full range of sociocultural anthropology in a compact approach, this revised and updated edition of Cultural Anthropology: Adaptations, Structures, Meanings is a holistic, accessible, and socially relevant guide to the discipline for students at all levels.
The tale of young Hannah, who loves above all else to sing. What worse curse could have been visited upon her than this: she has been sent to live with her aunt and uncle in a sorrowful town where music itself is banned from its grim and cobbled streets. What woe has befallen this town? Why are there no children? Why are there no rats?
Hannah will discover the answers to these dread questions in the wilderness wastes, under a mountain. There she discovers a secret orchestra, held captive by an ancient conductor, who remembers his glorious youth – when no-one could resist the beauty he could make with his flute. Could our Hannah be the bridge between two ancient enemies? Might the ghosts of the rats come to her aid? And, most importantly, will she sing once again?
Within its 200,000 verse lines in Sanskrit the Mahabharata takes on many roles: epic poem, foundational text of Hinduism, and, more broadly, the engaging story of a dynastic struggle and the passing of an age when man and gods intermingled. David R. Slavitt’s sparkling new edition condenses the epic for the general reader.
At its core, the Mahabharata is the story of the rivalry between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, two related noble families who are struggling for control of a kingdom in ancient northern India. Slavitt’s readable, plot-driven, single-volume account describes an arc from the conception and birth of Bhishma to that hero's death, while also introducing the four goals of life at the center of Hinduism: dharma (righteousness, morality, duty), artha (purpose), kāma (pleasure), and moksa (spiritual liberation). The Mahabharata is engaging, thrilling, funny, charming, and finally awesome, with a range in timbre from the impish naivete of fairy tales to the solemnity of our greatest epics, and this single-volume edition is the best introduction available.
To posterity, William Shakespeare may be the Bard of Avon, but to mid-seventeenth-century theatergoers he was just another dramatist. Yet barely a century later, he was England’s most popular playwright and a household name. In this intriguing study, Don-John Dugas explains how these changes came about and sealed Shakespeare’s reputation even before David Garrick performed his work on the London stage.
Mulan, the warrior maiden who performed heroic deeds in battle while dressed as a male soldier, has had many incarnations from her first appearance as a heroine in an ancient Chinese folk ballad. Mulan’s story was retold for centuries, extolling the filial virtue of the young woman who placed her father's honor and well-being above her own. With the publication of Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior in the late 1970s, Mulan first became familiar to American audiences who were fascinated with the extraordinary Asian American character. Mulan’s story was recast yet again in the popular 1998 animated Disney film and its sequel.
In Mulan’s Legend and Legacy in China and the United States, Lan Dong traces the development of this popular icon and asks, "Who is the real Mulan?" and "What does authenticity mean for the critic looking at this story?" Dong charts this character’s literary voyage across historical and geographical borders, discussing the narratives and images of Mulan over a long time span—from premodern China to the contemporary United States to Mulan’s counter-migration back to her homeland.
As Dong shows, Mulan has been reinvented repeatedly in both China and the United States so that her character represents different agendas in each retelling—especially after she reached the western hemisphere. The dutiful and loyal daughter, the fierce, pregnant warrior, and the feisty teenaged heroine—each is Mulan representing an idea about female virtue at a particular time and place.
At last, for those who adapt literature into scripts, a how-to book that illuminates the process of creating a stageworthy play. Page to Stage describes the essential steps for constructing adaptations for any theatrical venue, from the college classroom to a professionally produced production. Acclaimed director Vincent Murphy offers students in theater, literary studies, and creative writing a clear and easy-to-use guidebook on adaptation. Its step-by-step process will be valuable to professional theater artists as well, and for script writers in any medium. Murphy defines six essential building blocks and strategies for a successful adaptation, including theme, dialogue, character, imagery, storyline, and action. Exercises at the end of each chapter lead readers through the transformation process, from choosing their material to creating their own adaptations. The book provides case studies of successful adaptations, including The Grapes of Wrath (adaptation by Frank Galati) and the author's own adaptations of stories by Samuel Beckett and John Barth. Also included is practical information on building collaborative relationships, acquiring rights, and getting your adaptation produced.
Reynard—a subversive, dashing, anarchic, aristocratic, witty fox from the watery lowlands of medieval East Flanders—is in trouble. He has been summoned to the court of King Noble the Lion, charged with all manner of crimes and misdemeanors. How will he pit his wits against his accusers—greedy Bruin the Bear, pretentious Courtoys the Hound, and dark and dangerous Isengrim the Wolf—to escape the gallows?
Reynard was once the most popular and beloved character in European folklore, as familiar as Robin Hood, King Arthur, or Cinderella. His character spoke eloquently for the voiceless and disenfranchised, but also amused and delighted the elite, capturing hearts and minds across borders and societal classes for centuries. Based on William Caxton’s bestselling 1481 English translation of the Middle Dutch, this edition is an imaginative retelling of the Reynard story, expanded with new interpretations and innovative language and characterizations. With its themes of protest, resistance, and duplicity led by a personable, anti-heroic Fox, this gripping tale is as relevant and controversial today as it was in the fifteenth century.
Saaq al-Bambuu (The Bamboo Stalk) by Kuwaiti novelist Saud al-Sanousi provides students at the intermediate-advanced Arabic language level the opportunity to engage with an award-winning work of contemporary fiction. This abridged version has been approved by the author, authenticating the richness of a text that offers students the means to develop vocabulary and reading fluency while sensitizing them to the stylistics of the language. The novel is a coming-of-age story of a half-Filippino, half-Kuwaiti teen who returns to his father's Kuwait. There, he explores his own identity as a poor Filipino in a culture he does not know well and receives a mixed welcome from his own wealthy relatives. Universal concepts of identity, faith, belonging, poverty/wealth, and otherness are explored through a poetic narrative and engaging plot that will keep students captivated from the first line to the very last page.
Included within the book are chapter exercises that develop linguistic and cultural competencies, a short biography of the author, and glossaries of literary terms and devices. As with Laila Familiar's Sayyidi wa Habibi, this authorized version of the abridged text by a contemporary Arabic author will be warmly embraced by college and university students of Arabic as well as by independent learners.
Filmmakers have long been drawn to the Gothic with its eerie settings and promise of horror lurking beneath the surface. Moreover, the Gothic allows filmmakers to hold a mirror up to their own age and reveal society's deepest fears. Franco Zeffirelli's Jane Eyre, Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet are just a few examples of film adaptations of literary Gothic texts. In this ground-breaking study, Lisa Hopkins explores how the Gothic has been deployed in these and other contemporary films and comes to some surprising conclusions. For instance, in a brilliant chapter on films geared to children, Hopkins finds that horror resides not in the trolls, wizards, and goblins that abound in Harry Potter, but in the heart of the family.
Screening the Gothic offers a radical new way of understanding the relationship between film and the Gothic as it surveys a wide range of films, many of which have received scant critical attention. Its central claim is that, paradoxically, those texts whose affiliations with the Gothic were the clearest became the least Gothic when filmed. Thus, Hopkins surprises readers by revealing Gothic elements in films such as Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park, as well as exploring more obviously Gothic films like The Mummy and The Fellowship of the Ring. Written in an accessible and engaging manner, Screening the Gothic will be of interest to film lovers as well as students and scholars.
Since 2003 the characters from this story have had a highly visible presence in nearly every genre of popular culture: two major films, a literary sequel to the original adventures, a graphic novel featuring a grown-up Wendy Darling, and an Argentinean novel about a children's book writer inspired by J. M. Barrie. Simultaneously, Barrie surfaced as the subject of two major biographies and a feature film. The engaging essays in Second Star to the Right approach Pan from literary, dramatic, film, television, and sociological perspectives and, in the process, analyze his emergence and preservation in the cultural imagination.
Mary Zimmerman’s The Secret in the Wings adapts a group of lesser-known fairy tales to create a theatrical work that sets their dark mystery against her signature wit and humor. The framing story concerns a child and the frightening babysitter with whom her parents leave her. As the babysitter reads from a book, the characters in each of the tales materialize, with each tale breaking off just at its bleakest moment before giving way to the next one.
The central tale is told without interruption, after which each previous tale is successively resumed, with each looming disaster averted. As in Zimmerman’s other productions, here she uses costumes, props, sets, and lighting to brilliant effect, creating images and feelings that render the fairy tales in all their elemental and enduring power.
Should we draw an analogy between Shakespeare’s tyrants—Richard III, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and King Lear—and Donald Trump? In Shakespeare and Trump, Jeffrey Wilson applies literary criticism to real life, examining plot, character, villainy, soliloquy, tragedy, myth, and metaphor to identify the formal features of the Trump phenomenon, and its hidden causes, structure, and meanings.
Wilsonapproaches his comparison prismatically. He first considers two high-concept (read: far-fetched) Shakespeare adaptations penned by Trump’s former chief political strategist Steve Bannon. He looks at University of Pennsylvania students protesting Trump by taking down a monument to Shakespeare. He reads Trump’s first 100 days in office against Netflix’s House of Cards. Wilson also addresses the summer 2017 Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar wherein an assassination of a Trump-ian leader caused corporations to withdraw sponsorship.
These stories reveal a surprising—and bizarre—relationship between the provincial English playwright and the billionaire President of the United States, ostensibly a medieval king living in a modern world. The comparison reveals a politics that blends villainy and comedy en route to tragedy.
Uncommon folktales and a few old favorites revived and retold for young people and tradition keepers. Folk and fairy tales celebrate different cultures and ways to see the world.
A collection of the author’s favorite folktales from his professional storytelling repertoire, retold in contemporary jargon for young reader, UNDER THE OAKEN BOUGH is an anthology which breathes new life into the folk and fairy tales of old. Professional storyteller, Simon Brooks, has written the stories he loves to tell in the style he uses on stage, whether at a library, school, college, private event or festival. Each story concludes with brief notes about the tale. This wonderful little book is a must have, not just for young people entering the realm of folk and fairy tales for themselves, but for parents who love to read to their children, teachers and librarians. The book includes a Q & A section with the author, a guide on how to tell stories, suggested reading, and a list of vocabulary words and their meanings. Half of the eighteen stories come from Europe, the remainder from the rest of the world. Some of these stories are old favorites, but inside you will find stories which can be hard to find, and seldom told. Join Simon Under the Oaken Bough and step into another realm, far, far away.
A young playwright, Thomas, has written an adaptation of the 1870 novel Venus in Fur by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (after whom the term “masochism” was coined); the novel is the story of an obsessive adulterous relationship between a man and the mistress to whom he becomes enslaved. At the end of a long day in which the actresses Thomas auditions fail to impress him, in walks Vanda, very late and seemingly clueless, but she convinces him to give her a chance. As they perform scenes from Thomas’s play, and Vanda the actor and Vanda the character gradually take control of the audition, the lines between writer, actor, director, and character begin to blur. Vanda is acting . . . or perhaps she sees in Thomas a masochist, one who desires fantasy in “real life” while writing fantasies for a living.
An exploration of gender roles and sexuality, in which desire twists and turns in on itself, Venus in Fur is also a witty, unsettling look at the art of acting—onstage and off.
Fourteen bold, dynamic, and daring women take the stage in this collection of women's lives and stories. Individually and collectively, these writers and performers speak the unspoken and perform the heretofore unperformed.
The first section includes scripts and essays about performances of the lives of Gertrude Stein, Georgia O'Keeffe, Mary Church Terrell, Charlotte Cushman, Anaïs Nin, Calamity Jane, and Mary Martin. The essays consider intriguing interpretive issues that arise when a woman performer represents another woman's life. In the second section, seven performers—Tami Spry, Jacqueline Taylor, Linda Park-Fuller, Joni Jones, Terri Galloway, Linda M. Montano, and Laila Farah—tell their own stories. Ranging from narrrative lectures (sometimes aided by slides and props) to theatrical performances, their works wrest comic and dramatic meaning from a world too often chaotic and painful. Their performances engage issues of sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, loss of parent, disability, life and death, and war and peace. The volume as a whole highlights issues of representation, identity, and staging in autobiographical performance. It examines the links among theory and criticism of women's autobiography, feminist performance theory, and performance practice.
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