front cover of Contradictory Characters
Contradictory Characters
An Interpretation of the Modern Theatre
Albert Bermel
Northwestern University Press, 1996
Winner of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism

Playwright and critic Albert Bermel examines thirteen modern plays to assess the underpinnings of dramatic conflict. Contradictory Characters inspects the three well-known types of dramatic conflict-between characters, between character and environment, and within the protagonist himself-and argues that the "character-against-himself" is not only a type of conflict, but is indeed the prototypical conflict underlying the others.

front cover of Five Tales for the Theatre
Five Tales for the Theatre
Carlo Gozzi
University of Chicago Press, 1989
For Count Carlo Gozzi (1720-1806), theater was a fabulous world apart, in which human beings, statues, and animals change places by magical transformations. Gozzi's stage becomes a multiscenic home for adventures, loves, enmities, and dazzling visual effects. This collection brings together for the first time modern English translations of five of Gozzi's most famous plays: The Raven, The King Stag, Turandot, The Serpent Woman, and The Green Bird, each annotated by the translators and preceded by the author's preface. Ted Emery's Introduction places Gozzi in his social and historical context, tracing his world view in both the content and the form of his tales.

In the ten works he called fiable or fairy tales, Gozzi intermingled characters from the traditional and improvised commedia dell'arte with exotic figures of his own invention. During Gozzi's lifetime, Goethe and Schiller translated and produced some of his dramas at the Weimar Theatre. In our century, the dramas have reasserted themselves under the direction of Max Reinhardt, Vsevolod Meyerhold, George Devine, and Benno Besson, as well as in operatic adaptations by Puccini and Prokofiev.

The powerful conflicts, the idyllic and fearsome settings, and the startling transformations in these plays offer exceptional opportunities to actors, directors, and designers. The lively translations are faithful to Gozzi's Italian, while being eminently playable for English-speaking audiences today. Two of the translations have already had highly successful stagings by Andrei Serban at the American Repertory Theatre and on tour.

front cover of Plays
Luigi Pirandello
Northwestern University Press, 1998

“How has the art of theater managed to survive at all into the era of modernism and the era of what is currently, however ineptly, called postmodernism?” asks preeminent theater scholar Eric Bentley. “Through the work of [Luigi] Pirandello, I should think, more than any other single individual.”  

Bentley’s English versions of four of Pirandello’s most celebrated plays—collected here for the first time—capture the playwright’s voice with remarkable perception. He has provided texts that are the standard for American productions, sensitive both to what is uniquely “Sicilian” in Pirandello’s language and to the rigors of the American stage.  

Along with Pirandello’s better-known works, Six Characters in Search of an AuthorEmperor Henry, and Right You Are, this edition includes the widely performed The Man with the Flower in His Mouth, unavailable in any other collection.  


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