Africa’s World Cup: Critical Reflections on Play, Patriotism, Spectatorship, and Spacefocuses on a remarkable month in the modern history of Africa and in the global history of football. Peter Alegi and Chris Bolsmann are well-known experts on South African football, and they have assembled an impressive team of local and international journalists, academics, and football experts to reflect on the 2010 World Cup and its broader significance, its meanings, complexities, and contradictions.
The World Cup’s sounds, sights, and aesthetics are explored, along with questions of patriotism, nationalism, and spectatorship in Africa and around the world. Experts on urban design and communities write on how the presence of the World Cup worked to refashion urban spaces and negotiate the local struggles in the hosting cities. The volume is richly illustrated by authors’ photographs, and the essays in this volume feature chronicles of match day experiences; travelogues; ethnographies of fan cultures; analyses of print, broadcast, and electronic media coverage of the tournament; reflections on the World Cup’s private and public spaces; football exhibits in South African museums; and critiques of the World Cup’s processes of inclusion and exclusion, as well as its political and economic legacies.
The volume concludes with a forum on the World Cup, including Thabo Dladla, Director of Soccer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Mohlomi Kekeletso Maubane, a well-known Soweto-based writer and a soccer researcher, and Rodney Reiners, former professional footballer and current chief soccer writer for the Cape Argus newspaper in Cape Town. This collection will appeal to students, scholars, journalists, and fans.
Cover illustration: South African fan blowing his vuvuzela at South Africa vs. France, Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein, June 22, 2010. Photo by Chris Bolsmann.
Airline Highway: A Play
Lisa D'Amour Northwestern University Press, 2015 Library of Congress PS3604.A43975A75 2015 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
Airline Highway is a rollicking play that, with great insight, humor, and subtlety, examines a tight knit community of "outsiders" over the course of a single, legendary day. The Hummingbird Hotel is the figurative or literal home for a group of strippers, French Quarter service workers, hustlers, and poets who are bound together by their bad luck, bad decisions, and complete lack of pretense. Presiding over them is Miss Ruby, a beloved former burlesque performer who has requested a funeral before she dies. As the people whose lives she has touched gather to celebrate her, they must face themselves, each other, and the consequences of the choices they have made. Airline Highway shows us the tenuous hold that community, authenticity, and real-time ritual have on a rapidly gentrifying New Orleans.
The Ambiguity of Play
Brian Sutton-Smith Harvard University Press, 1997 Library of Congress BF717.S93 1997 | Dewey Decimal 155
The Arabian Nights: A Play
Mary Zimmerman Northwestern University Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3576.I66A73 2004 | Dewey Decimal 812.54
A twelve-member cast enacts Scheherazade's tales of love, lust, comedy, and dreams. Scheherazade's cliffhanger stories prevent her husband, the cruel ruler Shahryar, from murdering her, and after 1,001 nights, Shahryar is cured of his madness, and Scheherazade returns to her family. This adaptation offers a wonderful blend of the lesser-known tales from Arabian Nights with the recurring theme of how the magic of storytelling holds the power to change people. The final scene brings the audience back to a modern day Baghdad with the wail of air raid sirens threatening the rich culture and history that are embodied by these tales.
What can the art of play teach us about the art of play? Showcasing the paintings of more than one hundred Philadelphia public elementary school children, folklorist Anna Beresin’s innovative book, The Art of Play, presents images and stories that illustrate what children do at recess, and how it makes them feel.
Beresin provides a nuanced, child-centered discussion of the intersections of play, art, and learning. She describes a widespread institutionalized fear of play and expressive art, and the transformative power of simple materials like chalk and paint. Featuring more than 150 paintings and a dozen surreal photographs of masked children enjoying recess, The Art of Play weaves together the diverse voices of kids and working artists with play scholarship.
This book emerged from Recess Access, a service-learning project that donated chalk, ropes, balls, and hoops to nine schools in different sections of Philadelphia. A portion of the proceeds of The Art of Play will support recess advocacy.
Bad guys are not allowed to have birthdays, pick blueberries, or disturb the baby. So say the four-year-olds who announce life's risks and dangers as they play out the school year in Vivian Paley's classroom.
Their play is filled with warnings. They invent chaos in order to show that everything is under control. They portray fear to prove that it can be conquered. No theme is too large or too small for their intense scrutiny. Fantasy play is their ever dependable pathway to knowledge and certainty.
" It . . . takes a special teacher to value the young child's communications sufficiently, enter into a meaningful dialogue with the youngster, and thereby stimulate more productivity without overwhelming the child with her own ideas. Vivian Paley is such a teacher."—Maria W. Piers, in the American Journal of Education
"[Mrs. Paley's books] should be required reading wherever children are growing. Mrs. Paley does not presume to understand preschool children, or to theorize. Her strength lies equally in knowing that she does not know and in trying to learn. When she cannot help children—because she can neither anticipate nor follow their thinking—she strives not to hinder them. She avoids the arrogance of adult to small child; of teacher to student; or writer to reader."—Penelope Leach, author of Your Baby & Child in the New York Times Book Review
"[Paley's] stories and interpretation argue for a new type of early childhood education . . . a form of teaching that builds upon the considerable knowledge children already have and grapple with daily in fantasy play."—Alex Raskin, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Through the 'intuitive language' of fantasy play, Paley believes, children express their deepest concerns. They act out different roles and invent imaginative scenarios to better understand the real world. Fantasy play helps them cope with uncomfortable feelings. . . . In fantasy, any device may be used to draw safe boundaries."—Ruth J. Moss, Psychology Today
Bethany: A Play
Laura Marks Northwestern University Press, 2014 Library of Congress PS3613.A7646B48 2014 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
Winner, 2014 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Emerging American Playwright Award
At the height of the foreclosure crisis, single mother Crystal loses more than her house. She struggles to stay positive, though—with plenty of help from a roommate with conspiracy theories, a motivational speaker with a secret, and her colleagues at the local Saturn dealership. But optimism is no match for a bad economy, and before long Crystal’s desperate quest to regain what she’s lost turns into the fight of her life. This darkly comic thriller explores just how far we’ll go to get back what’s ours.
Four-year-old Eli plays alone at the shore, inventing dramas out of sand and water. He is Builder, Fireman, Protector, and Scout, overcoming waves and conquering monsters. Enter Marianne and doll, Mother and Baby, eager to redefine Eli as a good father and homesteader. Their separate visions intertwine in a search for a common ground on which howling wolves and butterfly sisters can learn to understand and need one another.
What can the richly imagined, impressively adaptable fantasy world of these children tell us about childhood, development, education, and even life itself? For fifty years, teacher and writer Vivian Gussin Paley has been exploring the imagery, language, and lore of young children, asking the questions they ask of themselves.
In The Boy on the Beach she continues to do so, going deeper into the mystery of play as she follows Eli and Marianne through the kindergarten year, finding more answers and more questions. How does their teacher, Mrs. Olson, manage to honor and utilize the genius of play to create an all-inclusive community in which boys and girls like each other and listen to each other’s stories? Why is Paley’s fellow teacher Yu-ching in Taiwan certain that her children pretend to be kittens in order to become necessary to the group? And why do teachers in London see their childrens’ role-playing as the natural end to loneliness in the school community?
Rich with the words of children and teachers themselves, The Boy on the Beach is vintage Paley, a wise and provocative appreciation of the importance of play and enduring curiosity about the nature of childhood and the imagination.
With the publication of Boys and Girls in 1984, Vivian Gussin Paley took readers inside a kindergarten classroom to show them how boys and girls play—and how, by playing and fantasizing in different ways, they work through complicated notions of gender roles and identity. The children’s own conversations, stories, playacting, and scuffles are interwoven with Paley’s observations and accounts of her vain attempts to alter their stereotyped play. Thirty years later, the superheroes and princesses are still here, but their doll corners and block areas are fast disappearing from our kindergartens. This new edition of Paley’s classic book reignites issues that are more important than ever for a new generation of students, parents, and teachers.
"Paley has a sharp ear for the rhythm and inflections of childhood. Her vignettes give us a revealing glimpse into children's inner lives, and her discussion of her own discomfort with boy's play and approval of that of girls raises and important issue."—Carole Wade, Psychology Today
"I will admit my biases up front: having a three-year old daughter of my own made it impossible for this book to be anything but fun to read. I dare anyone who enjoys children not to enjoy this story about stories, this narrative about narratives."—Jerry Powell, Winterthur Portfolio
Bug: A Play
Tracy Letts Northwestern University Press, 2006 Library of Congress PS3612.E887B84 2006 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
This dark comedy takes place in a seedy motel room outside Oklahoma City, where Agnes, a drug-addled cocktail waitress, is hiding from her ex-con ex-husband. Her lesbian biker friend R.C. introduces her to Peter, a handsome drifter who might be an AWOL Gulf War veteran. They soon begin a relationship that takes place almost entirely within the increasingly claustrophobic confines of her motel room. Peter begins to rant about the war in Iraq, UFOs, the Oklahoma City bombings, cult suicides, and then secret government experiment on soldiers, of which he believes he is a victim. His delusions infect Agnes and the tension mounts as mysterious strangers appear at their door, past events haunt them at every turn and they are attacked by real bugs. Tracy Letts's tale of love, paranoia, and government conspiracy is a thought-provoking psycho-thriller that mixes terror and laughter at a fever pitch.
The buzz word in education today is accountability. But the federal mandate of "no child left behind" has come to mean curriculums driven by preparation for standardized tests and quantifiable learning results. Even for very young children, unstructured creative time in the classroom is waning as teachers and administrators are under growing pressures to measure school readiness through rote learning and increased homework. In her new book, Vivian Gussin Paley decries this rapid disappearance of creative time and makes the case for the critical role of fantasy play in the psychological, intellectual, and social development of young children.
A Child's Work goes inside classrooms around the globe to explore the stunningly original language of children in their role-playing and storytelling. Drawing from their own words, Paley examines how this natural mode of learning allows children to construct meaning in their worlds, meaning that carries through into their adult lives. Proof that play is the work of children, this compelling and enchanting book will inspire and instruct teachers and parents as well as point to a fundamental misdirection in today's educational programs and strategies.
Teacher and author Vivian Paley is highly regarded by parents, educators, and other professionals for her original insights into such seemingly everyday issues as play, story, gender, and how young children think. In The Classrooms All Young Children Need, Patricia M. Cooper takes a synoptic view of Paley’s many books and articles, charting the evolution of Paley’s thinking while revealing the seminal characteristics of her teaching philosophy. This careful analysis leads Cooper to identify a pedagogical model organized around two complementary principles: a curriculum that promotes play and imagination, and the idea of classrooms as fair places where young children of every color, ability, and disposition are welcome.
With timely attention paid to debates about the reduction in time for play in the early childhood classroom, the role of race in education, and No Child Left Behind, The Classrooms All Young Children Need will be embraced by anyone tasked with teaching our youngest pupils.
In this allegorical excursion, William Walcott explores the intersections between United States politics and the game of cricket in a book reminiscent of C. L. R. James’s classic Beyond a Boundary. In Close of Play, Walcott highlights the careers of former US president Barack Obama and the Trinidadian cricket and cultural phenom Brian Lara—one of the greatest batsmen of all time, who Obama once called “the Michael Jordan of cricket.” Readers are invited to explore the parallel poetics of politics and sport through the life and words of these luminaries, both of whom promised to deliver far-reaching social change yet found themselves “on the back foot.”
In his analysis, Walcott delves into matters of Caribbean and American identity, political leadership, oratory, and the blending of cricket vocabulary into political commentary. He also challenges us to understand the sociological links between international sport, socio-economic inequality, and racial politics. This book is a fascinating journey into the world of global sociopolitical life and the curiosities of language embedded in cricket and political play, both of which constitute enormous sectors within a multibillion dollar “sticky wicket” of transnational capitalism.
Dorothy Parker is a figure of legendary literary reputation, a fabled member of the Algonquin Round Table, and a highly visible literary personality of the twenties and thirties. Brendan Gill called her "a writer whose robust and acid lucidities were much feared and admired." This play, long forgotten and unpublished until now, will bring new attention to her stirring work.
The Coast of Illyria may represent Parker's most mature writing. Based on the story of Charles and Mary Lamb, this play shares the deeply felt theme of abandonment which gives Parker's poetry its haunting quality, along with the rich understanding of despair that characterizes her stories and other plays. Here these issues are explored with a depth, a sensibility, and a subtlety unlike anything else she wrote.
As Arthur Kinney describes in his detailed introduction, when Parker and her putative coauthor, Ross Evans, sat through rehearsals revising the script, it was generally felt that Parker saw herself, at least potentially, as the tragic Mary Lamb. "I am Mary Lamb," she told the actress who played the role, "do you see that?"
Comfort Stew: A Play
Angela Jackson Northwestern University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3560.A179C66 2019 | Dewey Decimal 812.54
What could be more painful than a missing child? And how might the community better support families—especially young, single mothers and their children? In Comfort Stew, acclaimed Chicago poet and playwright Angela Jackson addresses these questions in what she has called “a meditation on motherhood and what it means to love. It is a call to community to renew its vows to the ancestors and to children so that no child is ever truly lost.”
Hillary Robinson Clay, a self-reliant schoolteacher, is the first to notice when four-year-old Enjoli is absent from her preschool class. Guided by the memory of her mother and with support from Jake, a tough man who is capable of tenderness, Hillary parents her teenage daughter, Sojourner, who is the same age as Enjoli’s mother, Patrice. Jake is a storyteller and a “good cop” who follows Hillary’s intuition and goes looking for Enjoli.
As their stories weave together, Jackson explores parenting, generational conflict, and tradition in the context of contemporary African American family life. Maternal wisdom is embodied by succeeding generations of black women in the recipe for an African stew, a dish Hillary learns to honor while adding a spice that makes it her own.
The Crowd You're in With is the fifth play by award-winning American playwright Rebecca Gilman. In it, a Fourth of July backyard barbecue is the setting for a comic, thought-provoking, ultimately disquieting exploration of the question of whether to have children. Melinda and Jasper, the hosts, are deeply divided by the issue; Tom and Karen, their landlords, decided long ago to remain childless; Windsong and her husband, Dan, are expecting a baby.
As the play progresses, the motivations of these characters reveal themselves as ever more complex. Even as the characters often speak in very practical terms about their decisions, Gilman never loses sight of the mystery underlying a life-shaping decision guided by both rational thought and biological imperative, which ultimately speaks to the even larger question of free will and determinism faced by every person.
The Chicago-based Gilman has won numerous awards including the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright and the Scott McPherson Award. Her play The Glory of Living was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
DAI (enough): A Play
Iris Bahr Northwestern University Press, 2009 Library of Congress PS3602.A47D35 2009 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
Set in a Tel Aviv café in the moments before a suicide bomber enters, Iris Bahr’s 2008 Lucille Lortel Award–winning DAI (enough) courageously speaks to tragic current events. Bahr plays eleven different characters who span the ideological and class spectrum of Israeli society, including a Zionist kibbutznik, an evangelical from America funding an Armageddon fantasy, a West Bank settler, a snooty expat living in Long Island, and a Palestinian professor trying to keep her son from taking the path of extremism. Thanks to the emotional depth and honesty with which Bahr endows these characters and their individual stories, a complex portrait of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict emerges. Alternately very funny and tragic, DAI (enough) is a brave attempt to humanize the headlines.
Depression in early childhood is an underestimated health problem which is known for its severity, endurance, and negative impact on the quality of life of children and their families. The lack of appropriate assessment procedures hinders early identification and therefore the possibilities for intervention and prevention. This dissertation includes three studies about markers of depression in play behavior of young children and the possibilities to use play observation procedures as an assessment tool for early identification of depression in 3- to 6-year old children. In the first two studies, depressed and nondepressed preschoolers were observed in a standardized play procedure including solitary free play, interactive free play, and play narratives with an adult researcher. Depressed children showed less play, and particularly less symbolic play than non-depressed children, and also more fragmented play behavior. This was most visible in play narratives, where induction of sad emotions had a severe dampening effect on depressed children's symbolic play. The third and last study shows that preschool teachers can use a play observation questionnaire, based on the outcomes of the observational studies, to recognize these markers of depression in children's everyday play behavior in the classroom. The findings of these studies offer new insights in the relationship between play and depression and the emotion regulation problems that negatively affect depressed children's play.
Dollhouse: A Play
Rebecca Gilman Northwestern University Press, 2010 Library of Congress PS3557.I456D65 2010 | Dewey Decimal 812.54
Nora seems to have it all: a successful husband, three adorable children, and a beautiful home in the tony Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. But what looks like the perfect life is woefully incomplete, propped up by dark secrets and bitter betrayals. While her husband, Terry, singlemindedly climbs the career ladder, Nora’s compulsive shopping and scheming pushes her ever further from freedom and self-fulfillment. As the lies on which their life is built gradually emerge, Nora comes to realize the true cost of what she thinks she has always wanted. From Ibsen’s masterpiece A Doll’s House, award-winning playwright Rebecca Gilman crafts a bold and insightful update. This contemporary adaptation brings Ibsen’s classic into our century with a sharp eye for social satire and moments of dark comedy coupled with powerful human drama.
How was it possible for drama, especially biblical representations, to appear in the Christian West given the church's condemnation of the theatrum of the ancient world?In a book with radical implications for the study of medieval literature, Lawrence Clopper resolves this perplexing question.
Drama, Play, and Game demonstrates that the theatrum repudiated by medieval clerics was not "theater" as we understand the term today. Clopper contends that critics have misrepresented Western stage history because they have assumed that theatrum designates a place where drama is performed. While theatrum was thought of as a site of spectacle during the Middle Ages, the term was more closely connected with immodest behavior and lurid forms of festive culture. Clerics were not opposed to liturgical representations in churches, but they strove ardently to suppress May games, ludi, festivals, and liturgical parodies. Medieval drama, then, stemmed from a more vernacular tradition than previously acknowledged-one developed by England's laity outside the boundaries of clerical rule.
Exit Strategy: A Play
Ike Holter Northwestern University Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3608.O49435985E95 2018 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
Righteously angry, riotously funny, and wise to the tensions between abstract policy and lived experience, Ike Holter's play Exit Strategy centers on vivid, unforgettable characters struggling to maintain faith in a vocation that is being determinedly undermined.
Drawing from the headlines, Exit Strategy is set in Chicago and tells the story of a fictional public high school slated for closure at the end of the year. Despite funding cuts, bureaucrats run amok, apathy, and a rodent infestation, a small, multiracial group of teachers launch a last-minute effort to save the school, and put their careers, futures, and safety in the hands of a fast-talking administrator who may be in over his head. The tenuous situation also raises fears and anxieties among students, and within the volcanic neighborhood that is home to the school.
Holter has said that Exit Strategy was inspired by the 2013 mass closure of forty-nine Chicago public schools, which displaced nearly 12,000 children—the majority of directly impacted students were African American and Latinx. Hailed as "riveting," "sharp," and "richly metaphoric" by critics, the play indicts how we educate our children in big American cities, and shows why gaps between haves and have-nots continue to grow.
Exit Strategy is one of seven plays in Ike Holter's cycle of works set in Chicago or Chicago-inspired neighborhoods.
In our unprecedentedly networked world, games have come to occupy an important space in many of our everyday lives. Digital games alone engage an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide as of 2020, and other forms of gaming, such as board games, role playing, escape rooms, and puzzles, command an ever-expanding audience. At the same time, “gamification”—the application of game mechanics to traditionally nongame spheres, such as personal health and fitness, shopping, habit tracking, and more—has imposed unprecedented levels of competition, repetition, and quantification on daily life.
Drawing from his own experience as a game designer, Patrick Jagoda argues that games need not be synonymous with gamification. He studies experimental games that intervene in the neoliberal project from the inside out, examining a broad variety of mainstream and independent games, including StarCraft, Candy Crush Saga, Stardew Valley, Dys4ia, Braid, and Undertale. Beyond a diagnosis of gamification, Jagoda imagines ways that games can be experimental—not only in the sense of problem solving, but also the more nuanced notion of problem making that embraces the complexities of our digital present. The result is a game-changing book on the sociopolitical potential of this form of mass entertainment.
How do the specific circumstances in which we write affect what we write? How does what we write affect who we become? How can we maintain professsional and personal integrity in today's university? In a series of traditional and experimental writings, a culmination of ten years of works-in-progress, Laurel Richardson records an intellectual journey, displacing boundaries and creating new ways of reading and writing. Applying the sociological imagination to the writing process, she connects her life to her work.
Deeply engaging, movingly written with grace, elegance, and clarity, the book stimulates readers to situate their own writing in personal, social, and political contexts.
Four Places: A Play
Joel Drake Johnson Northwestern University Press, 2009 Library of Congress PS3610.O3566F68 2009 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
Sketched together on a deceptively simple frame, this emotionally precise play uses its spare structure to devastating and darkly comic effect. A brother and sister have received word from their parents’ caretaker that their elderly parents may be a danger to each other. The brother breaks his routine to join his sister and mother on their weekly lunch date in hopes that together he and his sister can get a clearer picture of the situation. As the mother confronts the indignities of age and the children stare down a mounting list of losses and disappointments, an image of the family emerges that is true to life. Johnson gives readers an unwavering exploration of the ways that the love and knowledge family members have of one another creates both hurt and comfort.
Cross-dressing, sexual identity, and the performance of gender are among the most hotly discussed topics in contemporary cultural studies. A vital addition to the growing body of literature, this book is the most in-depth and historically contextual study to date of Shakespeare's uses of the heroine in male disguise--man-playing-woman-playing-man--in all its theatrical and social complexity.
Shapiro's study centers on the five plays in which Shakespeare employed the figure of the "female page": The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, and Cymbeline. Combining theater and social history, Shapiro locates Shakespeare's work in relation to controversies over gender roles and cross-dressing in Elizabethan England.
The popularity of the "female page" is examined as a playful literary and theatrical way of confronting, avoiding, or merely exploiting issues such as the place of women in a patriarchal culture and the representation of women on stage. Looking beyond and behind the stage for the cultural anxieties that found their way into Shakespearean drama, Shapiro considers such cases as cross-dressing women in London being punished as prostitutes and the alleged homoerotic practices of the apprentices who played female roles in adult companies. Shapiro also traces other Elizabethan dramatists' varied uses of the cross-dressing motif, especially as they were influenced by Shakespeare's innovations.
"Shapiro's engaging study is distinguished by the scope of interrelated topics it draws together and the balance of critical perspectives it brings to bear on them." --Choice
Michael Shapiro is Professor of English, University of Illinois, Urbana.
Tracing the interrelationship among play, poetic imitation, and power to the Hellenic world, Mihai I. Spariosu provides a revisionist model of cultural change in Greek antiquity. Challenging the traditional and static distinction made between archaic and later Greek culture, Spariosu’s perspective is grounded in a dialectical understanding of values whose dominance depends on cultural emphasis and which shifts through time. Building upon the scholarship of an earlier volume, Dionysus Reborn, Spariosu her continues to draw on Dionysus—the “God of many names,” of both poetic play and sacred power—as a mythical embodiment of the two sides of the classical Greek mentality. Combining philosophical reflection with close textual analysis, the author examines the divided nature of the Hellenic mentality in such primary canonic texts as the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Theogony, Works and Days, the most well-known of the Presocratic fragments, Euripides’ Bacchae, Aristophanes’ The Frogs, Plato’s Republic and Laws, and Aristotle’s Poetics and Politics. Spariosu’s model illuminates the many of the most enduring questions in contemporary humanistic study and addresses modern questions about the nature of the interrelation of poetry, ethics, and politics.
Grace: A Play
Craig Wright Northwestern University Press, 2012 Library of Congress PS3573.R5322G73 2012 | Dewey Decimal 812.54
The difference between belief and knowledge and the consequences of mistaking one for the other are at the heart of Craig Wright’s play Grace. An evangelical Christian couple, Sara and Steve, leave a dreary life in Minnesota for sunny Florida and the hope of fast money from turning abandoned hotels into a chain of gospel-themed inns. Their new neighbor, Sam, is struggling to emerge from the trauma of a car accident that killed his fiancée and left him badly maimed. And the building’s pest exterminator, Karl, is still tormented by a dark childhood episode. As their stories converge, Wright’s characters find themselves face-to-face with the most eternally vexing questions—the nature of faith, the meaning of suffering, and the possibility of redemption. Acidly funny and relentlessly searching, Grace is a trenchant work from an immensely gifted playwright.
Grand Concourse: A Play
Heidi Schreck Northwestern University Press, 2015 Library of Congress PS3569.C529174G73 2015 | Dewey Decimal 812.54
Grand Concourse is a play by playwright and two-time Obie Award-winning actor Heidi Schreck. It tells the story of Shelley. Having dedicated her life to religious service, Shelley runs a Bronx soup kitchen with unsentimental efficiency. When Emma—a rainbow-haired college dropout—arrives to volunteer, her volatile mix of generosity and self-involvement throws Shelley’s life into chaos. She brings a needed jolt to the place, helping a long-time client toward a new job, but her energy also proves unsettling. Even as Emma’s behavior grows steadily more erratic, Shelley still wants to believe in her, despite the mounting evidence that she shouldn’t.
Shelley must finally ask herself how well she really knows the people she sees every day, how much she can trust them, and what she can and cannot forgive. With both humor and generosity Grand Concourse asks big questions about the limits of both compassion and forgiveness.
Harriet Jacobs: A Play
Lydia R. Diamond Northwestern University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3604.I1557H37 2011 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
Throughout her meteoric rise into the upper ranks of young playwrights, Lydia R. Diamond has boldly challenged assumptions about African American culture. In Harriet Jacobs, she turns one of the greatest of American slave narratives, Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, into a penetrating, rousing work of theater.
Jacobs’ book—which was published in 1861 and only partially serialized in Horace Greely’s New York Tribune before it was deemed too graphic—chillingly exposed the sexual harassment and abuse of slave girls and women at the hands of their masters. Harriet Jabobs: A Play organically incorporates theatrical elements that extend the book’s enormous power. Through active scenes, piercing direct address, and slave narratives, Diamond is able to give new expression to the horrors and legacies of slavery. Diamond presents African American culture in all its richness—with slavery as a part of it, but not its defining aspect. Though harrowing, Harriet Jacobs addresses the necessary task of reenvisioning a difficult chapter in American history.
Winner, 2007 Chicago Book Clinic Crystal Book Award for Excellence in Design
As topical as today's newspaper headlines, these rich monologues bring to life nine distinct Iraqi women whose very different stories convey the complex and harrowing reality of being female in modern-day Iraq. Their monologues quickly become a series of overlapping conversations leading to a breakdown in communication as the chaos of Iraq intensifies. Layal is a sexy and impulsive painter favored by Saddam's regime, breezily bohemian one minute and defensive the next; another woman mourns the death of her family in a 1991 bunker, and another--a blond American of Iraqi descent--painfully recalls a telephone conversation with Baghdad relatives on the eve of the U. S. invasion. Other characters decry the savagery of Saddam Hussein in terrifying detail and express an ambivalent relief at the American presence; still others--like a Bedouin woman searching for love--transcend politics.
The title comes from the teachings of the seventh-century imam Ali ibn Abu Talib: "God created sexual desire in ten parts; then he gave nine parts to women and one part to men." Heather Raffo's monologues weave these nine parts into a finely textured, brilliantly colorful tapestry of feminine longing in dire times. This compassionate and heart-breaking work will forever change your view of Iraqi women and the people of the Middle East.
Hir: A Play
Taylor Mac Northwestern University Press, 2015 Library of Congress PS3613.A218H57 2015 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
Finalist, 2015 Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Drama
Discharged from the Marines under suspicious circumstances, Isaac comes home from the wars, only to find the life he remembers upended. Isaac’s father, who once ruled the family with an iron fist, has had a debilitating stroke; his younger sister, Maxine, is now his brother, Max; and their mother, Paige, is committed to revolution at any cost. Determined to be free of any responsibility toward her formerly abusive husband—or the home he created—Paige fervently believes she can lead the way to a "new world order." Hir, Taylor Mac’s subversive comedy, leaves many of our so-called normative and progressive ideas about gender, families, the middle class—and cleaning—in hilarious and ultimately tragic disarray.
The House of Make-Believe
Dorothy G. Singer Harvard University Press, 1990 Library of Congress BF717.S514 1990 | Dewey Decimal 155.418
In the most thorough attempt to cover all aspects of children's make-believe, Dorothy and Jerome Singer examine how imaginative play begins and develops, from the infant's first smiles to the toddler's engagement in social pretend play. They provide intriguing examples and research evidence on the young child's invocation of imaginary friends, the adolescent's daring, rule-governed games, and the adult's private imagery and inner thought. In chapters that will be important to parents and policymakers, the authors discuss television and the imagination, the healing function of play, and the effects of playfulness and creativity throughout the life span.
How to Play a Poem
Don Bialostosky University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017 Library of Congress PN1042.B53 2017 | Dewey Decimal 808.1
Approaching poems as utterances designed and packaged for pleasurable reanimation, How to Play a Poem leads readers through a course that uses our common experience of language to bring poems to life. It mobilizes the speech genres we acquire in our everyday exchanges to identify “signs of life” in poetic texts that can guide our co-creation of tone. How to Play a Poem draws on ideas from the Bakhtin School, usually associated with fiction rather than poetry, to construct a user-friendly practice of close reading as an alternative to the New Critical formalism that still shapes much of teaching and alienates many readers. It sets aside stock questions about connotation and symbolism to guide the playing out of dynamic relations among the human parties to poetic utterances, as we would play a dramatic script or musical score. How to Play a Poem addresses critics ready to abandon New Criticism, teachers eager to rethink poetry, readers eager to enjoy it, and students willing to give it a chance, inviting them to discover a lively and enlivening way to animate familiar and unfamiliar poems.
Television, video games, and computers are easily accessible to twenty-first-century children, but what impact do they have on creativity and imagination? In this book, two wise and long-admired observers of children's make-believe look at the cognitive and moral potential--and concern--created by electronic media.
For children who live with a chronic illness, each day is filled with endless treatments, painful symptoms, confusion, and embarrassment. How can an eight-year old girl understand diabetes let alone explain to her schoolmates why she has to leave class to have her blood tested? How can the father of a child with asthma ever sleep soundly through the night with the fear that his son may suffocate in the next room.
In In Sickness and in Play, Cindy Dell Clark tells the stories of children who suffer from two common illnesses that are often underestimated by those not directly touched by them—asthma and diabetes. She describes how play, humor, and other expressive methods, invented by the kids themselves, allow families to cope with the pain. Clark’s work is one of the few studies to focus on maladies that kids must learn to live with rather than die from. Her interviews with forty-six families give readers an understanding of how children comprehend their illnesses and how parents struggle daily to care for their kids while trying to give them a “normal” childhood. Chronically ill children are at a greater risk of developing mental health or social adjustment problems than their peers, and asthma has been gaining ground in both incidence and fatality in recent years. Clark’s eye-opening work emphasizes the importance of improving the lives of these kids by understanding their perspectives, both imagined and real.
In Sickness and in Play is part of the Rutgers Series in Childhood Studies edited by Myra Bluebond-Langer.
The Jacksonian: A Play
Beth Henley Northwestern University Press, 2014 Library of Congress PS3558.E4962J33 2015 | Dewey Decimal 812.54
In The Jacksonian, Beth Henley returns to the Southern Gothic storytelling that made her reputation with both critics and audiences. Set in a seedy motel in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1964, the play centers around Rosy, a troubled teenager, and Bill, her dentist father who has been living at the motel for several months as his wife, Susan, considers the disgrace of divorce. Fred, the motel bartender, and Eva, a waitress, are locked in a gruesome pact: he’ll marry her if she agrees to help him evade punishment for a hideous crime. But Bill, turning to nitrous oxide to ease the pain of his life collapsing around him, is a convenient target for Eva’s desperate desire for companionship. At the height of the violence associated with the civil rights movement, these characters gradually reveal the shameful secrets and psychological turmoil just beneath the surface of their insistent Southern gentility.
The surviving work of Flemish painter Jan van Eyck (c. 1395–1441) consists of a series of painstakingly detailed oil paintings of astonishing verisimilitude. Most explanations of the meanings behind these paintings have been grounded in a disguised religious symbolism that critics have insisted is foremost. But in Jan van Eyck, Craig Harbison sets aside these explanations and turns instead to the neglected human dimension he finds clearly present in these works. Harbison investigates the personal histories of the true models and participants who sat for such masterpieces as the Virgin and Child and the Arnolfini Double Portrait.
This revised and expanded edition includes many illustrations and reveals how van Eyck presented his contemporaries with a more subtle and complex view of the value of appearances as a route to understanding the meaning of life.
Journey to the West: A Play
Mary Zimmerman Northwestern University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3576.I66J68 2011 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
This adaptation of a late sixteenth-century classic Chinese comic novel, Journey to the West, based on Anthony C. Yu’s translation, takes as its point of departure the true story of a seventh-century monk and his fabled pilgrimage from China to India in search of sacred texts. Mixing whimsy with spiritual weight, Zimmerman’s script combines comedy, adventure, and satire in a moving allegory of human perseverance.
With its rich mix of cultures, European influences, colonial tensions, and migration from bordering nations, Ecuador has long drawn the interest of ethnographers, historians, and political scientists. In this book, Jean Muteba Rahier delivers a highly detailed, thought-provoking examination of the racial, sexual, and social complexities of Afro-Ecuadorian culture, as revealed through the annual Festival of the Kings. During the Festival, the people of various villages and towns of Esmeraldas--Ecuador's province most associated with blackness--engage in celebratory and parodic portrayals, often donning masks, cross-dressing, and disguising themselves as blacks, indigenous people, and whites, in an obvious critique of local, provincial, and national white, white-mestizo, and light-mulatto elites. Rahier shows that this festival, as performed in different locations, reveals each time a specific location's perspective on the larger struggles over identity, class, and gender relations in the racial-spacial order of Esmeraldas, and of the Ecuadorian nation in general.
LA Sports brings together sixteen essays covering various aspects of the development and changing nature of sport in one of America’s most fascinating and famous cities. The writers cover a range of topics, including the history of car racing and ice skating, the development of sport venues, the power of the Mexican fan base in American soccer leagues, the intersecting life stories of Jackie and Mack Robinson, the importance of the Showtime Lakers, the origins of Muscle Beach and surfing, sport in Hollywood films, and more.
A compelling analysis of how "middling" Americans entertained themselves and how these entertainments changed over time.
The changing styles of middle-class home entertainments, Melanie Dawson argues, point to evolving ideas of class identity in U.S. culture. Drawing from 19th- and early-20th-century fiction, guidebooks on leisure, newspaper columns, and a polemical examination of class structures, Laboring to Play interrogates the ways that leisure performances (such as parlor games, charades, home dramas, and tableaux vivants) encouraged participants to test out the boundaries that were beginning to define middle-class lifestyles.
From 19th-century parlor games involving grotesque physical contortions to early-20th-century recitations of an idealized past, leisure employments mediated between domestic and public spheres, individuals and class-based affiliations, and ideals of egalitarian social life and visible hierarchies based on privilege. Negotiating these paradigms, home entertainments provided their participants with unique ways of performing displays of individual ambitions within a world of polite social interaction.
Laboring to Play deals with subjects as wide ranging as social performances, social history (etiquette and gentility), literary history, representations of childhood, and the history of the book.
Lives in Play explores the centrality of life narratives to women’s drama and performance from the 1970s to the present moment. In the early days of second-wave feminism, the slogan was “The personal is the political.” These autobiographical and biographical “true stories” have the political impact of the real and have also helped a range of feminists tease out the more complicated aspects of gender, sex, and sexuality in a Western culture that now imagines itself as “postfeminist.”
The book’s scope is broad, from performance artists like Karen Finley, Holly Hughes, and Bobby Baker to playwrights like Suzan-Lori Parks, Maria Irene Fornes, and Sarah Kane. The book links the narrative tactics and theatrical approaches of biography
and autobiography and shows how theater artists use life writing strategies to advance women’s rights and remake women’s representations. Lives in Play will appeal to scholars in performance studies, women’s studies, and literature, including those in the growing field of auto/biography studies.
“ A fresh perspective and wide-ranging analysis of changes in feminist theater for the past thirty years . . . a most welcome addition to the literature on theater, in particular scholarship on feminist practices.”
“Helps sustain an important history by reviving works of feminist theater and performance and giving them a new and refreshing context and theorical underpinning . . . considering 1970s performance art alongside more conventional play production.”
Man from Nebraska: A Play
Tracy Letts Northwestern University Press, 2006 Library of Congress PS3612.E887M36 2006 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
Metamorphoses: A Play
Mary Zimmerman Northwestern University Press, 2002 Library of Congress PS3576.I66M47 2002 | Dewey Decimal 812.54
Called by Time the "theater event of the year," Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses brings Ovid's tales to stunning visual life. Set in and around a large pool of water onstage, Metamorphoses juxtaposes the ancient and the contemporary in both language and image to reflect the variety and persistence of narrative in the face of inevitable change. Nominated for three 2002 Tony Awards, including "Best Play," Metamorphoses earned Zimmerman a Tony for "Best Direction of a Play."
"No adult can escape the adult perspective; but simply recognizing its inevitable limitations in a children's world enables a few gifted educators to accept the existence and validity of whole kindergartens full of different perspectives. One such person is Vivian Gussin Paley. . . . Her books. . .should be required reading wherever children are growing."—New York Times Book Review
"With a delightful, almost magical touch, Paley shares her observations and insights about three-year-olds. The use of a tape recorder in the classroom gives her a second chance to hear students' thoughts from the doll corner to the playground, and to reflect on the ways in which young children make sense of the experience of school. . . . Paley lets the children speak for themselves, and through their words we reenter the world of the child in all its fantasy and inventiveness."—Harvard Educational Review
"Paley's vivid and accurate descriptions depict both spontaneous and recurring incidents and outline increasingly complex interactions among the children. Included in the narrative are questions or ideas to challenge the reader to gain more insight and understanding into the motives and conceptualizations of Mollie and other children."—Karen L. Peterson, Young Children
The Nether: A Play
Jennifer Haley Northwestern University Press, 2015 Library of Congress PS3608.A5464N48 2014 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
The Nether, a daring examination of moral responsibility in virtual worlds, opens with a familiar interrogation scene given a technological twist. As Detective Morris, an online investigator, questions Mr. Sims about his activities in a role-playing realm so realistic it could be life, she finds herself on slippery ethical ground. Sims argues for the freedom to explore even the most deviant corners of our imagination. Morris holds that we cannot flesh out our malign fantasies without consequence. Their clash of wills leads to a consequence neither could have imagined. Suspenseful, ingeniously constructed, and fiercely intelligent, Haley’s play forces us to confront deeply disturbing questions about the boundaries of reality.
Not God: A Play in Verse
Marc J. Straus Northwestern University Press, 2006 Library of Congress PS3569.T69213N68 2006 | Dewey Decimal 812.54
The tread of the nurses leaving the room next door tells the woman her neighbor has died. The language of the hospital is one she has unwillingly, painstakingly learned: the rhythm of machines, the counting of pills, the measuring of words, the shadowy news of an MRI. And in these harrowing, eloquent poems, she opens this world, this language of illness, to us, revealing how deeply these words and rhythms are also the measure of life. The views of her doctor are also evocatively expressed--his anger, struggles, and hopes--as he speaks of the delicate bond he forms with his ill patients. Composed by a distinguished medical oncologist whose literary work has been performed in venues throughout the country, the poems of Not God document one woman's encounter with cancer, a journey through illness whose end, while inevitable, is also unknown. Alternating with the words of her doctor, these poems form a remarkable dialogue of the flesh becoming word, and of the body inventorying--and finally transcending--its limitations.
The Odyssey: A Play
Mary Zimmerman Northwestern University Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3576.I66O39 2006 | Dewey Decimal 812.54
This dramatic adaptation of Homer's myth begins with a modern young woman who is struggling to understand Robert Fitzgerald's translation of The Odyssey. A classical muse appears, and the young woman becomes the goddess Athena--a tireless advocate for Odysseus in his struggle to get home. With her trademark irreverent and witty twist on classic works, Zimmerman brings to life the story of Odysseus's ten-year journey, depicting his encounters with characters such as Circe, the Cyclops, Poseidon, Calypso, the Sirens, and others.
In this brief but staggering two-act, playwright Norris demonstrates his skill at drawing out the dark truth that lurks beneath the surface of the “perfect” family. His crackling satire takes dead aim at the self-satisfied, left-leaning American upper-middle class and its many self-delusions.
On a winter afternoon, Kelly and Clay—an attractive, prosperous, seemingly happy couple with a four-year-old daughter and a newborn baby—must explain to a visitor the events of the previous Thanksgiving, on which, so it seems, someone or something had been gnawing at the avocados on their kitchen table. In the course of this holiday gathering—attended by Clay’s mother, a well-meaning but clueless first-grade teacher who spouts pointless liberal bromides; his brother, a plastic surgeon with a nihilistic streak and a taste for martinis; and his brother's girlfriend, a sexy Balkan immigrant with a love for all things American (racism included)—the recent past is unearthed along with revelations of failed marriages, fraternal hatred, infidelity and venereal disease, in the form of their daughter’s nasty genital infection. And it’s a comedy. As the story is gradually unfolded to their visitor, a Muslim cab driver, his relationship to the events becomes increasingly clear, as does the emptiness of the family’s supposed benevolence and sensitivity.
With its crashing emotion and cutting humor, this vicious dissection of the comfortable progressive life lays bare the lies that people use to feel righteous even as they veer off a genuinely ethical path.
Pike St.: A Play
Nilaja Sun Northwestern University Press, 2017 Library of Congress PS3619.U495P55 2017 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
Pike St., Nilaja Sun's highly praised sixth play, vividly brings to life a family on New York's Lower East Side. As a storm approaches, Evelyn is trying to assure the safety of her teenage daughter, Candi, whose unidentified illness has immobilized her. Caring for Candi has forced Evelyn to quit her job as a subway conductor; still, she helps support both her philandering father and her brother, who has returned to New York from Afghanistan and suffers from PTSD. Just behind the grace and humor with which Evelyn manages to hold together her own life and those of the people who depend on her is the constant threat of both natural and man-made disasters.
Pinter in Play provides a survey of diverse readings of the Harold Pinter canon organized around and presented in terms of the major critical schools of the past twenty-five years, from New Criticism to deconstruction to poststructuralism. Reflecting on the cultural, personal, sociological, and philosophical contexts of these diverse critical perspectives and the critics who express them, this book is equally about the act or the art of literary criticism and itself an important work of literary criticism. Drawing on interviews with Pinter scholars, Susan Hollis Merritt shows how critics "play" with Pinter and thereby seriously enforce personal, professional, and political affiliations. Cutting across traditional academic and nonacademic boundaries, Merritt argues that greater cooperation and collaboration among critics can resolve conflicts, promote greater social equity, and foster ameliorative critical and cultural change.
In this richly textured multidisciplinary work, Steven Mullaney examines the cultural situation of popular drama in Elizabethan and Jacobean England. Relying upon a dynamic model of cultural production, Mullaney defines an original and historically grounded perspective on the emergence of popular theater and illustrates the critical, revisionary role it played in the symbolic economy of Renaissance England.
Combining literary, historical, and broadly conceived cultural analysis, he investigates, among other topics, the period's exhaustive "rehearsal" of other cultures and its discomfiting apprehensions of the self; the politics of vanished forums for ideological production such as the wonder-cabinet and the leprosarium; the cultural poetics of royal entries; and the incontinent, uncanny language of treason. As Mullaney demonstrates, Shakespearean drama relied upon and embodied the marginal license of the popular stage and, as a result, provides us with powerful readings of the shifting bases of power, license, and theatricality in Elizabethan and Jacobean England.
"A major study, not merely of selected Shakespearean plays but of the very conditions of the possibility of Renaissance drama." --Louis Montrose, University of California, San Diego
"Mullaney's rich and engaged reading of the place of Shakespeare's stage represents the texture of early modern life and its cultural productions in the vivid tradition of annales history and brilliantly exemplifies his theoretical call for a poetics of culture." -- Shakespeare Quarterly
"Mullaney marshals an impressive range of cultural representations which, taken together, will undoubtedly force a reconsideration of the semiotics of the Elizabethan stage." --Times Higher Education Supplement
". . . something of a dramatic feat in cultural studies: literary critic Mullaney calls in a cast ranging from Clifford Geertz and Pierre Bourdieu to Raymond Williams, Mary Douglas, and Michel Foucault." --Contemporary Sociology
Steven Mullaney is Associate Professor of English at the University of Michigan.
Catherine Garvey Harvard University Press, 1990 Library of Congress HQ782.G34 1990 | Dewey Decimal 155.418
Play and the Human Condition
Thomas S. Henricks University of Illinois Press, 2015 Library of Congress HQ782.H386 2015 | Dewey Decimal 306.481
In Play and the Human Condition, Thomas Henricks brings together ways of considering play to probe its essential relationship to work, ritual, and communitas. Focusing on five contexts for play--the psyche, the body, the environment, society, and culture--Henricks identifies conditions that instigate play, and comments on its implications for those settings. Offering a general theory of play as behavior promoting self-realization, Henricks articulates a conception of self that includes individual and social identity, particular and transcendent connection, and multiple fields of involvement. Henricks also evaluates play styles from history and contemporary life to analyze the relationship between play and human freedom.
Imaginative and stimulating, Play and the Human Condition shows how play allows us to learn about our qualities and those of the world around us--and in so doing make sense of ourselves.
We are inundated with game play today. Digital devices offer opportunities to play almost anywhere and anytime. No matter our age, gender, social, cultural, or educational background—we play. Play in the Age of Goethe: Theories, Narratives, and Practices of Play around 1800 is the first book-length work to explore how the modern discourse of play was first shaped during this pivotal period (approximately 1770-1830). The eleven chapters illuminate critical developments in the philosophy, pedagogy, psychology, politics, and poetics of play as evident in the work of major authors of the period including Lessing, Goethe, Kant, Schiller, Pestalozzi, Jacobi, Tieck, Jean Paul, Schleiermacher, and Fröbel. While drawing on more recent theories of play by thinkers such as Jean Piaget, Donald Winnicott, Jost Trier, Gregory Bateson, Jacques Derrida, Thomas Henricks, and Patrick Jagoda, the volume shows the debates around play in German letters of this period to be far richer and more complex than previously thought, as well as more relevant for our current engagement with play. Indeed, modern debates about what constitutes good rather than bad practices of play can be traced to these foundational discourses.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
What does artistic resistance look like in the twenty-first century, when disruption and dissent have been coopted and commodified in ways that reinforce dominant systems? In The Play in the System Anna Watkins Fisher locates the possibility for resistance in artists who embrace parasitism—tactics of complicity that effect subversion from within hegemonic structures. Fisher tracks the ways in which artists on the margins—from hacker collectives like Ubermorgen to feminist writers and performers like Chris Kraus—have willfully abandoned the radical scripts of opposition and refusal long identified with anticapitalism and feminism. Space for resistance is found instead in the mutually, if unevenly, exploitative relations between dominant hosts giving only as much as required to appear generous and parasitical actors taking only as much as they can get away with. The irreverent and often troubling works that result raise necessary and difficult questions about the conditions for resistance and critique under neoliberalism today.
By turns outlandish, humorous, and scatological, the Historia Augusta is an eccentric compilation of biographies of the Roman emperors and usurpers of the second and third centuries. Historians of late antiquity have struggled to explain the fictional date and authorship of the work and its bizarre content (did the Emperor Carinus really swim in pools of floating apples and melons? did the usurper Proculus really deflower a hundred virgins in fifteen days?). David Rohrbacher offers, instead, a literary analysis of the work, focusing on its many playful allusions. Marshaling an array of interdisciplinary research and original analysis, he contends that the Historia Augusta originated in a circle of scholarly readers with an interest in biography, and that its allusions and parodies were meant as puzzles and jokes for a knowing and appreciative audience.
"Play Redux excels in tying together intellectual traditions that are rooted in literary studies, cognitive science, play studies and several other fields, thereby creating a logical whole. Through this, the book makes service to several academic communities by pointing out their points of contact. This is clearly an important contribution to a growing academic field, and will no doubt become important in many future discussions about digital games and play."
---Frans Mäyrä, University of Tampere, Finland
"David Myers has researched video games longer than anyone else. Play Redux shows him continually relevant, never afraid of courting controversy."
---Jesper Juul, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Play Redux is an ambitious description and critical analysis of the aesthetic pleasures of video game play, drawing on early twentieth-century formalist theory and models of literature. Employing a concept of biological naturalism grounded in cognitive theory, Myers argues for a clear delineation between the aesthetics of play and the aesthetics of texts. In the course of this study, Myers asks a number of interesting questions: What are the mechanics of human play as exhibited in computer games? Can these mechanisms be modeled? What is the evolutionary function of cognitive play, and is it, on the whole, a good thing? Intended as a provocative corrective to the currently ascendant, if not dominant, cultural and ethnographic approach to game studies and play, Play Redux will generate interest among scholars of communications, new media, and film.
David Myers is Reverend Aloysius B. Goodspeed Distinguished Professor at the School of Mass Communication, Loyola University New Orleans.
A follow-up to the highly praised Poets Teaching Poets, Daniel Tobin and Pimone Triplett's Poet's Work, Poet's Play gathers together essays by some of the most important voices in contemporary poetry: Carl Dennis, Stephen Dobyns, Tony Hoagland, Heather McHugh, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Eleanor Wilner, Dean Young, and the late Larry Levis and Agha Shahid Ali.
Lively, accessible, and erudite, the pieces range from discussions on syntax and the syllable to an exploration of the complexities of canon formation under the shadow of imperialism, race, and history. Exploring the work of John Donne, William Butler Yeats, Robert Frost, Philip Larkin, Charles Olsen, Ezra Pound, Anne Carson, Robert Herrick, Harryette Mullen, and many others, Poet's Work, Poet's Play---like its predecessor volume---will be an invaluable tool for teachers, students, and poets at every level.
"Much more than a set of essays on poetic craft or aesthetic understandings, this collection takes on two of the most prevalent anxieties about writing poetry in our time: the place of subjectivity in poetry, and how to make a significant shape in language while both affirming and interrogating the poetic I's authority. This is a book for anyone who wants to write better poems, who wants to read with greater passion, and who believes that poetry is an independent category of human consciousness that can be as capaciousness as the world, and as nuanced."
---Tom Sleigh, author of Space Walk and Far Side of the Earth
"Gathering together essays by unquestionably important poets, Poet's Work, Poet's Play has immense pedagogical value in the way it demonstrates how to discover in poetry resources of language and structure often overlooked in first, and ensuing, readings of complex texts."
---Laurence Goldstein, Professor of English, University of Michigan, and Editor, Michigan Quarterly Review
"A valuable document illuminating critical aspects of the contemporary American poetry scene."
---John Koethe, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and author of Sally's Hair: Poems
Prowess: A Play
Ike Holter Northwestern University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3608.O49435985P76 2019 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
Avenging Chicagoans form a league for justice in Ike Holter’s superhero-inspired play, Prowess. In this heartfelt yet fantastical homage to Chicago, award-winning playwright Ike Holter introduces us to a quartet of “average” citizens who have been the victims of violence and felt powerless because of it.
In the face of the city’s seemingly intractable ills, the play’s characters join forces to rescue Chicago—and themselves. But how? With heart, wit, and wisdom, Holter explores how one responds to violence. Does a person focus on self-defense and personal survival? Or fight back—with more violence? Pulsating and physical, Prowess is about vulnerability, vigilantism, heroism, and self-knowledge.
Prowess is one of seven plays in Holter’s Rightlynd Saga, all to be published by Northwestern University Press. The other plays in the cycle are Rightlynd, Exit Strategy, Sender, The Wolf at the End of the Block, Red Rex, and Lottery Day.
A city's infrastructure influences the daily life of residents, neighborhoods, and businesses. But uniting the hard infrastructure of roads and bridges with the soft infrastructure of parks and public art creates significant political challenges. Planners at all stages must work at an intersection of public policy, markets, and aesthetics--while also accounting for how a project will work in both the present and the future. The latest volume in the Urban Agenda series looks at pressing infrastructure issues discussed at the 2017 UIC Urban Forum. Topics include: competing notions of the infrastructure ideal; what previous large infrastructure programs can teach the Trump Administration; how infrastructure influences city design; the architecture of the cities of tomorrow; who benefits from infrastructure improvements; and evaluations of projects like the Chicago Riverwalk and grassroots efforts to reclaim neighborhood parks from gangs. Contributors: Philip Ashton, Beverly S. Bunch, Bill Burton, Charles Hoch, Sean Lally, and Sanjeev Vidyarthi
In Punctuation: Art, Politics, and Play, Jennifer DeVere Brody places punctuation at center stage. She illuminates the performative aspects of dots, ellipses, hyphens, quotation marks, semicolons, colons, and exclamation points by considering them in relation to aesthetics and experimental art. Through her readings of texts and symbols ranging from style guides to digital art, from emoticons to dance pieces, Brody suggests that instead of always clarifying meaning, punctuation can sometimes open up space for interpretation, enabling writers and visual artists to interrogate and reformulate notions of life, death, art, and identity politics.
Brody provides a playful, erudite meditation on punctuation’s power to direct discourse and, consequently, to shape human subjectivity. Her analysis ranges from a consideration of typography as a mode for representing black subjectivity in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man to a reflection on hyphenation and identity politics in light of Strunk and White’s prediction that the hyphen would disappear from written English. Ultimately, Brody takes punctuation off the “stage of the page” to examine visual and performance artists’ experimentation with non-grammatical punctuation. She looks at different ways that punctuation performs as gesture in dances choreographed by Bill T. Jones, in the hybrid sculpture of Richard Artschwager, in the multimedia works of the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, and in Miranda July’s film Me and You and Everyone We Know. Brody concludes with a reflection on the future of punctuation in the digital era.
In this rich and unique reference, David L. Jewell compiles the first anthology of reflections on leisure, play, and recreation.
As he began to collect these considered opinions, Jewell was pleased to discover that many people from quite diverse backgrounds shared his belief in the redeeming value of leisure, play, and recreation.
Jewell was less pleased, however, to note how often these judicious opinions have been ignored. Disproportionately high budget cuts in parks and recreation services demonstrate too clearly society’s view of leisure activities as frivolous and expendable. By selecting these voices of reason and making them available in a single volume, Jewell hopes to emphasize the "frailties of a capitalistic society’s demeaning perception" of anything other than work.
Poor design and wasted funding characterize today’s American playgrounds. A range of factors—including a litigious culture, overzealous safety guidelines, and an ethos of risk aversion—have created uniform and unimaginative playgrounds. These spaces fail to nurture the development of children or promote playgrounds as an active component in enlivening community space. Solomon’s book demonstrates how to alter the status quo by allying data with design. Recent information from the behavioral sciences indicates that kids need to take risks; experience failure but also have a chance to succeed and master difficult tasks; learn to plan and solve problems; exercise self-control; and develop friendships. Solomon illustrates how architects and landscape architects (most of whom work in Europe and Japan) have already addressed these needs with strong, successful playground designs. These innovative spaces, many of which are more multifunctional and cost effective than traditional playgrounds, are both sustainable and welcoming. Having become vibrant hubs within their neighborhoods, these play sites are models for anyone designing or commissioning an urban area for children and their families. The Science of Play, a clarion call to use playground design to deepen the American commitment to public space, will interest architects, landscape architects, urban policy makers, city managers, local politicians, and parents.
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.
Sender: A Play
Ike Holter Northwestern University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3608.O49435985S46 2019 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
Ike Holter’s Sender thrives on the contrast between order and chaos and the tensions that emerge as we leave childhood and adolescence behind to contend with the demands of “adulting.” In this comedy, Holter presents us with four millennial friends wrestling with these issues. While each is at a different stage of “growing up,” one of the friends has disappeared and has been presumed dead. Yet, at the beginning of the play, he returns and completely upends the balance established in his absence. This witty, foul mouthed, and razor-sharp play asks: “What does growing up mean . . . and is it even desired in this day and age?”
Sender is one of seven plays in Holter’s Rightlynd Saga, all to be published by Northwestern University Press. Holter’s plays are set in Chicago’s fictional fifty-first ward. The other plays in the cycle are Exit Strategy, Lottery Day, Prowess, Red Rex, Rightlynd, and The Wolf at the End of the Block.
Shakespearean Metadrama was first published in 1971. 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.
In a new approach to Shakespeare criticism, the author interprets five of Shakespeare's early plays as metadramas, dramas that are not only about the various moral, social, political, and other thematic issues with which critics have so long been concerned but also about the plays themselves. Professor Calderwood demonstrates that in these five plays Shakespeare writes about his dramatic art -- its nature, its media of language and theater, its generic forms and conventions, its relationship to truth and the social order.
In an introductory chapter the author explains his theory of metadrama, placing it in a general critical context as well as in the specific framework of Shakespeare's plays. He distinguishes between the meaning of metadrama and the similar terms "metaplay" and "metatheare." He points out that the dominant metadramatic aspect of the five plays under study is the interplay of language and action in drama. A separate chapter is devoted to the interpretation of each of the plays.
Professor Calderwood is aware that in presenting his critical theory and interpretations he may be met with skepticism by other scholars and critics. He anticipates such a situation in the introduction: "To the critic trying on introductory styles for a book on Shakespearean metadrama," he writes, "the plight of Falstaff at the Boar's Head Tavern comes all to readily to mind. 'What trick," he must ask himself, 'what device, what starting-hole, canst thou now find out to hide thee from this open and apparent shame?'"
Smart People: A Play
Lydia R. Diamond Northwestern University Press, 2017 Library of Congress PS3604.I1557S63 2016 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
In Smart People, Lydia R. Diamond shows that no matter how well we think we understand the influence of race on human interaction, it still manages to get in the way of genuine communication and connection. This funny and thought-provoking play gives us four characters all associated with Harvard: a young African American actress cleaning houses and doing odd jobs to pay the bills until her recently earned M.F.A. starts to pay off; a Chinese and Japanese American psychology professor studying race and identity in Asian American women; an African American surgical intern; and a white professor of neuroscience with a shocking hypothesis, researching the way that our racial perceptions are formed. As their relationships evolve, the four discover that their motivations and interpretations are not as pure as their wealth of knowledge would have them believe. As in all of her work, Diamond brings a sharp wit and a subtle intelligence to bear on questions that never cease to trouble us as individuals and as a society.
Sons of the Prophet: A Play
Stephen Karam Northwestern University Press, 2012 Library of Congress PS3611.A72S66 2012 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
Finalist, 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Winner, 2012 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play
Winner, 2012 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play
A deeply humorous, unflinching portrait of grief and loss, Sons of the Prophet depicts a Lebanese-American family in rural Pennsylvania beset by an absurd string of tragedies. At the play’s center is Joseph Douaihy, a once-promising world-class runner now sidelined by injury. As Joseph confronts his deteriorating health, he is also forced to face the death of his father, an ailing Uncle, and a desperate boss beset by her own tragedies. Deftly keeping its various storylines in careful balance, Karam’s play confronts, with abundant intelligence and great sympathy for human frailty, the inevitability of loss and the equally inevitable comedy resulting from our attempts to cope with is consequences.
Sovereignty: A Play
Mary Kathryn Nagle Northwestern University Press, 2020 Library of Congress PS3614.A465S68 2020 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
Sovereignty unfolds over two parallel timelines. In present-day Oklahoma, a young Cherokee lawyer, Sarah Ridge Polson, and her colleague Jim Ross defend the inherent jurisdiction of Cherokee Nation in the U.S. Supreme Court when a non-Indian defendant challenges the Nation’s authority to prosecute non-Indian perpetrators of domestic violence. Their collaboration is juxtaposed with scenes from 1835, when Cherokee Nation was eight hundred miles to the east in the southern Appalachians. That year, Sarah’s and Jim’s ancestors, historic Cherokee rivals, were bitterly divided over a proposed treaty with the administration of Andrew Jackson, the Treaty of New Echota, which led to the nation’s removal to Oklahoma on the infamous Trail of Tears.
A direct descendant of nineteenth-century Cherokee leaders John Ridge and Major Ridge, Mary Kathryn Nagle has penned a play that twists and turns from violent outbursts to healing monologues, illuminating a provocative double meaning for the sovereignty of both tribal territory and women’s bodies. Taking as its point of departure the story of one lawyer’s passionate defense of the rights of her people to prosecute non-natives who commit crimes on reservations, Sovereignty opens up into an expansive exploration of the circular continuity of history, human memory, and the power of human relationships.
In paperback for the first time, Randolph Feezell’s Sport, Play, and Ethical Reflection immediately tackles two big questions about sport: “What is it?” and “Why does it attract so many people?” Feezell argues that sports participation is best described as a form of human play, and the attraction for participants and viewers alike derives from both its aesthetic richness and narrative structure. He then claims that the way in which sports encourage serious competition in trivial pursuits is fundamentally absurd, and therefore participation requires a state of irony in the participants, where seriousness and playfulness are combined.
Feezell builds on these conclusions, addressing important ethical issues, arguing that sportsmanship should be seen as a kind of Aristotelian mean between the extremes of over- and under-investment in sport. Chapters on cheating, running up the score, and character building stress sport as a rule-governed, tradition-bound practice with standards of excellence and goods internal to the practice. With clear writing and numerous illuminating examples, Feezell demonstrates deep insight into both of his subjects.
Stick Fly: A Play
Lydia R. Diamond Northwestern University Press, 2008 Library of Congress PS3604.I1557S75 2008 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
Adept at capturing the experience of the upper-middle-class African-American, Diamond lays out two families' worth of secrets in this precise play. With only six characters, she constructs a vivid weekend of crossed pasts and uncertain but optimistic futures. On Martha's Vineyard, an affluent African-American family gathers in their vacation home, joined by the housekeeper's daughter, who is filling in for her mother. The family patriarch is a philandering physician; one of his sons has followed in his footsteps, while the other, after numerous false starts in a variety of careers, is a struggling novelist. Both bring along their current girlfriends, to meet the family for the first time. With such highly--perhaps over--educated vacationers, the conversation and the barbs fly, on subjects ranging from race to economics to politics. But there is also more than enough human drama, which reaches its climax when an old family secret comes out. Through lively exchanges and simmering wit, the family tackles a history filled with complications both within the family and in the outer world.
Sweet Tea: A Play
E. Patrick Johnson; With a Foreword by Jane M. Saks Northwestern University Press
This book is the stage version of E. Patrick Johnson’s Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South—An Oral History, a groundbreaking text for the fields of black studies, queer studies, and Southern oral history and ethnography. Between 2004 and 2006, Johnson edited a series of narratives from black gay men who were born and raised in the South and have continued to live there. While the scholarly text of Sweet Tea has enjoyed wide circulation, Johnson knew that the stories of these individuals weren’t able to come fully alive on the page. He transformed the text into a theatrical performance, which originally toured the country as Pourin’ Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales. The oral history has also been adapted into a documentary, Making Sweet Tea.
Based on several mounted tours and individual stagings, Sweet Tea: A Play provides an opportunity for readers, students, theater practitioners, and audiences from different backgrounds to engage with the lives of these incredible characters.
Tempest: Geometries of Play
Judd Ethan Ruggill and Ken S. McAllister University of Michigan Press, 2015 Library of Congress GV1469.35.T46R + | Dewey Decimal 794.8
Atari’s 1981 arcade hit Tempest was a “tube shooter” built around glowing, vector-based geometric shapes. Among its many important contributions to both game and cultural history, Tempest was one of the first commercial titles to allow players to choose the game’s initial play difficulty (a system Atari dubbed “SkillStep”), a feature that has since became standard for games of all types. Tempest was also one of the most aesthetically impactful games of the twentieth century, lending its crisp, vector aesthetic to many subsequent movies, television shows, and video games. In this book, Ruggill and McAllister enumerate and analyze Tempest’s landmark qualities, exploring the game’s aesthetics, development context, and connections to and impact on video game history and culture. By describing the game in technical, historical, and ludic detail, they unpack the game’s latent and manifest audio-visual iconography and the ideological meanings this iconography evokes.
Over one hundred and thirty years ago, pioneers arriving in Colorado during the Civil War era brought the game of baseball to the high and dry Rocky Mountains frontier. From the days of games in pastures with no gloves to the high drama of Coors Field and the Colorado Rockies, baseball and Coloradans have had a love affair that has continued to flourish over the decades.
In They Came To Play: A Photographic History of Colorado Baseball, historians and avid baseball fans Duane Smith and Mark Foster have collected the finest historic baseball photographs of teams, players, and games from around the state. They are all here, the town teams, company teams, early professional clubs, and the ethnic teams that made baseball an integral part of the life and times in Colorado's mountain towns, prairie hamlets, and bustling frontier cities. Combined with the wonderful photographs and captions is an essay that brings baseball's rich heritage in Colorado to life for the reader.
A timeless tale of love, lust, and politics, Tosca is one of the most popular operas ever written. In Tosca's Rome, Susan Vandiver Nicassio explores the surprising historical realities that lie behind Giacomo Puccini's opera and the play by Victorien Sardou on which it is based.
By far the most "historical" opera in the active repertoire, Tosca is set in a very specific time and place: Rome, from June 17 to 18, 1800. But as Nicassio demonstrates, history in Tosca is distorted by nationalism and by the vehement anticlerical perceptions of papal Rome shared by Sardou, Puccini, and the librettists. To provide the historical background necessary for understanding Tosca, Nicassio takes a detailed look at Rome in 1800 as each of Tosca's main characters would have seen it—the painter Cavaradossi, the singer Tosca, and the policeman Scarpia. Finally, she provides a scene-by-scene musical and dramatic analysis of the opera.
"[Nicassio] must be the only living historian who can boast that she once sang the role of Tosca. Her deep knowledge of Puccini's score is only to be expected, but her understanding of daily and political life in Rome at the close of the 18th century is an unanticipated pleasure. She has steeped herself in the period and its prevailing culture-literary, artistic, and musical-and has come up with an unusual, and unusually entertaining, history."—Paul Bailey, Daily Telegraph
"In Tosca's Rome, Susan Vandiver Nicassio . . . orchestrates a wealth of detail without losing view of the opera and its pleasures. . . . Nicassio aims for opera fans and for historians: she may well enthrall both."—Publishers Weekly
"This is the book that ranks highest in my estimation as the most in-depth, and yet highly entertaining, journey into the story of the making of Tosca."—Catherine Malfitano
"Nicassio's prose . . . is lively and approachable. There is plenty here to intrigue everyone-seasoned opera lovers, musical novices, history buffs, and Italophiles."—Library Journal
Treasure Island: A Play
Mary Zimmerman Northwestern University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3576.I66T74 2019 | Dewey Decimal 812.54
“Zimmerman has powerfully captured the joy, danger, and fantasy of Stevenson’s novel. . . Pure fun, a potent coming-of-age story, and a rollicking swashbuckler.”—San Francisco Chronicle
In Treasure Island, Tony Award winner and inventive adapter-director Mary Zimmerman has penned a spirited, energetic adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s most beloved novel, proving again that “a strong story full of larger-than-life characters and the quest for filthy lucre has no age barrier” (Chicago Sun-Times).
Enlivened by rum, mutiny, and buried treasure, Treasure Island is the classic pirates’ tale, widely regarded as the forerunner of this genre. After discovering a treasure map, young Jim Hawkins sets off to sea as cabin boy aboard the Hispaniola, where he encounters one of the most unforgettable characters in literary history—peg-legged buccaneer Long John Silver, a malicious mutineer and charismatic father figure.
The Unmentionables: A Play
Bruce Norris Northwestern University Press, 2009 Library of Congress PS3614.O768U66 2009 | Dewey Decimal 812.54
Venus in Fur: A Play
David Ives Northwestern University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3559.V435V46 2011 | Dewey Decimal 812.54
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.
While indigenous languages have become prominent in global political and educational discourses, limited attention has been given to indigenous children’s everyday communication. Voices of Play is a study of multilingual play and performance among Miskitu children growing up on Corn Island, part of a multi-ethnic autonomous region on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua.
Corn Island is historically home to Afro-Caribbean Creole people, but increasing numbers of Miskitu people began moving there from the mainland during the Contra War, and many Spanish-speaking mestizos from western Nicaragua have also settled there. Miskitu kids on Corn Island often gain some competence speaking Miskitu, Spanish, and Kriol English. As the children of migrants and the first generation of their families to grow up with television, they develop creative forms of expression that combine languages and genres, shaping intercultural senses of belonging.
Voices of Play is the first ethnography to focus on the interaction between music and language in children’s discourse. Minks skillfully weaves together Latin American, North American, and European theories of culture and communication, creating a transdisciplinary dialogue that moves across intellectual geographies. Her analysis shows how music and language involve a wide range of communicative resources that create new forms of belonging and enable dialogue across differences. Miskitu children’s voices reveal the intertwining of speech and song, the emergence of “self” and “other,” and the centrality of aesthetics to social struggle.
In What Animals Teach Us about Politics, Brian Massumi takes up the question of "the animal." By treating the human as animal, he develops a concept of an animal politics. His is not a human politics of the animal, but an integrally animal politics, freed from connotations of the "primitive" state of nature and the accompanying presuppositions about instinct permeating modern thought. Massumi integrates notions marginalized by the dominant currents in evolutionary biology, animal behavior, and philosophy—notions such as play, sympathy, and creativity—into the concept of nature. As he does so, his inquiry necessarily expands, encompassing not only animal behavior but also animal thought and its distance from, or proximity to, those capacities over which human animals claim a monopoly: language and reflexive consciousness. For Massumi, humans and animals exist on a continuum. Understanding that continuum, while accounting for difference, requires a new logic of "mutual inclusion." Massumi finds the conceptual resources for this logic in the work of thinkers including Gregory Bateson, Henri Bergson, Gilbert Simondon, and Raymond Ruyer. This concise book intervenes in Deleuze studies, posthumanism, and animal studies, as well as areas of study as wide-ranging as affect theory, aesthetics, embodied cognition, political theory, process philosophy, the theory of play, and the thought of Alfred North Whitehead.
The White Snake: A Play
Mary Zimmerman Northwestern University Press, 2013 Library of Congress PS3576.I66W48 2013 | Dewey Decimal 812.54
In her latest theatrical production inspired by a classic story, Mary Zimmerman reimagines The White Snake, an ancient Chinese legend in which a snake spirit transforms herself into a beautiful woman in order to experience the human world. Adventuring down her mountainside with her companion, Green Snake, White Snake meets and falls in love with the humble, virtuous Xu Xian and convinces him to marry her. Together, the three friends open a pharmacy, but soon the remarkable healing powers of White Snake draw the attention of a treacherous monk, Fa Hai. Outraged at the union between a mortal and a snake spirit, Fa Hai takes it upon himself to destroy it. Zimmerman brings to this timeless romance her usual brilliant mix of ingenious stagecraft, song, abundant humor, and compassion.
Taut and fast-paced, The Wolf at the End of the Block tells the story of Abe, a resident of the Rightlynd neighborhood of Chicago, who seeks justice after a mysterious, late-night interatction at a boarded-up bar. The intrigue envelops Abe, his sister, his boss, and a morally complicated reporter in pursuit of the truth. But as the clock ticks down, the play discloses the hidden motives of each character, leading to a finale of unpredictable twists, turns, and reveals.
A modern-day neo-noir, The Wolf at the End of the Block remixes several different genres to present a new kind of thriller that is socially conscious, relentlessy suspenseful, and bitingly funny. Praised for its power and grace, the play is one of Holter’s most unforgettable.
The Wolf at the End of the Block is one of seven plays in Holter’s Rightlynd Saga, set in Chicago’s fictional fifty-first ward. The other plays in the cycle are Rightlynd, Exit Strategy, Sender, Prowess, Red Rex, and Lottery Day.
You Can't Say You Can't Play
Vivian Gussin PALEY Harvard University Press, 1992 Library of Congress LB1195.P183 1992 | Dewey Decimal 372.11023
You Got Older: A Play
Clare Barron Northwestern University Press, 2017 Library of Congress PS3602.A837246Y68 2017 | Dewey Decimal 812.6
Winner of a 2015 Obie Award for Playwriting
Mae has returned home to help her father while he undergoes treatment for cancer. But she needs a little help herself. She’s just lost her boyfriend and her job. (It turns out there are consequences to dating your boss . . .) And she’s desperately craving intimacy of any sort. Mae escapes into the the arms of a chain-smoking, imaginary Cowboy who turns her on and ties her up. And she escapes into chatter with her siblings as they attempt to distract and entertain themselves in a hospital waiting room. But ultimately, it’s her deep love for her father that teaches Mae to remain optimistic and ambitious in the face of suffering and that gets her back on track.