This Critical Companion to the American Stage Musical provides the perfect introductory text for students of theatre, music and cultural studies. It traces the history and development of the industry and art form in America with a particular focus on its artistic and commercial development in New York City from the early 20th century to the present. Emphasis is placed on commercial, artistic and cultural events that influenced the Broadway musical for an ever-renewing, increasingly broad and diverse audience: the Gilded Age, the Great Depression, the World War II era, the British invasion in the 1980s and the media age at the turn of the twenty-first century. Supplementary essays by leading scholars provide detailed focus on the American musical's production and preservation, as well as its influence on daily life on the local, national, and international levels. For students, these essays provide models of varying approaches and interpretation, equipping them with the skills and understanding to develop their own analysis of key productions.
The Theatre of Eugene O'Neill offers a new comprehensive overview of O'Neill's career and plays in the context of the American theatre. Organised thematically, it considers his Modernist intervention in the theatre, offers readers detailed analysis of the plays, and assesses the recent resurgence in his reputation and new approaches to staging his work. It includes a study of all his major plays - The Emperor Jones, The Hairy Ape, The Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey into Night, A Moon for the Misbegotten and Desire Under the Elms - besides numerous other full length and one act dramas. Eugene O'Neill is generally credited with inventing modern American drama, in a time of cultural ferment and lively artistic and intellectual change. Yet O'Neill's theatrical instincts were always shaped by American stage traditions that were inextricable from his sense of himself and his own national culture. This study shows that his theatrical modernism represents not so much a break from these traditions as a reinvention of their scope and significance in the context of international stage modernism, offering an image of national culture and character that opens new possibilities for the stage while remaining rooted in its past. Kurt Eisen traces O'Neill's Modernism throughout the dramatists's work: his attempts to break from the themes, plots, and moral conventions of the traditional melodramatic theatre; his experiments in stagecraft and theme, and their connection to traditional theatre and his European modernist contemporaries; the turn toward direct and indirect self-representation; and his critique of the family and of American 'pipe dreams' and the allure of success. The volume additionally features four contributed essays providing further critical perspectives on O'Neill's work, besides a chronology of the writer's life and times.
The Cambridge Companion to the Musical provides an accessible introduction to one of the liveliest and most popular forms of musical performance. Written by a team of specialists in the field of musical theatre especially for students and theatregoers, it offers a guide to the history and development of the musical in England and America (including coverage of New York s Broadway and London s West End traditions). Starting with the early history of the musical, the volume comes right up to date and examines the latest works and innovations, and includes information on the singers, audience and critical reception, and traditions. There is fresh coverage of the American musical theatre in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the British musical theatre in the middle of the twentieth century, and the rock musical. The Companion contains an extensive bibliography and photos from key productions.
Few American playwrights have exerted as much influence on the contemporary stage as Sam Shepard. His plays are performed on and off Broadway and in all the major regional American theatres. They are also widely performed and studied in Europe, particularly in Britain, Germany and France, finding both a popular and scholarly audience. In this collection of seventeen original essays, American and European authors from different professional and academic backgrounds explore the various aspects of Shepard s career - his plays, poetry, music, fiction, acting, directing and film work. The volume covers the major plays, including Curse of the Starving Class, Buried Child, and True West, as well as other lesser known but vitally important works. A thorough chronology of Shepard s life and career, together with biographical chapters, a note from the legendary Joseph Chaikin, and an interview with the playwright, give a fascinating first-hand account of an exuberant and experimental personality.
With contributions from the leading scholars in the field, this Companion provides a comprehensive and accessible overview of African American theatre, from the early nineteenth century to the present day. Along the way, it chronicles the evolution of African American theatre and its engagement with the wider community.
This Companion celebrates the extraordinary riches of the twentieth-century operatic repertoire in a collection of specially commissioned essays written by a distinguished team of academics, critics and practitioners. Beginning with a discussion of the century's vital inheritance from late-romantic operatic traditions in Germany and Italy, the text embraces fresh investigations into various aspects of the genre in the modern age, with a comprehensive coverage of the work of individual composers from Debussy and Schoenberg to John Adams and Harrison Birtwistle. Traditional stylistic categorizations (including symbolism, expressionism, neo-classicism and minimalism) are reassessed from new critical perspectives, and the distinctive operatic traditions of Continental and Eastern Europe, Russia and the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and United States are subjected to fresh scrutiny. The volume includes essays devoted to avant-garde music theatre, operettas and musicals, filmed opera, and ends with a discussion of the position of the genre in today's cultural marketplace.
This Concise Companion is a guide to the creative output of the United States in the postwar period, in its diverse energies, shapes and forms. Embraces diversity, covering Vietnam literature, gay and lesbian literature, American Jewish fiction, Italian American literature, Irish American writing, emergent ethnic literatures, African American writing, jazz, film, drama and more. Shows how different genres and approaches opened up creative possibilities and interacted in the postwar period. Portrays the postwar United States split by differences of wealth and position, by ethnicity and race, and by agendas of left and right, but united in the intensity of its creative drive.