‘The strange beauty of life and its sometimes unbearable weight are both considered with a screwball lyricism... pitch-perfect... delicate, moving and wry’ - New York Times
The five short plays that make up Oh, the Humanity and other good intentions move toward feeling by way of thought, and toward gratitude by way of loss. These largely sane plays feature people alone or in pairs, or both, attempting to present themselves in the best light, or ultimately, desperately, in any light. Inadvertently vulnerable, or unconsciously callous, or both, the characters here realize they are stuck in a body, and try to put the best face on it. They are, at times, like all of us, unsure of who they are, what they want, what exactly they're on the way to. Is it a funeral or a christening? Is it both or neither? Though this might all seem hazy and conditional, it might all in fact be painstaking and absolute. This is life, for the Problematical Animal.
Title and Deed is a provocative new work by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Horton Foote Prize winner Will Eno, whom The New York Times called ‘a Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation.’
‘A haunting and often fiercely funny meditation on life as a state of permanent exile... The marvel of Mr. Eno’s voice is how naturally it combines a carefully sculptured lyricism with sly, poker-faced humor. Everyday phrases and familiar platitudes -“Don’t ever change,” “Who knows” - are turned inside out or twisted into blunt, unexpected punch lines punctuating long rhapsodic passages that leave you happily word-drunk.’ – New York Times
‘The piece proves to be an always fascinating and surprisingly moving 70 minutes of theater...What emerges from his humorous, sometimes stream-of-conscious patter is a heartfelt exploration of the transience of everything in this life, from words themselves to relationships to our very existence.’ - Theatermania
Volume One is introduced by Andre Bishop, Artistic Director of the Lincoln Center Theater, the most prestigious theatre in the USA. Each play is introduced by critically acclaimed writers themselves. The volume includes:
KIN by Bathsheba Doran, (with an introduction by Chris Durang)
Kin sheds a sharp light on the changing face of kinship in the expansive landscape of the modern world. “Simply terrific. Perhaps the finest new play of the season. Funny and audacious, haunting, and exquisitely wrought.” - Charles Isherwood, New York Times
MIDDLETOWN by Will Eno (with an introduction by Tracy Letts)
Middletown was awarded the prestigious Horton Foote Prize for Promising New American Play in 2010. “Middletown glimmers from start to finish with tart, funny, gorgeous little comments on big things: the need for love and forgiveness, the search for meaning in life, the long, lonely ache of disappointment.” - Charles Isherwood, New York Times
COMPLETENESS by Itamar Moses (with an introduction by Doug Wright)
Completeness is a 21st-century romantic comedy about the timeless confusions of love. “A funny, ridiculously smart new play. I haven’t seen another play recently that so perfectly captured love – hot-blooded, fearless, fickle – at this stage in life. I was left with nothing but admiration.” - Jeremy Gerard, Bloomberg News
GOD'S EAR by Jenny Schwartz (with an introduction by Edward Albee)
“This ode to love, loss and the routines of life has the economy and dry wit of a Sondheim love song ... Schwartz is a real talent and she is trying something ambitious ... In [her] very modern way, [she is] making a rather old-fashioned case for the power of the written word.” - Jason Zinoman, New York Times
"Weird and wonderful . . . Eno's familiar sudden-shifting between profound and playful verbiage is delightfully disarming and sometimes awfully funny."—Variety
“Plays as funny and moving, as wonderful and weird as The Realistic Joneses… do not appear often on Broadway. Or ever, really…. Mr. Eno’s voice may be the most singular of his generation, but it’s humane, literate and slyly hilarious…. For all the sadness woven into its fabric, The Realistic Joneses brought me a pleasurable rush virtually unmatched by anything I’ve seen this season.” – The New York Times
“As usual, Eno’s dialogue is a marvel of compression and tonal control, trivial chitchat flipping into cosmic profundity with striking ease…. There’s much to savor: the dry but meaningful banter, the joy of humans sharing time and space, battling the darkness with a joke or silence. Life in Enoland isn’t what you’d call realistic—it’s more real than that.” – Time Out New York
“[An] elliptical, funny, dark and strangely moving new play…. Eno is a writer with heart and compassion.” – Chicago Tribune
“Eno's first-ever commercial foray ups the creative ante in a Broadway climate that can be resistant to new voices…. [A] very fine play where laughter exists a heartbeat, or heartbreak, away from tears.” – The Telegraph
Meet Bob and Jennifer and their new neighbors John and Pony, two suburban couples who have more in common than their identical last names. Boasting the playwright's quintessential existential quirkiness, this new comedy finds poetry in the banal while humorously exploring our ever-floundering efforts at communication. Listed as one of New York Times's Best Plays of 2012, The Realistic Joneses received its Broadway premiere in spring 2014, starring Toni Collete, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts and Marisa Tomei, and opening to rave reviews.
Will Eno is the author of Thom Pain (based on nothing), which ran for a year Off-Broadway and was a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist. Other works include Middletown, The Flu Season, Tragedy: a tragedy, Intermission, and Gnit, an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt. His many awards include the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theatre Award, the Horton Foote Prize, and the first-ever Marian Seldes/Garson Kanin Fellowship by the Theater Hall of Fame.
“Gnit is classic Will Eno. By that I mean I was thrilled by it.” — Kris Vire, TimeOut Chicago
“If ever a play made me want to be a better person, this is it.” — Bob Fischbach, Omaha World-Herald
Peter Gnit, a funny enough, but so-so specimen of humanity, makes a lifetime of bad decisions on the search for his True Self. This is a rollicking yet cautionary tale about (among other things) how the opposite of love is laziness. Gnit is a faithful, unfaithful and willfully American misreading of Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt (a nineteenth-century Norwegian play), written by Will Eno, who has never been to Norway.
Will Eno’s most recent plays include The Open House (Signature Theatre, New York, 2014; Obie Award, Lucille Lortel Award for Best Play) and The Realistic Joneses (Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven, 2012; Broadway, 2014). His play Middletown received the Horton Foote Prize and Thom Pain (based on nothing) was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize. Mr. Eno lives Brooklyn.
“Will Eno is one of the finest younger playwrights I have come across in a number of years. His work is inventive, disciplined and, at the same time, wild and evocative. His ear is splendid and his mind is agile.”—Edward Albee
“An original, a maverick wordsmith whose weird, wry dramas gurgle with the grim humor and pain of life. Eno specializes in the connections of the unconnected, the apologetic murmurings of the disengaged.”—Guardian
Winner of the 2004 Oppenheimer Award for best New York debut by an American playwright, The Flu Season is a reluctant love story, in spite of itself. Set in a hospital and a theater, it is a play that revels in ambivalence and derives a flailing energy from its doubts whether a love story is ever really a love story.
Will Eno has been called “a Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation” (The New York Times)—he is a playwright with an extraordinary voice and a singular theatrical vision. Also included in this volume are Tragedy: A Tragedy and Intermission.
“Eno has emerged as one of the most original young playwrights on the scene. He is one of the few writers who can convert discomfort and outright agony into such pleasure."--David Cote, TimeOut New York
"Will Eno is one of the finest younger playwrights I've come across in a number of years. His work is inventive, disciplined and, at the same time, wild and evocative."--Edward Albee
When Will Eno's one-person play Thom Pain opened in New York in February 2005, it became something rare--an unqualified hit, which soon extended through July. Before that, the play was a critical success in London and received the coveted Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival. Dubbed "stand-up existentialism" by The New York Times, it is lyrical and deadpan, both sardonic and sincere. It is Thom Pain--in the camouflage of the common man--fumbling with his heart, squinting into the light.
Will Eno lives in Brooklyn, New York. His plays include The Flu Season, Tragedy: a tragedy, King: a problem play, and Intermission. His plays have been produced in London by the Gate Theatre and BBC Radio, and in the United States by Rude Mechanicals and Naked Angels. His play The Flu Season recently won the Oppenheimer Award, presented by NY Newsday for the previous year's best debut production in New York by an American playwright.
“An anarchic and deliciously clever play.” –Huffington Post
This wildly funny and subversive take on the archetypal family drama is dense with authentic feeling and pain and it ultimately evolves into something haunted and mysterious and grand, even hopeful. The Open House won a Drama Desk Award, the 2014 Obie Award for Playwriting and the 2014 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play. It was on the Top Ten Plays of 2014 lists of TIME magazine, Time Out New York and the NY Daily News.
Will Eno is the author of The Realistic Joneses and Thom Pain (based on nothing) , which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Other works include Middletown, The Flu Season, Tragedy: a tragedy, Intermission and Gnit. He is a Residency Five Fellow at Signature Theatre in New York. His many awards include the PEN/Laura Pels Award, the Horton Foote Prize and the first-ever Marian Seldes/Garson Kanin Fellowship by the Theater Hall of Fame.
A moving and funny new play exploring the universe of a small American town. As a friendship develops between longtime resident John Dodge and new arrival Mary Swanson, the lives of the inhabitants of Middletown intersect in strange and poignant ways in a journey that takes them from the local library to outer space and points between.
"Title and Deed is daring within its masquerade of the mundane, spectacular within its minimalism and hilarious within its display of po-faced bewilderment. It is a clown play that capers at the edge of the abyss... Eno’s voice is unique; his play is stage poetry of a high order. You can’t see the ideas coming in Title and Deed. When they arrive—tiptoeing in with a quiet yet startling energy—you don’t quite know how they got there. In this tale’s brilliant telling, it is not the narrator who proves unreliable but life itself. The unspoken message of Eno’s smart, bleak musings seems to be: enjoy the nothingness while you can." —John Lahr, New Yorker
"Eno is a supreme monologist, using a distinctive, edgy blend of non sequiturs and provisional statements to explore the fragility of our existence... There are a lot of words, but they are always exquisitely chosen... Oh, the Humanity reveals that we are beautiful walking tragedies blinking with absurd optimism into the camera lens of history." —Lyn Gardner, Guardian
Known for his wry humor and deeply moving plays, Will Eno's "gift for articulating life's absurd beauty and its no less absurd horrors may be unmatched among writers of his generation" (New York Times). This new volume of the acclaimed playwright's work includes five short plays about being alive—Behold the Coach, in a Blazer, Uninsured; Ladies and Gentlemen, the Rain; Enter the Spokeswoman, Gently; The Bully Composition; and Oh, the Humanity—as well as Title and Deed, a haunting and severely funny solo rumination on life as everlasting exile.
WILL ENO is a fellow of Residency Five at Signature Theatre Company in New York. His play The Open House premiered at Signature in 2014, and received an Obie Award, the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Play, and a Drama Desk Special Award. His play The Realistic Joneses premiered at Yale Repertory Theatre in 2012, and was produced on Broadway in 2014, for which he and the cast received a Drama Desk Special Award. His play Title and Deed premiered at Signature in 2012 and was presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014. Both Title and Deed and The Realistic Joneses were included in the New York Times Best Plays List of 2012. Gnit, an adaption of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, premiered at Actors Theatre of Louisville in 2013. Middletown, winner of the Horton Foote Prize, premiered at the Vineyard Theatre in New York in 2010, and was then produced at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago in 2011. Thom Pain (based on nothing) was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and has been translated into many languages. The Flu Season premiered at the Gate Theatre in London in 2003, and later received the Oppenheimer Award for best New York debut production by an American writer. Tragedy: a tragedy premiered at the Gate Theatre in 2001, and was subsequently produced by Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2008. Mr. Eno lives in Brooklyn with his wife Maria Dizzia and their daughter Albertine.
“The best new play of the season. That rarity of rarities, an issue-driven play that is unpreachy, thought-provoking, and so full of high drama that the audience with which I saw it gasped out loud a half-dozen times at its startling twists and turns. Mr. Shanley deserves the highest possible praise: he doesn’t try to talk you into doing anything but thinking-hard-about the gnarly complexity of human behavior.”—Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal
“A breathtaking work of immense proportion. Positively brilliant.”—Melissa Rose Bernardo, Entertainment Weekly
“#1 show of the year. How splendid it feels to be trusted with such passionate, exquisite ambiguity unlike anything we have seen from this prolific playwright so far. In just ninety fast-moving minutes, Shanley creates four blazingly individual people. Doubt is a lean, potent drama . . . passionate, exquisite, important and engrossing.”—Linda Winer, Newsday
John Patrick Shanley is the author of numerous plays, including Danny in the Deep Blue Sea, Dirty Story, Four Dogs and a Bone, Psychopathia, Sexualis, Sailor’s Song, Savage in Limbo, and Where’s My Money? He has written extensively for TV and film, and his credits include the teleplay for Live from Baghdad and screenplays for Congo; Alive; Five Corners; Joe Versus the Volcano, which he also directed; and Moonstruck, for which he won an Academy Award for best original screenplay.
. . . there are many kinds of light.
The light of fires. The light of stars.
The light that reflects off rivers.
Light that penetrates through cracks.
Then there’s the type of light that reflects off the skin.
—Nilo Cruz, Anna in the Tropics
This lush romantic drama depicts a family of cigar makers whose loves and lives are played out against the backdrop of America in the midst of the Depression. Set in Ybor City (Tampa) in 1930, Cruz imagines the catalytic effect the arrival of a new "lector" (who reads Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina to the workers as they toil in the cigar factory) has on a Cuban-American family. Cruz celebrates the search for identity in a new land.
"The words of Nilo Cruz waft from the stage like a scented breeze. They sparkle and prickle and swirl, enveloping those who listen in both specific place and time . . . and in timeless passions that touch us all. In Anna in the Tropics, the world premiere work he created for Coral Gables’ intimate New Theatre, Cruz claims his place as a storyteller of intricate craftsmanship and poetic power."—Miami Herald
Nilo Cruz is a young Cuban-American playwright whose work has been produced widely around the United States including the Public Theater (New York, NY), South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, CA), Magic Theatre (San Francisco, CA), Oregon Shakespeare Festival, McCarter Theater (Princeton, NJ) and New Theatre (Coral Gables, FL). His other plays include Night Train to Bolina, Two Sisters and a Piano, Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams, among others. Anna in the Tropics also won the Steinberg Award for Best New Play. Mr. Cruz teaches playwriting at Yale University and lives in New York City.
Over the past decade, Donald Margulies has written some of the most insightful works in contemporary American drama. His body of work includes The Loman Family Picnic, Sight Unseen, The Model Apartment and Collected Stories, and with each succeeding work his audiences have grown. It is no surprise that his newest work is his most critically successful yet. As with all of Margulies’s work, he is a master of observing what might be considered the ordinary moments of life and its foibles with fresh ears. Dinner with Friends is a funny yet bittersweet examination of the married lives of two couples who have been extremely close for dozens of years. Although it seems to be treading on familiar ground, Dinner keeps changing its perspective to show how one couple’s breakup can have equally devastating effects on another’s stability.
"This is a smart and subtle play that understand there are no easy answers as people evolve and relationships settle into routine."—David Kaufman, Daily News
"Donald Margulies has drawn one of the most complex and convincing portraits of a marriage in recent memory."—Debra Jo Immergut, The Wall Street Journal
"Dinner with Friends is entertainment as succulent as it is sobering."—John Simon, New York Magazine
Donald Margulies lives with his wife and son in New Haven, CT. He is the author of numerous plays, including Collected Stories and Sight Unseen.
“Ruhl’s zany probe of the razor-thin line between life and death delivers a fresh and humorous look at the times we live in.”—Variety
“Sarah Ruhl is deliriously imaginative and fearless in her choice of subject matter. She is an original.”—Molly Smith, artistic director, Arena Stage
An incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet café. A stranger at the next table who has had enough. And a dead man—with a lot of loose ends. So begins Dead Man’s Cell Phone, a wildly imaginative new comedy by playwright Sarah Ruhl, recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Grant and Pulitzer Prize finalist for her play The Clean House. A work about how we memorialize the dead—and how that remembering changes us—it is the odyssey of a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption, and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world.
Sarah Ruhl’s plays have been produced at theaters around the country, including Lincoln Center Theater, the Goodman Theatre, Arena Stage, South Coast Repertory, Yale Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, among others, and internationally. She is the recipient of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (for The Clean House, 2004), the Helen Merrill Emerging Playwrights Award, and the Whiting Writers’ Award. The Clean House was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2005. She is a member of 13P and New Dramatists.
“A tremendous achievement in American playwriting: a tragicomic populist portrait of a tough land and a tougher people.”—Time Out New York
“Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County is what O’Neill would be writing in 2007. Letts has recaptured the nobility of American drama’s mid-century heyday while still creating something entirely original.”—New York magazine
One of the most bracing and critically acclaimed plays in recent Broadway history, August: Osage County is a portrait of the dysfunctional American family at its finest—and absolute worst. When the patriarch of the Weston clan disappears one hot summer night, the family reunites at the Oklahoma homestead, where long-held secrets are unflinchingly and uproariously revealed. The three-act, three-and-a-half-hour mammoth of a play combines epic tragedy with black comedy, dramatizing three generations of unfulfilled dreams and leaving not one of its thirteen characters unscathed. After its sold-out Chicago premiere, the play has electrified audiences in New York since its opening in November 2007.
Tracy Letts is the author of Killer Joe, Bug, and Man from Nebraska, which was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. His plays have been performed throughout the country and internationally. A performer as well as a playwright, Letts is a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where August: Osage County premiered.
Can any woman have it all? After university Catherine and Gwen chose opposite paths: Catherine built a career as a rock-star academic, while Gwen built a home with a husband and children. Decades later, unfulfilled in opposite ways, each woman covets the other's life, and a dangerous game begins as each tries to claim the other's territory. Sparks fly and the age-old question arises: what do women really want?
Gina Gionfriddo dissects modern gender politics in this breathtakingly witty and virtuosic comedy, set in a small New England college town. Traversing the experiences of women across the generations, this play is a hugely entertaining exploration of a new style of feminism, ripe for the twenty-first century.
Rapture, Blister, Burn was commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, where it premiered, with funds from the Harold and Mim Steinberg Charitable Trust. It received its UK premiere at the Hampstead Theatre, London, in January 2014.
From Quiara Alegría Hudes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Water by the Spoonful, comes this companion play, itself a Pulitzer finalist.
In a crumbling urban lot that has been converted into a verdant sanctuary, a young Marine comes to terms with his father's service in Vietnam as he decides whether to leave for a second tour of duty in Iraq.
Melding a poetic dreamscape with a stream-of-consciousness narrative, Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue takes us on an unforgettable journey across time and generations, lyrically tracing the legacy of war on a single Puerto Rican family.
Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue, a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize, is the first installment in a trilogy of plays that follow Elliot's return from Iraq. The second play, Water by the Spoonful, received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and will be published by Theatre Communications Group concurrently with Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue. The trilogy's final play, The Happiest Song Plays Last, premiered in April 2012 at Chicago's renowned The Goodman Theatre.
“The sting, the speed and marksmanship of the gimcracks his characters fire at each other . . . drips the kind of soulful, energized sarcasm that has long characterized [Letts’] work as an actor and playwright.”–Time Out Chicago
Tracy Letts, who won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for his epic, caustic Oklahoma family drama August: Osage County, has shifted gears with this entertaining comedy set in a donut shop. A love letter to the city where he has lived for more than twenty years, Letts describes his new work as “an exploration of the Chicago storefront experience.” The play takes place in the north side neighborhood of Uptown, where Arthur Przybyszewski runs the donut shop that has been in his family for sixty years. More content to spend the day smoking weed and reminiscing about his Polish immigrant father, Arthur hires a shop assistant, the young African American Franco Wicks, who has both an unpublished novel and unpaid gambling debt. Superior Donuts premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and recently opened on Broadway—following the same path of success as Letts’ previous work.
Tracy Letts is the author of Killer Joe, Bug, Man from Nebraska (nominated for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize), and August: Osage County (awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama). He is a member of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
From the Obie Award-winning author of Quills comes this acclaimed one-man show, which explores the astonishing true story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. A transvestite and celebrated antiques dealer who successfully navigated the two most oppressive regimes of the past century-the Nazis and the Communists--while openly gay and defiantly in drag, von Mahlsdorf was both hailed as a cultural hero and accused of colluding with the Stasi. In an attempt to discern the truth about Charlotte, Doug Wright has written "at once a vivid portrait of Germany in the second half of the twentieth century, a morally complex tale about what it can take to be a survivor, and an intriguing meditation on everything from the obsession with collecting to the passage of time" (Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times).
Indeed Lorraine Hansberry's award-winning drama about the hopes and aspirations of a struggling, working-class family living on the South Side of Chicago connected profoundly with the psyche of black America--and changed American theater forever. The play's title comes from a line in Langston Hughes's poem "Harlem," which warns that a dream deferred might "dry up/like a raisin in the sun."
"The events of every passing year add resonance to A Raisin in the Sun," said The New York Times. "It is as if history is conspiring to make the play a classic." This Modern Library edition presents the fully restored, uncut version of Hansberry's landmark work with an introduction by Robert Nemiroff.
Neil LaBute's bristling new comic drama puts the final ferocious cap on a trilogy of plays that began with The Shape of Things and Fat Pig. America's obsession with physical beauty is confronted headlong in this brutal and exhilarating work.
Ever since it was first performed in 1949, Death of a Salesman has been recognized as a milestone of the American theater. In the person of Willy Loman, the aging, failing salesman who makes his living riding on a smile and a shoeshine, Arthur Miller redefined the tragic hero as a man whose dreams are at once insupportably vast and dangerously insubstantial. He has given us a figure whose name has become a symbol for a kind of majestic grandiosity—and a play that compresses epic extremes of humor and anguish, promise and loss, between the four walls of an American living room.
"By common consent, this is one of the finest dramas in the whole range of the American theater." —Brooks Atkinson, The New York Times
"So simple, central, and terrible that the run of playwrights would neither care nor dare to attempt it." —Time
Now from Gregory Mosher, the producer of the original stage production, comes a stunning screen adaptation, directed by Michael Corrente and starring Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Franz, and Sean Nelson.
A classic tragedy, American Buffalo is the story of three men struggling in the pursuit of their distorted vision of the American Dream. By turns touching and cynical, poignant and violent, American Buffalo is a piercing story of how people can be corrupted into betraying their ideals and those they love.
"A very funny, warm and, yes, uplifting play with characters that are vivid, vital and who stay with you long after the play is over."—Hartford Courant
"Ms. Hudes possesses a confident and arresting voice."—The New York Times
Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Quiara Alegría Hudes's drama is a heartbreaking, funny, and inspiring account of the search for family in both conventional and unconventional places.
Somewhere in Philadelphia, Elliot has returned from Iraq and is struggling to find his place in the world, while somewhere in a chat room, recovering addicts forge an unbreakable bond of support and love. The boundaries of family and friendship are stretched across continents and cyberspace as birth families splinter and online families collide.
Water by the Spoonful is the second installment in a trilogy of plays that follow Elliot, a young veteran of the Iraq War. The trilogy's first play, Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue, was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize and will be published by Theatre Communications Group concurrently with Water by the Spoonful. The trilogy's final play, The Happiest Song Plays Last, premiered in April 2012 at Chicago's renowned The Goodman Theatre.
Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play
It is the spring of 1948. In the still cool evenings of Pittsburgh's Hill district, familiar sounds fill the air. A rooster crows. Screen doors slam. The laughter of friends gathered for a backyard card game rises just above the wail of a mother who has lost her son. And there's the sound of the blues, played and sung by young men and women with little more than a guitar in their hands and a dream in their hearts.
August Wilson's Seven Guitars is the sixth chapter in his continuing theatrical saga that explores the hope, heartbreak, and heritage of the African-American experience in the twentieth century. The story follows a small group of friends who gather following the untimely death of Floyd "Schoolboy" Barton, a local blues guitarist on the edge of stardom. Together, they reminisce about his short life and discover the unspoken passions and undying spirit that live within each of them.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Based on a true story that stunned the world, M. Butterfly opens in the cramped prison cell where diplomat Rene Gallimard is being held captive by the French government—and by his own illusions. In the darkness of his cell he recalls a time when desire seemed to give him wings. A time when Song Liling, the beautiful Chinese diva, touched him with a love as vivid, as seductive—and as elusive—as a butterfly.
How could he have known, then, that his ideal woman was, in fact, a spy for the Chinese government—and a man disguised as a woman? In a series of flashbacks, the diplomat relives the twenty-year affair from the temptation to the seduction, from its consummation to the scandal that ultimately consumed them both. But in the end, there remains only one truth: Whether or not Gallimard's passion was a flight of fancy, it sparked the most vigorous emotions of his life.
Only in real life could love become so unreal. And only in such a dramatic tour de force do we learn how a fantasy can become a man's mistress—as well as his jailer. M. Butterfly is one of the most compelling, explosive, and slyly humorous dramas ever to light the Broadway stage, a work of unrivaled brilliance, illuminating the conflict between men and women, the differences between East and West, racial stereotypes—and the shadows we cast around our most cherished illusions.
M. Butterfly remains one of the most influential romantic plays of contemporary literature, and in 1993 was made into a film by David Cronenberg starring Jeremy Irons and John Lone.
A blistering character study and an examination of the American melting pot and the judicial system that keeps it in check, Twelve Angry Men holds at its core a deeply patriotic faith in the U.S. legal system. The play centers on Juror Eight, who is at first the sole holdout in an 11-1 guilty vote. Eight sets his sights not on proving the other jurors wrong but rather on getting them to look at the situation in a clear-eyed way not affected by their personal prejudices or biases. Reginald Rose deliberately and carefully peels away the layers of artifice from the men and allows a fuller picture to form of them—and of America, at its best and worst.
After the critically acclaimed teleplay aired in 1954, this landmark American drama went on to become a cinematic masterpiece in 1957 starring Henry Fonda, for which Rose wrote the adaptation. More recently, Twelve Angry Men had a successful, and award-winning, run on Broadway.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Who better than America's elder statesman of the theater, Williams' contemporary Arthur Miller, to write as a witness to the lightning that struck American culture in the form of A Streetcar Named Desire? Miller's rich perspective on Williams' singular style of poetic dialogue, sensitive characters, and dramatic violence makes this a unique and valuable new edition of A Streetcar Named Desire. This definitive new edition will also include Williams' essay "The World I Live In," and a brief chronology of the author's life.
Meet, Derrick Mason one of the most ruthless drug dealers to ever walk the streets, he and his family controls over fifty percent of the drug traffic in New York City. Things are going good until, Derrick is forced to make a tough decision that could change his family's lives forever. He knows the wrong decision could start an all out war with men ten times more powerful than him. With so much on his plate, Derrick has to push his emotions to the side and remember that business is business.
The place is Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, an enclave of rigid piety huddled on the edge of a wilderness. Its inhabitants believe unquestioningly in their own sanctity. But in Arthur Miller's edgy masterpiece, that very belief will have poisonous consequences when a vengeful teenager accuses a rival of witchcraft—and then when those accusations multiply to consume the entire village.
First produced in 1953, at a time when America was convulsed by a new epidemic of witch-hunting, The Crucible brilliantly explores the threshold between individual guilt and mass hysteria, personal spite and collective evil. It is a play that is not only relentlessly suspenseful and vastly moving but that compels readers to fathom their hearts and consciences in ways that only the greatest theater ever can.
"A drama of emotional power and impact" —New York Post
At the top of the stairs there are four secrets hidden. Blond, beautiful, innocent, and struggling to stay alive . . .
They were a perfect family, golden and carefree—until a heartbreaking tragedy shattered their happiness. Now, for the sake of an inheritance that will ensure their future, the children must be hidden away out of sight, as if they never existed. Kept on the top floor of their grandmotherds vast mansion, their loving mother assures them it will be just for a little while. But as brutal days swell into agonizing months and years, Cathy, Chris, and twins Cory and Carrie, realize their survival is at the mercy of their cruel and superstitious grandmother . . . and this cramped and helpless world may be the only one they ever know.
Book One of the Dollanganger series, the sequels include Petals in the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows. Then experience the attic from Christopher’s point of view in Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth and Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger.
At once enchanting and perplexing, incisively intelligent and side-splittingly funny, this original paperback edition of Ives's plays includes "Sure Thing," "Words, Words, Words," "The Universal Language," "Variations on the Death of Trotsky," "The Philadelphia," "Long Ago and Far Away," "Foreplay, or The Art of the Fugue," "Seven Menus," "Mere Mortals," "English Made Simple," "A Singular Kinda Guy," "Speed-the-Play," "Ancient History," and "Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread."
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Under the watchful gaze of his young assistant and the threatening presence of a new generation of artists, Mark Rothko takes on his greatest challenge yet: to create a definitive work for an extraordinary setting.
A moving and compelling account of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century whose struggle to accept his growing riches and praise became his ultimate undoing..
Nominated for 7 Olivier Awards (2009) and winner of six Tony Awards 2010 including Best New Play. "A FRESH, EXCITING portrait of a BRILLIANT mind." -Ben Brantley, The New York Times.
"SMART AND SCINTILLATING. RED deftly conjures what most plays about artists don't: THE EXHILARATION OF THE ACT." -John Lahr, The New Yorker.
"An electrifying new play." -Marilyn Stasio, Variety.
"Plays about painters are fraught with difficulty. Either the hero preaches about art without practising it, or the Bohemian lifestyle supersedes the work. But John Logan's play about Mark Rothko overcomes these obstacles with finesse... It's a measure of the play's success that it makes you want to rush out and renew acquaintance with Rothko's work. 4 stars" Michael Billington - The Guardian
Time magazine called The Skin of Our Teeth "a sort of Hellzapoppin' with brains," as it broke from established theatrical conventions and walked off with the 1943 Pulitzer Prize for Best Drama. Combining farce, burlesque, and satire (among other styles), Thornton Wilder departs from his studied use of nostalgia and sentiment in Our Town to have an Eternal Family narrowly escape one disaster after another, from ancient times to the present. Meet George and Maggie Antrobus (married only 5,000 years); their two children, Gladys and Henry (perfect in every way!); and their maid, Sabina (the ageless vamp) as they overcome ice, flood, and war -- by the skin of their teeth.
Brooke has come home to draw a line in the sand and is daring her family to cross it. Her brother won't play her game; her aunt knows way too much, and her parents fall into all their old routines as they plead with her to keep their story quiet. In this family, secrets are currency and everyone is rich.
In simplest terms, the play is about a girl who comes home to the desert with a story about where she is from, who her people really are, what she thinks they really are. Her parents represent an Establishment that she feels has betrayed this country. She goes to war with them, and blood is spilled.
You can experience God’s presence and healing power through dance.
Encountering God Through Dance equips believers to worship Jesus in wholehearted devotion—to express love without fear or shame.
What people are saying:
Encountering God Through Dance is the wonderful journey of a radical lover of God…and a manual for instruction and inspiration. —Bill Johnson, Senior Pastor, Bethel Church
This is by far the most refreshing book I have read in a long time. Saara Taina has given her life to a core area of life that is far too marginalized in many churches. —Marc A. Dupont, Mantle of Praise Ministries, Inc.
Rarely do you see a book that offers passion, testimonies, and biblical expertise so that others can be fully equipped. —Theresa Dedmon, Director of Prophetic Arts, Bethel Church
We have personally experienced the breakthrough power of the dance many, many times in Succat Hallel, our 24/7 worship room that overlooks Mount Zion in Jerusalem. —Rick and Patti Ridings, Succat Hallel
The author’s personal journey of devotion through dance has taken her worldwide. She wraps her exciting travels with a solid biblical framework for the importance of dance in the Kingdom of God—on earth, today!
After The End received its world premiere at The Traverse Theatre in August 2005. “An arresting display... as the tension escalates, the production does find a tremendous claustrophobic force” – The Guardian
“Terrifying... [with] dark political undertones... a quest for power and status that finds expression in a war-seeking, paranoid racism that is all too recognisable in every western culture.” – The Scotsman
"[a] tense two-hander... Kelly's taut, expletive ridden script is realised skillfully... an absorbing and sharply delivered exploration of human behavior, pushed to extremes” 4 stars – The Independent
Margaret Edson's powerfully imagined Pulitzer Prize–winning play examines what makes life worth living through her exploration of one of existence's unifying experiences—mortality—while she also probes the vital importance of human relationships. What we as her audience take away from this remarkable drama is a keener sense that, while death is real and unavoidable, our lives are ours to cherish or throw away—a lesson that can be both uplifting and redemptive. As the playwright herself puts it, "The play is not about doctors or even about cancer. It's about kindness, but it shows arrogance. It's about compassion, but it shows insensitivity."
In Wit, Edson delves into timeless questions with no final answers: How should we live our lives knowing that we will die? Is the way we live our lives and interact with others more important than what we achieve materially, professionally, or intellectually? How does language figure into our lives? Can science and art help us conquer death, or our fear of it? What will seem most important to each of us about life as that life comes to an end?
The immediacy of the presentation, and the clarity and elegance of Edson's writing, make this sophisticated, multilayered play accessible to almost any interested reader.
As the play begins, Vivian Bearing, a renowned professor of English who has
spent years studying and teaching the intricate, difficult Holy Sonnets of the
seventeenth-century poet John Donne, is diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. Confident of her ability to stay in control of events, she brings to her illness the same intensely rational and painstakingly methodical approach that has guided her stellar academic career. But as her disease and its excruciatingly painful treatment inexorably progress, she begins to question the single-minded values and standards that have always directed her, finally coming to understand the aspects of life that make it truly worth living.
A contemporary play for younger people, DNA opened at the National Theatre in February 2008
'A taut, compelling thriller and a modern-day spin on Lord of the Flies, exploring group behaviour and moral equivocation' – Financial Times
'Dennis Kelly's cruel teaser of a play; Anthony Banks's snappy production sets the temperature at chilling.' 4 stars – The Sunday Times
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