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.
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
"This is a worthy new edition, one that I'm sure will appeal to many students and teachers. William Davies King provides a thoughtful introduction to Long Day's Journey into Night—equally sensitive to the most particular and most encompassing of the play's materials."—Marc Robinson/DIV
The play was intended as a tragedy on the purposeless of life imposed on the women of his time, both by their upbringing and by the social conventions which limited their activities. When it was first produced it met with misunderstanding and abuse. It has nevertheless become one of the most popular of Ibsen's plays.
"To me the most interesting aspect of the success of Man of La Mancha is the fact that it plows squarely upstream against the prevailing current of philosophy in the theater. That current is best identified by its catch-labels--Theater of the Absurd, Black Comedy, the Theater of Cruelty--which is to say the theater of alienation, of moral anarchy and despair. To the practitioners of those philosophies Man of La Mancha must seem hopelessly naive in its espousal of illusion as man's strongest spiritual need, the most meaningful function of his imagination. But I've no unhappiness about that. "Facts are the enemy of truth," says Cervantes-Don Quixote. And that is precisely what I felt and meant."--Dale Wasserman, from the Preface.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this powerful work, Ibsen places his main characters, Dr. Thomas Stockman, in the role of an enlightened and persecuted minority of one confronting an ignorant, powerful majority. When the physician learns that the famous and financially successful baths in his hometown are contaminated, he insists they be shut down for expensive repairs. For his honesty, he is persecuted, ridiculed, and declared an "enemy of the people" by the townspeople, included some who have been his closest allies.
First staged in 1883, An Enemy of the People remains one of the most frequently performed plays by a writer considered by many the "father of modern drama." This easily affordable edition makes available to students, teachers, and general readers a major work by one of the world's great playwrights.
“The staggering purity of this show will touch all open hearts…In its refined, imaginative simplicity, it daringly reverses all the conventional rules by returning the American musical to an original state of innocence.”—John Heilpern, The New York Observer
“An unexpected jolt of sudden genius, edgy in its brutally honest, unromanticized depiction of human sexuality.”—New York Post
Spring Awakening is an extraordinary new rock musical with book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Grammy Award-nominated recording artist Duncan Sheik. Inspired by Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 play about teenage sexuality and society’s efforts to control it, the piece seamlessly merges past and present, underscoring the timelessness of adolescent angst and the universality of human passion.
Steven Sater’s plays include the long-running Carbondale Dreams, Perfect for You, Doll (Rosenthal Prize/Cincinnati Playhouse), Umbrage (Steppenwolf New Play Prize), and a reconceived version of Shakespeare’s Tempest, which played in London.
Duncan Sheik is a singer/songwriter who also collaborated with Sater on the musical The Nightingale. He has composed original music for The Gold Rooms of Nero and for The Public Theater’s Twelfth Night in Central Park.
—Two Gentlemen of Verona
Eminent Shakespearean scholars Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen provide a fresh new edition of the classic comedy of courtship and delicious rivalry.
THIS VOLUME ALSO INCLUDES MORE THAN A HUNDRED PAGES OF EXCLUSIVE FEATURES:
• an original Introduction to Two Gentlemen of Verona
• incisive scene-by-scene synopsis and analysis with vital facts about the work
• commentary on past and current productions based on interviews with leading directors, actors, and designers
• photographs of key RSC productions
• an overview of Shakespeare’s theatrical career and chronology of his plays
Ideal for students, theater professionals, and general readers, these modern and accessible editions from the Royal Shakespeare Company set a new standard in Shakespearean literature for the twenty-first century.
Anna Christie amply displays O'Neill's extraordinary insights into character and his masterly use of language, qualities that have earned him acclaim as one of America's greatest playwrights. Students and lovers of modern theater will prize this inexpensive edition of his landmark drama.
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.
Fish in the Dark has its world premiere at the Cort Theatre on Broadway on March 5, 2015, starring Larry David.
Asher Lev grows up in a cloistered Hasidic community in postwar Brooklyn, a world suffused by ritual and revolving around a charismatic Rebbe. But in time, his gift threatens to estrange him from that world and the parents he adores. As it follows his struggle, My Name Is Asher Lev becomes a luminous portrait of the artist, by turns heartbreaking and exultant, a modern classic.
“Guettel’s music and lyrics take nothing from the razzle-dazzle bargain basement of feeling; they represent, instead, a genuine expense of spirit. . . . The Light in the Piazza doesn’t want to make theatre-goers feel good; it wants to make them feel deeply.”—The New Yorker
“With Adam Guettel’s gorgeous melodies, a compelling narrative hook from Craig Lucas, and moving themes about happiness and risk, there’s no question that The Light in the Piazza is Broadway worthy.”—Daily Variety
Composer Adam Guettel, best known for his Floyd Collins, has teamed with Prelude to a Kiss playwright Craig Lucas to create a passionate and soaring new musical based on Elizabeth Spencer’s 1960 novella, which was first published as an entire issue of The New Yorker. It is the story of an American ingénue abroad, whose chance meeting of a charming young Italian in a Florentine piazza sets off a whirlwind romance—with an unsettling revelation. The Light in the Piazza opens on Broadway at the Lincoln Center Theater this spring after major productions already in Seattle and Chicago.
Adam Guettel wrote music and lyrics for Floyd Collins, produced across the country and in London. His other works include Love’s Fire, a collaboration with John Guare, and Saturn Returns, a concert at The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival that was recorded by Nonesuch Records under the title Myths and Hymns.
Craig Lucas won this year’s Obie Award for Best American Play for Small Tragedy and the New York Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay for The Secret Lives of Dentists. His other plays include Reckless, Blue Window, Prelude to a Kiss, God’s Heart, The Dying Gaul, Missing Persons, Stranger, and Singing Forest.
MEDVIEDENKO. Why do you always wear mourning?
MASHA. I dress in black to match my life. I am unhappy.
MEDVIEDENKO. Why should you be unhappy? [Thinking it over] I don't understand it. You are healthy, and though your father is not rich, he has a good competency. My life is far harder than yours. I only have twenty-three roubles a month to live on, but I don't wear mourning. [They sit down].
MASHA. Happiness does not depend on riches; poor men are often happy.
MEDVIEDENKO. In theory, yes, but not in reality. Take my case, for instance; my mother, my two sisters, my little brother and I must all live somehow on my salary of twenty-three roubles a month. We have to eat and drink, I take it. You wouldn't have us go without tea and sugar, would you? Or tobacco? Answer me that, if you can.
MASHA. [Looking in the direction of the stage] The play will soon begin.
Twelve-year-old Helen Keller lived in a prison of silence and darkness. Born deaf, blind, and mute, with no way to express herself or comprehend those around her, she flew into primal rages against anyone who tried to help her, fighting tooth and nail with a strength born of furious, unknowing desperation.
Then Annie Sullivan came. Half-blind herself, but possessing an almost fanatical determination, she would begin a frightening and incredibly moving struggle to tame the wild girl no one could reach, and bring Helen into the world at last....
I think this coming summer the King of Sicilia means to pay Bohemia the visitation which he justly owes him.
Wherein our entertainment shall shame us we will be justified in our loves; for indeed,—
Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge: we cannot with such magnificence—in so rare—I know not what to say.—We will give you sleepy drinks, that your senses, unintelligent of our insufficience, may, though they cannot praise us, as little accuse us.
You pay a great deal too dear for what's given freely.
Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.
It's 1981. As the Soviet army burns its way through Afghanistan, CIA operative Jim Warnock is sent to try to halt its bloody progress, beginning a secret spy war behind the official hostilities. Jim and his counterparts in the KGB and the British and Pakistani secret services wrestle with ever-shifting personal and political loyalties. With the outcome of the entire Cold War at stake, Jim and a larger-than-life Afghan warlord decide to place their trust in each other.
Spanning a decade and playing out in Washington, D.C., Pakistan, and Afghanistan, Blood and Gifts is a sweeping, often shockingly funny epic set against one of the greatest historical events of recent history, the repercussions of which continue to shape our world.
Set in the mountains of Connemara, County Galway, The Beauty Queen of Leenane tells the darkly comic tale of Maureen Folan, a plain and lonely spinster in her early forties, and Mag her devilishly manipulative ageing mother whose interference in Maureen's first and potentially last loving relationship sets in motion a train of events that is as gothically funny as it is horrific. Maureen might long for the romance that will spirit her away, but if she goes, who will stir the lumps out of Mag's Complan?
The Beauty Queen of Leenane was first presented as a Druid Theatre/Royal Court Theatre co-production in January 1996. An instant classic from its first performance, The Beauty Queen of Leenane established Martin McDonagh as the natural successor to Oscar Wilde and Joe Orton. The Oscar and Bafta-winning writer's other films and plays include In Bruges and The Pillowman.
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.
Craig Lucas is also the author of Reckless and Blue Window and What I Mean Was. He lives in Putnam Valley, New York.
The story revolves around two seemingly homeless men waiting for someone—or something—named Godot. Vladimir and Estragon wait near a tree, inhabiting a drama spun of their own consciousness. The result is a comical wordplay of poetry, dreamscapes, and nonsense, which has been interpreted as mankind’s inexhaustible search for meaning. Beckett’s language pioneered an expressionistic minimalism that captured the existential post-World War II Europe. His play remains one of the most magical and beautiful allegories of our time.
In the red corner: Leon Davidson - Black British champ or Uncle Tom? In the blue corner: Troy Augustus - American powerhouse or naive cash cow? Having spent their youth in the same London boxing gym, vying for the favouritism of inspirational, foul-mouthed trainer Charlie Maggs, the two former friends step into the ring and face up to who they are. Boxing has dominated their lives with an unhoped-for structure and meaning, but it becomes clear that it is no substitute for their health, family, and friends.
Roy Williams' Sucker Punch looks back on what it was like to be young and black in the 1980s and asks if the right battles have been fought, let alone won.
With an introduction by Harry Derbyshire, Lecturer in English and Drama at the University of Greenwich.
National Book Critics Circle Award Winner
PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist
A New York Times Book Review Best Book
One of the Best Books of the Year: Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast, The Miami Herald, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Newsday, NPR's On Point, O, the Oprah Magazine, People, Publishers Weekly, Salon, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Slate, Time, The Washington Post, and Village Voice
Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive. Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Here Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, A Visit from the Goon Squad is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.
The Lonesome West was first presented as a Druid Theatre company and Royal Court co-production in the summer of 1997, and is the final part of McDonagh's Leenane trilogy.
This edition explores the play's substantial themes and textured controversy, which make it such a popular choice to study: the Catholic Church is exposed as irrelevant and powerless and the characters have a dangerously skewed sense of morality. The text is full of McDonagh's characteristic combination of farce, aggression and wit. The plot follows two brothers, Valene and Coleman, living alone in their father's house after his recent death. They find it impossible to exist without massive and violent disputes over the most mundane and innocent of topics. Only Father Welsh, the local young priest, is prepared to try to reconcile the two before their petty squabblings spiral into vicious and bloody carnage.
Martin McDonagh is the most controversial Irish dramatist working today, with his explorations of Irish national identity which look at the darker side of provincial life. His bleak but blackly comic portrayal of modern, rural Ireland courts debate with its dark farce, caricatures of violence and barbarism and an exaggerated, poeticised dialect of Hiberno-English.
Cymbeline offers captivating storytelling that's crowned by the beauty of its language. Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, Samuel Beckett, and countless others have quoted Act IV's funeral song: "Fear no more the heat o' th' sun/Nor the furious winter's rages;/Thou thy worldly task hast done,/Home art gone and ta'en thy wages." A moving story of loss and recovery, Shakespeare's drama promises that a leap of faith can lead to miracles.
1981. Hollywood. Sue Mengers, the first female superagent, at a time when women talent agents of any kind are almost unheard of, invites you into her Beverly Hills home for an evening of dish, secrets, and all the inside showbiz stories that only Sue could tell...
Back in the 1970s, Sue Mengers represented almost every major star in Hollywood; her clients were the talk of the town and her glamorous dinner parties were legendary. But by 1981 the glory days were fading. Her time was passing as a sleek and corporate New Hollywood began to emerge. The phone's not ringing so much these days and Sue is forced to face the inevitable truth: the credits roll sooner than you think. Starring Bette Midler who makes her return to the stage in her first Broadway play in over 30 years.
A new play by three-time Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and playwright John Logan, following the recent success of Peter and Alice in the West End and his play RED, which played London to great acclaim before transferring to a smash hit Broadway run where it won 6 Tony Awards including Best New Play. Logan's work as a screenwriter includes the latest James Bond movie Skyfall, Sweeney Todd, The Aviator, Hugo, Gladiator, The Last Samurai, Rango, Coriolanus, and Any Given Sunday.
In midcentury America, newspaper columnists are kings—and Joseph Alsop wears the biggest crown. Joe sits at the nexus of Washington life: beloved, feared, and courted in equal measure by the very people whose careers and futures he determines. But as the sixties dawn and America undergoes dizzying change, the intense political dramas Joe has been throwing his weight around in—supporting the war in Vietnam and Soviet containment, criticizing student activism—come to bear a profound personal cost.
Based on the real-life story of Joe Alsop, whose columns at the time of his 1974 retirement were running three times a week in more than three hundred newspapers, David Auburn's The Columnist is a deft blend of history and storytelling. A hilarious, searing portrait of the glorious rewards and devastating losses that accompany ego, ambition, and the pursuit of power, The Columnist pens a vital letter from a radically changing decade to our own turbulent era.
Award-winning writer Joe Penhall first rose to prominence in 1994 with his Royal Court play Some Voices and he has been described by the Financial Times as 'one of the finest playwrights of his generation.' Blue/Orange is an accessible and vibrant play, which explores a number of important issues and which makes it a good choice to study. This includes themes of race and representation, sanity and insanity (and in particular the social structures, stigma and complexity surrounding schizophrenia), as well the political context of New Labour and spin, and questions of prejudice and difference.
This Student Edition features expert and helpful annotation, including a scene-by-scene summary, a detailed commentary on the dramatic, social and political context, and on the themes, characters, language and structure of the play, as well as a list of suggested reading and questions for further study and a review of performance history.
Nick Payne's If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet is a brilliantly sad, humorous, and empathetic play about a family stuck somewhere between knowing what the problem is and doing something about it.
A programme text edition published in conjunction with the Finborough Theatre to coincide with the centenary of the birth of William Saroyan, The Time of Your Life runs from 26 November - 20 December.
'In the time of our life, live - so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it'
The Time of Your Life, a rich tapestry of human life, peopled by a profusion of wistful dreamers, pining lonely hearts, and beer-hall-philosophers, is a twentieth century American masterpiece.
The Time of Your Life was first presented at The Shubert Theatre, New Haven, USA, on 7 October 1939. It was the first play to win both the New York Drama Critics' Circle award and the Pulitzer Prize. . It has been revived three times on Broadway; was filmed in 1948, starring James Cagney; and twice filmed for TV. It was last seen in the UK in a star-studded Royal Shakespeare Company production in Stratford and London in 1983, and received the following review:
'A remarkable play which blazes forth like a brave beacon: warming and full of fire' Daily Mail
Anna and Claire are two bantering, scheming "women of fashion" who live together on the fringes of society. Anna has just become the mistress of a wealthy man, from whom she has received an enormous emerald. Claire, meanwhile, is infatuated with a young girl and wants to enlist the jealous Anna's help for an assignation. As the two women exchange barbs and taunt their hapless maid, Claire's inamorata arrives and sets off a crisis that puts both the valuable emerald and the women's future at risk. Mamet brings his trademark tart dialogue and impeccable plotting, spiced with Wildean wit, to this wickedly funny comedy.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Aaron the Moor, a magnificent villain and the empress’s secret lover, makes a similar transition. After the empress bears him a child, Aaron devotes himself to preserving the baby. Retaining his thirst for evil, he shows great tenderness to his little family—a tenderness that also characterizes Titus before the terrifying conclusion.
The authoritative edition of Titus Andronicus from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:
-The exact text of the printed book for easy cross-reference
-Hundreds of hypertext links for instant navigation
-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
-Full explanatory notes conveniently linked to the text of the play
-Scene-by-scene plot summaries
-A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases
-An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language
-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books
-An annotated guide to further reading
Essay by Alexander Leggatt
The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.