Contemporary Plays by African American Women: Ten Complete Works

University of Illinois Press
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African American women have increasingly begun to see their plays performed from regional stages to Broadway. Yet many of these artists still struggle to gain attention. In this volume, Sandra Adell draws from the vital wellspring of works created by African American women in the twenty-first century to present ten plays by both prominent and up-and-coming writers. Taken together, the selections portray how these women engage with history as they delve into--and shake up--issues of gender and class to craft compelling stories of African American life. Gliding from gritty urbanism to rural landscapes, these works expand boundaries and boldly disrupt modes of theatrical representation. Selections: Blue Door , by Tanya Barfield; Levee James , by S. M. Shephard-Massat; Hoodoo Love , by Katori Hall; Carnaval , by Nikkole Salter; Single Black Female , by Lisa B. Thompson; Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine , by Lynn Nottage; BlackTop Sky , by Christina Anderson; Voyeurs de Venus , by Lydia Diamond; Fedra , by J. Nicole Brooks; and Uppa Creek: A Modern Anachronistic Parody in the Minstrel Tradition , by Keli Garrett.
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About the author

Sandra Adell is a professor of literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is author of Double-Consciousness/Double Bind: Theoretical Issues in Twentieth-Century Black Literature .
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Illinois Press
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Published on
Dec 15, 2015
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Pages
408
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ISBN
9780252097812
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Language
English
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Genres
Performing Arts / Theater / History & Criticism
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
Social Science / Gender Studies
Social Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Stella Adler
In her long-awaited book, the legendary acting teacher Stella Adler gives us her extraordinary insights into the work of Henrik Ibsen ("The creation of the modern theater took a genius like Ibsen. . .Miller and Odets, Inge and O'Neill, Williams and Shaw, swallowed the whole of him"), August Strindberg ("He understood and predicted the forces that would break in our lives"), and Anton Chekhov ("Chekhov doesn't want a play, he wants what happens in life. In life, people don't usually kill each other. They talk").

Through the plays of these masters, Adler discusses the arts of playwriting and script interpretation ("There are two aspects of the theater. One belongs to the author and the other to the actor. The actor thinks it all belongs to the author. . .The curtain goes up and all he knows are the lines. . .It is not enough. . .Script interpretation is your profession").

She looks into aspects of society and class, and into our cultural past, as well as the evolution of the
modern spirit ("The actor learns from Ibsen what is modern in the modern theater. There are no villains, no heroes. Ibsen understands, more than anything, there is more than one truth").

Stella Adler--daughter of Jacob Adler, who was universally acknowledged to be the greatest actor
of the Yiddish theater, and herself a disciple of Stanislavsky--examines the role of the actor and brings to life the plays from which all modern theater derives: Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, The Master Builder, An Enemy of the People, and A Doll's House; Strindberg's Miss Julie and The Father; Chekhov's The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, and Three Sisters ("Masha is the sister who is the mystery. You cannot reach her. You cannot reach the artist. There is no logical way. Keep her in a special pocket of feelings that are complex and different").

Adler discusses the ideas behind these plays and explores the world of the playwrights and the
history--both familial and cultural--that informed their work. She illumines not only the dramatic essence of each play but its subtext as well, continually asking questions that deepen one's understanding of the work and of the human spirit.

Adler's book, brilliantly edited by Barry Paris, puts her famous lectures into print for the first time.


From the Hardcover edition.
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