African American Theater: Female Playwrights The poet Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote about African American life in 1896, and he said, “African-American life as essentially theatrical because black people are forced to play roles. Because of slavery and its social and psychological legacies, we can’t voice our true feelings in public therefore we aren’t free to show our inner reality to the world.” This quote identifies the main thread of African American theater that runs through the early 19th century until present day. My interest with African American theater lies mainly in the past, because I believe if you don’t know where you came from then ignorance will blind you from the future. Women playwrights played an important role in developing
Kayla Pasake HL English Mr. Hall 8 February 2013 Word Count: 1,002 Clybourne Park Essay The Broadway play “Clybourne Park” is based off the movie and play “The Raisin in the Sun”. It is written by Bruce Norris and was honored with many awards including the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for drama and the Tony Award for best play. Bruce Norris wrote the play by having it pick up right where “The Raisin in the Sun” left off. By doing this, Bruce Norris picks up where the drama was and shows the racial tensions in the 1950’s and 1960’s up until present day. To create this, writer Bruce Norris created a play with only two acts.
Rich frank from the New York Times stated “It’s an accomplishment well worthy of the Pulitzer Prize with which The Piano Lesson was honored.” The Piano Lesson was named Best Play of the Year by the New York Drama Critics' Circle. It also earned Wilson his 2nd Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as a Drama Desk Award. He got some other awards throughout his career .Wilson's other awards include the New York Drama Critics Circle Award (1985, 1987, 1988), the Whiting Foundation Award (1986), the American Theatre Critics Award (1986, 1989, 1991), the Outer Circle Award (1987), the Drama Desk Award (1987), the John Gassner Award (1987), the Tony Award (1987), the Helen Hayer Award (1988), and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1987,
Wilson initially began his writing career as a poet before moving on to theater. He enjoyed many successes with plays such as “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “Fences” and considered one of the most influential playwrights in American theater (Kiffer, 2009, April 9). “Two Trains Running” is one of August Wilson’s “cycle of plays.” The “cycle of plays,” sometimes called the "Pittsburgh Cycle," is a series of plays set in Pittsburgh that depict the life of African Americans in the 20th century with each play set in a different decade (August, 2010). The director, Ron OJ Parson and cast are based in Chicago and are veterans of a number of Wilson’s plays (Emsworth,
Literary and Historical Notes: It was on this day in 1947 that Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire premiered in New York City. Williams spent months writing and revising the play, and he had three different working titles for it: The Moth, Blanche's Chair on the Moon, and The Poker Night. Then he moved to an apartment in the French Quarter of New Orleans, where he could hear two streetcars rattling by, one named Desire and one named Cemeteries. He changed the setting of his play to New Orleans, and he changed the title to A Streetcar Named Desire. The play is about a southern belle named Blanche DuBois who comes to live with her sister Stella and Stella's working class husband Stanley.
She enters as one does who can no longer bear to be barred from the sight of her beloved, but she is also very frightened because her slave sense has warned her that, as always trouble in this house eventually lands on her back." (8). Most of the information about Tituba is historically true but Arthur Miller adds some ideas like "her slave sense has warned her that, as always trouble in this house eventually lands on her back." which has no real background but help build Miller's play. Arthur Miller creates a story from the plethora court information and next uses the information he has from every individual and adds some information about the individual that he has to use for the story to be accurate and plausible.
A Streetcar Named Desire was written in the late 1940s by Tennessee Williams. It is one of the most influential American plays from the 20th century. Williams manages to create imagery in the readers mind by describing the scenes and less prominent characters. This technique is most noticeable at the beginning of scene one. Throughout the play there are a host of different characters who each have different motives and personalities.
Reasons to be pretty by Neil Labute reasons to be pretty is a play by Neil LaBute, his first to be staged on Broadway. The plot centers on four young working class friends and lovers who become increasingly dissatisfied with their dead-end lives and each other. Following The Shape of Things and Fat Pig, it is the final installment of a trilogy that focuses on modern day obsession with physical appearance.  Produced by MCC Theater and directed by Terry Kinney, the play premiered at the off-Broadway Lucille Lortel Theater in Greenwich Village on June 2, 2008 and ran through July 5. The cast included Piper Perabo, Pablo Schreiber, Alison Pill, and Thomas Sadoski.
What plays might it be compared to? What is the effect of mingling comedyand tragedy in the same play?9. Bertold Brecht was one of the great innovators of the twentieth-century stage because of his "epic theater"; manycritics have seen a similarity between Brecht and Wilder's works, and this despite the fact that their politicalviews are very different from each other. Read Brecht's Mother Courage (also a war play) and discuss howBrecht and Wilder use non-realistic staging. What are the similarities?
Biography By Harold Pinter Harold Pinter is one of the world’s leading playwrights, and is equally well known as a director, actor, poet and political activist. Born on 10 October 1930 in East London, the son of a Jewish tailor, he attended Hackney Downs Grammar School, and went on to study acting for two terms at RADA in 1948-9. By 1949, not only had he written his first piece, Kullus , but he had already been tried as a conscientious objector (someone who refuses to fight in a war on the grounds of conscience), and this dual commitment to both his art and to politics has continued throughout his career. In 2005, Harold Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, the highest honor available to any writer in the world. In announcing the award, Horace Engdahl, Chairman of the Swedish Academy, said that Pinter was an artist ‘who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression’s closed rooms.