Note: this is a shortened version of the original, hardcover work. References have been removed.This study seeks to reunite American drama with more of the mainstream of American literature using contemporary literary theories of feminism, Derrida,MoreNote: this is a shortened version of the original, hardcover work. References have been removed.This study seeks to reunite American drama with more of the mainstream of American literature using contemporary literary theories of feminism, Derrida, Lacan, as well as the nature of language.
It also focuses on the theatrical ways that plays work through performance and staging. This reveals how contemporary playwrights see themselves not as authors, but as parts of a team of designers, actors, and directors. Stage directions are largely omitted, but knowledge of original productions--both as seen live and recorded on tapes archived at Lincoln Center--reveal aspects of fragmentation of scenery, minimalist acting, emphasis on the unsayable, which makes these plays far more postmodern than they might seem merely as read.
More importantly, the final chapter reveals how these techniques culminate in 1990s play ability to extend beyond the real in a myriad of ways, all united by a new, postmodern view of the divine as interpenetrating reality. In one sense, this seems to be juggling quite a few different items-poststructural theory, modernist realists, as well postmodern deconstructive realists and theatrical practice. All fit together neatly, however, in each chapter through a focus on performance, staging is seen as central to the dramatic experience, with reviews, photographs, and archival videotapes of productions used to verify and explore the plays meanings.
The plays, taken as a whole, reflect the key issues of American society from reactions to the Vietnam War, through issues of sexual preference, race, and feminism and its backlash, through issues of wealth and poverty to arrive at a new vision of a forgiving divine which accepts without judgment all the issues of diversity. American Drama and the Postmodern is an important book for collections in American literature, drama and theatre, as well as for literary theory.