Realism And The American Dramatic Tradition by Judith E. BarlowRealism And The American Dramatic Tradition by Judith E. Barlow

Realism And The American Dramatic Tradition

byJudith E. BarlowEditorWilliam W. Demastes

Paperback | August 30, 1996

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Any review of 20th-century American theatre invariably leads to the term realism. Yet despite the strong tradition of theatrical realism on the American stage, the term is frequently misidentified, and the practices to which it refers are often attacked as monolithically tyrannical, restricting the potential of the American national theatre.
This book reconsiders realism on the American stage by addressing the great variety and richness of the plays that form the American theatre canon. By reconsidering the form and revisiting many of the plays that contributed to the realist tradition, the authors provide the opportunity to apprise strengths often overlooked by previous critics. The volume traces the development of American dramatic realism from James A. Herne, the "American Ibsen," to currently active contemporaries such as Sam Shepard, David Mamet, and Marsha Norman. This frank assessment, in sixteen original essays, reopens a critical dialog too long closed.

Essays include:

  • American Dramatic Realisms, Viable Frames of Thought

  • The Struggle for the Real--Interpretive Con§ict, Dramatic Method, and the Paradox of Realism

  • The Legacy of James A. Herne: American Realities and Realisms

  • Whose Realism? Rachel Crothers's Power Struggle in the American Theatre

  • The Provincetown Players' Experiments with Realism

  • Servant of Three Masters: Realism, Idealism, and "Hokum" in American High Comedy

William W. Demastes is Professor of English at Louisiana State University.
Title:Realism And The American Dramatic TraditionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 8.99 × 6.01 × 0.79 inPublished:August 30, 1996Publisher:University of Alabama Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0817308377

ISBN - 13:9780817308377


Editorial Reviews

William Demastes's preface argues lucidly for realism's return to critical respectability, and the essays responding to that issue cover an impressive range of American drama, with some delightful surprises--like the one on the realism of high comedy--thrown in."
—Felicia Londré, University of Missouri-Kansas City