Staging America : Twenty-First-Century Dramatists
This book is open access and available on www.bloomsburycollections.com. It is funded by Knowledge Unlatched. Many of the American playwrights who dominated the 20th century are no longer with us: Edward Albee, Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, Neil Simon, August Wilson and Wendy Wasserstein. A new generation, whose careers began in this century, has emerged, and done so when the theatre itself, along with the society with which it engages, was changing. Capturing the cultural shifts of 21st-century America, Staging America explores the lives and works of 8 award-winning playwrights - including Ayad Akhtar, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Young Jean Lee and Quiara Alllegria Hudes - whose backgrounds reflect the social, religious, sexual and national diversity of American society. Each chapter is devoted to a single playwright and provides an overview of their career, a description and critical evaluation of their work, as well as a sense of their reception. Drawing on primary sources, including the playwrights' own commentaries and notes, and contemporary reviews, Christopher Bigsby enters into a dialogue with plays which are as various as the individuals who generated them. An essential read for theatre scholars and students, Staging America is a sharp and landmark study of the contemporary American playwright.