A Swallow Press Book
In 1970 Adrian Hall’s production of Lovecraft’s Follies by the Trinity Repertory Company was praised in The New York Times as a “hilarious extravaganza—with music—that is also an earnest attempt to come to grips with the guilts and terrors of the Age of Technology.” The sucess of this production heralded James Schevill’s arrival as an important American playwright dedicated to a new kind of theatre that he calls in the introduction to this book, “Poetic Realism.” This volume includes Lovecraft’s Follies and, published here for the first time, Schevill's most experimental play, The Ushers, two parts of a trilogy on themes of power emerging out of the 1960s (the third play in this trilogy, Cathedral of Ice, is available in the international anthology, Plays of the Holocaust). 5 Plays 5 also includes three of Schevill's recent plays, Mother O or The Last American Mother, Shadows of Memory: A Doublebill about Dian Fossey and Djuna Barnes, and The Last Romantics, which have helped to secure his reputation as an original voice in the American theatre.
James Schevill is a poet, playwright, and Emeritus Professor of English at Brown University. He has published numerous collections of poetry, many plays which have been produced in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and a novel based on his experiences in World War II. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, Margot.
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The Depression that follows the 1929 stock market crash is emptying Paris of many American expatriates. Two exceptions are Dorothy and James T. Farrell, the naïve young couple who have fled their home in Chicago for the fabled liberation that Paris seems to offer. In this telling account drawn from interviews, diaries, and letters home, Edgar Marquess Branch presents a composite view of the life of a young author yet to complete his masterpiece, Studs Lonigan.
In a time that emphasizes media spectaculars, the short play offers an exploration of minimal possibilities yet has the power to fix history in a moment's structure, a flash of revelation. The short play is a powerful and innovative theatrical medium, relying upon compression and clarity rather than amplification, and reducing character and action to a spare, dramatic core.
William Dean Howells has long been recognized as the chief spokesman for post-1880s American Realism. Most of his writing appeared in popular magazines, however, and has been lost to us. This collection brings together for the first time his most significant essays about American drama written between 1875 and 1919 and a full bibliography of his writings on drama and theatre.