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The Facts on File Companion to American Drama (Companion to Literature Series) ebook

The Facts on File Companion to American Drama (Companion to Literature Series) Ebook

 By Jackson R. Bryer, Mary C. Hartig

 Language: English

 Publish Year : 2010

 

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E-Book review:

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–This encyclopedic guide provides more than 600 informative and mostly well-written entries on major plays, playwrights, directors, theater companies, and movements from the 18th century to the present. The A-to-Z format, coupled with two appendixes listing the winners of major drama awards through 2003 and a selected bibliography, makes this a useful tool for drama students and individuals wanting quick facts. Any one-volume treatment of an area of study as broad as this invites questions about inclusions and omissions and this title is no exception. For example, there are separate entries for "Musical Theater" and Stephen Sondheim, but not for other equally important figures such as Rodgers and Hammerstein or Bob Fosse. And why are there individual entries for all but four of the Pulitzer Prize-winning plays (excluding musicals)? The index is less than comprehensive and somewhat sloppy; absent are titles of plays and the names of playwrights mentioned in the text of broader entries. Finally, the text and the index have a confusing alphabetical scheme. Despite these flaws, this book remains a reasonable choice for libraries that can only afford one reference tool to cover such an expansive topic.–Betty S. Evans, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From

As stated in this volume's introduction, "American drama has often been regarded as the poor stepchild in the family of American literature." The introduction goes on to give an overview of American drama from its early beginnings in the 1700s to the present, while noting influential plays and playwrights. It also explains why American drama is neglected and why students and audiences remain "unaware of American drama 'before O'Neill'."

Most of the approximately 600 signed alphabetical entries cover major plays and playwrights. Others treat theater companies, theater movements, directors, and topics such as Asian-American drama, Federal Theatre Project, Musical theater, and Off-Broadway. Emphasis is on the twentieth century. Individual entries vary in length from half a page to about three pages. Biographical sketches of playwrights contain vital statistics and a brief amount of family information, with the bulk of the entry being about their works. Play entries contain a brief production history and a synopsis.

Most entries have a bibliography. There are two appendixes at the end of the volume. The first appendix lists winners of major drama prizes for the Pulitzer Prize, New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, Tony Award, and Obie Award. The second appendix is a lengthy general bibliography. There is also a detailed alphabetical index.

Despite its stepchild status, American drama is relatively well served by The Cambridge Guide to Theatre (rev. ed., 1995), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance (2003), and Salem's Critical Survey of Drama (2d ed., 2003) and Masterplots II: Drama Series (rev. ed., 2003). The Facts On File volume is useful for its exclusively American focus. Written for a general audience, it is recommended for high-school, public, and academic libraries. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

 

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