The American Play Marc Robinson

Publication date:
30 Sep 2011
416 pages: 231 x 155 x 25mm
20 black-&-white illustrations

In this brilliant study, Marc Robinson explores more than two hundred years of plays, styles, and stagings of American theatre. Mapping the changing cultural landscape from the late eighteenth century to the start of the twenty-first, he explores how theatre has, and has not, changed and offers close readings of plays by O'Neill, Stein, Wilder, Miller, and Albee, as well as by important but perhaps lesser known dramatists such as Wallace Stevens, Jean Toomer, Djuna Barnes, and many others. Robinson reads each work in an ambitiously interdisciplinary context, linking advances in theatre to developments in American literature, dance, and visual art. The author is particularly attentive to continuities in American drama, and expertly teases out recurring themes, such as the significance of visuality. He avoids neatly categorizing nineteenth- and twentieth-century plays and depicts a theatre more restive and mercurial than has been recognized before. Robinson proves both a fascinating and thought-provoking critic and a spirited guide to the history of American drama. This title received Honorable Mention for the 2010 George Freedley Memorial Award, given by Theatre Library Association.

Marc Robinson is professor of theatre studies, English, and American studies at Yale University and adjunct professor of dramaturgy and dramatic criticism at the Yale School of Drama. He is the author of The Other American Drama and a frequent contributor to theatre journals.

"Revelatory... Robinson's essays fulfill the lofty goal of giving close, interdisciplinary readings that liberally dip into new developments in American literature, dance, and visual art." (Randy Gener, American Theatre)"