From the Other Side of the Century II: A New American Drama, 1960-1995

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Douglas Messerli, Mac Wellman
Sun & Moon Press, 1998 - Drama - 1192 pages
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Like the 1,200-page volume of American poetry before it, From The Other Side of the Century II explores literature of the last quarter century, this time American dramatic writing, making available important theater texts for reading and teaching.

Among the playwrights included in this major collection are Edward Albee, Arnold Weinstein, Jack Richardson, Amiri Baraka, Tennessee Williams, Ed Bullins, Rosalyn Drexler, John Guare, Ronald Tavel, Lee Breuer, Richard Foreman, Sam Shepard, Adrienne Kennedy, Richard Nelson, Jeffrey M. Jones, John O. Keefe, Charles Ludlam, OyamO, Craig Lucas, Pedro Pietri, Eric Overmyer, Constance Congdon, Maria Irene Fornes, Holoy Hughes, Len Jenkin, Erik Ehn, Charles L. Mee, Jr., Richard Caliban, Suzan-Lori Parks, John Steppling, Tina Howe, Lynn Alvarez, David Greenspan, Murray Mednick, Mac Wellman, Kier Peters, Naomi Iizuka, and Tony Kushner.

In his introduction Marc Robinson observes that "If nothing else, this anthology should put to bed some tired words. 'Experimental,' 'alternative,' 'avant-garde':...Perhaps such terms meant something in the early days of American theater, when writers eager for success had to buckle under a dominant style. Then the naysayers were a tiny, if resilient bunch. But now, after three generations of artists challenging assumptions about what constitutes a good play, the modes of innovation are too various to be summed up in a phrase or too energetic to be confined to the culture's margins. The alternative itself has become a tradition."

From the park bench of Albee's "The Zoo Story" of 1960 to the cemetery on Martha's Vineyard, where friends have gathered in Toy Kushner's play to bury illegally their playwright associate, the plays of this volume reveal the life and death, the genius and absurdity, the towering power and silly fears of the American people through a vibrant and poetic dramatic expression oer the last fort years. This important anthology reveals similarities and dissimilaritites between the past and present, enough to fill a lifetime of theater going.

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About the author (1998)

Publisher of Green Integer and (formerly) Sun & Moon Press, Messerli has published several books of poetry and fiction, as well as editing the ongoing PIP series of World of Poetry of the 20th Century and numerous other titles.

Mac Wellman's recent work includes The Difficulty of Crossing a Field (with composer David Lang) at Montclair State University in the fall of 2006, and 1965 UU, for performer Paul Lazar, directed by Stephen Mellor at the Chocolate Factory in the fall of 2008. He is also working on two plays for chorus: The Invention of Tragedy (Classic Stage Company) and Nine Days Falling (commissioned by the Stuck Pigs Company of Melbourne, Australia). He has received numerous honors, including both NEA and Guggenheim Fellowships. In 2003 he received his third Obie, for Lifetime Achievement. In 2006 his third novel, Q'S Q, was published by Green Integer, and in 2008, a volume of stories entitled A CHRONICLE OF THE MADNESS OF SMALL WORLDS was published by Trip Street Press, as well as a new collection of plays, The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, by Minnesota Press. His recent books of poetry are MINIATURE (2002), STRANGE ELEGIES (2006) and SPLIT THE STICK: A MINIATURIST-DIVAN (2012), all from Roof Books. His play LEFT GLOVE was published by Solid Objects in 2011. He is the Donald I. Fine Professor of Playwriting at Brooklyn College.

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