Contemporary American Theatre by Bruce King (eds.)

By Bruce King (eds.)

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Thus they may share the characters' problems of finding authenticity of behaviour and feeling through the smokescreen of role-models their own literary and cultural awareness provides. For example, Rich and Famous (1974) deals with The World's Oldest Playwright's difficulties with playmaking and with transcending artistic influences and 'show biz' pressures. Marco Polo Sings A Solo piles up references to nineteenth- and twentieth-century literary and theatrical works as a way to indicate the weight of cultural heritage, good and bad, by 1999.

Norman's existential vision, her strengths in creating emotionally honest, spiritually impoverished and psychologically devastated characters has occurred only when she uses the materials she knows best: women. The ability in her women characters to represent not the stereotypical domestic female, but rather the universal human condition, is a potent contribution to the canon of women's plays which testify that women can signify more than 'the Other'. The absence of such plays after 'night Mother leaves a substantial void in this canon.

Striking metaphor and visual virtuosity are not as important in Durang's work as they are in Guare's Many of the early plays utilize a bare or amorphously set stage that can serve for several different locations, and even the later plays depend on somewhat neutral scenographic solutions for the shifting locations Durang requires. Loren Sherman devised a series of sliding plum-coloured panels for The Marriage of Bette and Boo (1985) to convey an almost cinematic flow from one location to the next, as Durang's afternotes to the published version make clear (p.

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