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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: March ::
50 Best American Plays
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0131  Monday, 23 March 2009

[1]  From:  Bob Grumman <
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      Date:  Friday, 20 Mar 2009 16:42:37 -0500
      Subj:  Re: SHK 20.0128 50 Best American Plays

[2]  From:  John W Kennedy <
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      Date:  Friday, 20 Mar 2009 23:59:45 -0400
      Subj:  Re: SHK 20.0128 50 Best American Plays

[3]  From:  Mike Shapiro <
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      Date:  Friday, 20 Mar 2009 22:08:41 -0700
      Subj:  RE: SHK 20.0128 50 Best American Plays


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Bob Grumman <
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Date:       Friday, 20 Mar 2009 16:42:37 -0500
Subject: 20.0128 50 Best American Plays
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0128 50 Best American Plays

 >Obsession with the family?
 >
 >What plays of Shakespeare do NOT have what we could call an
 >obsessive (or at least "intense") concern with family relationships?

Offhand, I would say all of them. I don't think the fact that there are 
mothers and fathers and sons and daughters and brothers and sisters in 
Shakespeare's plays makes them family plays. But I'm not up to carefully 
showing the difference between a play like the Glass Menagerie and 
Hamlet as family plays. One hint: count the number of characters in 
each. I would add that the fact that Tempest and As You Like It both 
have brothers against each other has just about nothing to do with family.

If I had time and the energy, I'd present a study of the question with 
an analysis of the fifty best British plays and fifty best American 
plays, in my opinion, and say what makes the British ones better than 
the American ones. Haven't the time or energy, so can only express my 
opinions here.

By the way, the English play I was trying to think of is, I believe, The 
Knack.

Oh, and I of course am speaking only of reasonably well-known plays. I 
suspect the fifty best American plays are all still in manuscript, 
except for a few that may have been privately published. I should add 
also that I'm guessing about recent known American plays, not having 
kept up with recent drama due to poverty and a home in the provinces.

  -- Bob G.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       John W Kennedy <
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Date:       Friday, 20 Mar 2009 23:59:45 -0400
Subject: 20.0128 50 Best American Plays
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0128 50 Best American Plays

From:       Billy Houck <
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 >

 >I would like to propose:
 >
 >Kennedy's Children by Robert Patrick
 >Zoot Suit by Luis Valdez
 >Uncle Tom's Cabin by George L. Aiken
 >The Hairy Ape by Eugene O'Neill

"Uncle Tom's Cabin" (the play) is of considerable social importance, but 
"The Octoroon" is twice the play.

"Andre"
"Metamora"
"Fashion"
"The New York Idea"
"Margaret Fleming"
"The Scarecrow"
"The Show-Off"
"The City"
"Secret Service"

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Mike Shapiro <
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Date:       Friday, 20 Mar 2009 22:08:41 -0700
Subject: 20.0128 50 Best American Plays
Comment:    RE: SHK 20.0128 50 Best American Plays

I know this isn't a theory discussion of tragedy but the thread got me 
thinking of the elements of tragic drama. Specifically, the requirement 
of protagonist to be of grave stature. Today we don't have the same clay 
the old masters had with which to work. Our leaders (the civil ones) are 
no longer monarchs etc, but hang with Jay Leno and we refer to them by 
their last names as if they were co-workers. We've progressed?

One vote for The Gin Game

Mike Shapiro

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