Guides to Contemporary Drama


The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary American Playwrights

Bloomsbury Publishing

Unrivalled in its coverage of recent work and writers, The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary American Playwrights surveys and analyses the breadth, vitality and development of theatrical work to emerge from America over the last fifty years.

This authoritative guide leads you through the work of 25 major contemporary American playwrights, discussing more than 140 plays in detail. Written by a team of 25 eminent international scholars, each chapter provides:

· a biographical introduction to the playwright's work;

· a survey and concise analysis of the writer's most important plays;

· a discussion of their style, dramaturgical concerns and critical reception;

· a bibliography of published plays and a select list of critical works.

Among the many Tony, Obie and Pulitzer prize-winning playwrights included are Sam Shepard, Tony Kushner, Suzan-Lori Parks, August Wilson, Paula Vogel and Neil LaBute. The abundance of work analysed enables fresh, illuminating conclusions to be drawn about the development of contemporary American playwriting.

'An extensive survey of twenty-five prominent American playwrights whose careers span the last fifty years ... Readers might employ this guide as an introduction to a playwright's career and oeuvre, as supplemental reading to one of the playwright's plays, or as a starting point for further research…. This guide provides useful and productive analysis of the playwrights.' Theatre Topics

The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary Irish Playwrights

Bloomsbury Publishing

The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary Irish Playwrights is an authoritative guide to the work of twenty-five playwrights from the last fifty years whose work has helped to shape and define Irish theatre. Written by a team of international scholars, it provides an illuminating survey and analysis of each writer's plays and will be invaluable to anyone interested in, studying or teaching contemporary Irish drama.

The playwrights examined range from John B. Keane, Brian Friel and Tom Murphy, to the crop of writers who emerged in the 1990s and who include Martin McDonagh, Marina Carr, Emma Donoghue and Mark O'Rowe. Each essay features:a biographical sketch and introduction to the playwright; a discussion of their most important plays;an analysis of their stylistic and thematic traits, the critical reception and their place in the discourses of Irish theatre; a bibliography of texts and critical material.

With a total of 190 plays discussed in detail, over half of which were written during the 1990s and 2000s, The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary Irish Playwrights is unrivalled in its study of recent plays and playwrights.

'...enlightening essays...commendably well-researched.' The Stage (July 2010)

'useful guide..each entry includes overviews of the writer's life and work, analysis of significant plays, and suggestions for further reading.' Plays International (October 2010)

The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary South African Theatre

Bloomsbury Publishing

South Africa has a uniquely rich and diverse theatre tradition which has responded energetically to the country's remarkable transition, helping to define the challenges and contradictions of this young democracy. This volume considers the variety of theatre forms, and the work of the major playwrights and theatre makers producing work in democratic South Africa. It offers an overview of theatre pioneers and theatre forms in Part One, before concentrating on the work of individual playwrights in Part Two. Through its wide-ranging survey of indigenous drama written predominantly in the English language and the analysis of more than 100 plays, a detailed account is provided of post-apartheid South African theatre and its engagement with the country's recent history.

Part One offers six overview chapters on South African theatre pioneers and theatre forms. These include consideration of the work of artists such as Barney Simon, Mbongeni Ngema, Phyllis Klotz; the collaborations of William Kentridge and the Handspring Puppet Company; the work of Magnet Theatre, and of physical and popular community theatre forms.

Part Two features chapters on twelve major playwrights, including Athol Fugard, Reza de Wet, Lara Foot, Zakes Mda, Yaël Farber, Mpumelelo Paul Grootboom, Mike van Graan and Brett Bailey. It includes a survey of emerging playwrights and significant plays, and the book closes with an interview with Aubrey Sekhabi, the Artistic Director of the South African State Theatre in Pretoria.

Written by a team of over twenty leading international scholars, The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary South African Theatre is a unique resource that will be invaluable to students and scholars from a range of different disciplines, as well as theatre practitioners.

This series offers authoritative single-volume guides to the work of the most significant dramatists of the contemporary era from each nation. Written by an international team of eminent scholars, each volume surveys and analyses the breadth, vitality and development of theatrical work across at least twenty contributed chapters. As comprehensive guides to a vast array of plays and playwrights, the volumes will be invaluable for students of drama, theatre studies and literature.