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Playwrights for Tomorrow

Playwrights for Tomorrow: A Collection of Plays, Volume 6

EDITED, WITH AN INTRODUCTION, BY ARTHUR H. BALLET
Copyright Date: 1969
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 148
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.cttttfs0
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  • Book Info
    Playwrights for Tomorrow
    Book Description:

    Three plays are published in this sixth volume of a series of collections of plays by dramatists who have participated in an experimental program conducted by the Office for Advanced Drama Research (O.A.D.R.), University of Minnesota. Dr. Arthur H. Ballet, editor of the series, is the director of the program. The plays in this volume are The Thing Itself by Arthur Sainer, The Marriage Test by Jonathan Gillman, and The End of the World; or, Fragments from a Work in Progress by Keith Neilson. In an introduction Dr. Ballet briefly describes the O.A.D.R. program and comments on the three plays. Of Mr. Sainer and his play Dr. Ballet writes: “Arthur Sainer represents a new wave in theatrical writing, the semi-improvisational piece which really takes on life only in production, but which also speaks with a voice as old and honorable as theatre itself. The Firehouse Theatre, with its unique and skillful dedication to innovative theatre, brought The Things Itself to exciting production for enthusiastic audiences.” Jonathan Gillman’s The Marriage Test is, he writes, “a rare and sparkling work for the stage: a classic farce.” On the third play and its author he comments: “The End of the World by Keith Neilson was the first play provided with facilities under the O.A.D.R. outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul area in an attempt to see if the program could work at long distance as well as it has at home. The play, the playwright, and the O.A.D.R. were blessed with a wonderful company, theatre, and audience at the Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati, Ohio, and above all with a dedicated and talented director in Brooks Jones. Neilson is a continuous creator in theatre.”

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6137-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-2)
  3. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 3-6)
    Arthur H. Ballet

    In the five years since the Rockefeller Foundation and the University of Minnesota, together with the National Endowment for the Arts and the McKnight Foundation, conceived and underwrote the Office for Advanced Drama Research (O.A.D.R.), thousands of new plays have been read and evaluated. Some of these plays circulated among the cooperating theatres and were eventually selected for developmental rehearsals and productions. An unexpectedly large number of playwrights have benefited from their residence under O.A.D.R.’s auspices and have since moved into the mainstream of American — and international — theatre.

    Volumes 5 and 6 include a selection of work we did in...

  4. The Thing Itself
    (pp. 7-42)
    ARTHUR SAINER

    Darkness for a time. Then a few lights, nothing more. Then Louis Nerval’s voice explodes into an angry chant. It seems to boom at us from various directions.

    I say that we have been caught pissing sideways, that the air is foul, that we have been farting like old ladies scared niggers will join the diners club. It’s time to cut through the shit, time to commit our little incriminating and downright exquisite acts of poison, time to give God a good beating on the ass to see if he runs. Time to warm our genitals hi the sun’s light,...

  5. The Marriage Test
    (pp. 43-66)
    JONATHAN GILLMAN

    ARNOLPH

    I will declare it until the sun itself hears and smiles in accord: I love you.

    FELICITY

    I love you. Nothing stands between us and our happiness; my mother will gladly give her consent, I have mentioned the matter to her, we can be married as soon as you wish.

    ARNOLPH

    Why do you love me, Felicity?

    FELICITY

    You ask a question that has no answer. I love you because I love you; if I knew why it would not be love.

    ARNOLPH

    Why did you love me at first? Wasn’t there one of my features that especially attracted...

  6. The End of the World or, Fregments from a work in progress
    (pp. 67-142)
    KEITH NEILSON

    Cast of Characters

    CLUBWOMAN GIRL STUDENT

    ALEXANDER JAMES KATE BURKE

    AMOS STEIN JOHN BURKE

    BETTY LOU JOHNSON LOUISE BERKOWITZ

    INTERVIEWER FIRST DETECTIVE

    JANE JAMES SECOND DETECTIVE

    THE DEAN REV. GEORGE HOMEWOOD

    MRS. JOHNSON MRS. JAMES

    ANN

    Style and Setting

    The style of the play is fluid — almost cinematic. Scenes begin before others have ended and the action may seem to jump irrationally from time to time and place to place. The only organizational principle lies in the consciousness and sensibility of the protagonist, Alexander James. The scene is a collection of images that have persisted in Alex James's lifetune— a...