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Playwrights for Tomorrow

Playwrights for Tomorrow: A Collection of Plays, Volume 12

McCarthy Coyle
George Greanias
Warren Kliewer
James Spencer
Copyright Date: 1975
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 280
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  • Book Info
    Playwrights for Tomorrow
    Book Description:

    This twelfth volume in the series of collections of plays by writers who have worked under the auspices of the Office for Advanced Drama Research (O.A.D.R.) at the University of Minnesota contains four plays and an introduction by Arthur H. Ballet. The O.A.D.R., of which Professor Ballet is the director, is an experimental project which provides promising playwrights with the opportunity to work with cooperating theatres in the production of their plays. The plays which make up this collection are The Root by McCarthy Coyle, Wilson by George Greanias, A Lean and Hungry Priest by Warren Kliewer, and A Bunch of the Gods Were Sitting Around One Day by James Spencer. The plays by Mr. Coyle and by Mr. Spencer were produced at the American Conservatory Theatre of San Francisco. Mr. Greanias’s play was staged at the Alley Theatre in Houston, and Mr. Kliewer’s was given, in an earlier version, at the Scorpio Rising Theatre, Los Angeles. In his introduction Professor Ballet points out that works by playwrights in the O.A.D.R. program have been produced not only in cooperating theatres in the United States but in Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, and Canada as well. It grows increasingly difficult, he writes, to find playhouses willing to risk an “imperfect” new play and playwright or to challenge their audiences to dare explore unknown dramatic and theatrical territory. “More dangerous still,” he comments, “has been the tendency for some directors to make theatre their own, highly personal art. Many important, and many more unimportant, theatres have become showcases for artistic directors who impose their will on all work, old or new.”

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6132-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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

    Twelve years ago, when the Office for Advanced Drama Research (O.A.D.R.) first got under way, we could hardly have known that we’d read nearly ten thousand plays; that we’d manage to get produced—more or less—about a hundred plays in some sixty theatres; that, in 1974, the project would extend (on a trial basis) to theatres outside of the United States (including Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, and Canada); or that we would be reading plays from all over the globe.

    Essentially, the project is a simple one. And it is small. Every play submitted is carefully read. Each year...

  4. The Root
    (pp. 7-72)

    The action of the play takes place in the present in the interior of a Brooklyn home built about the turn of the century and on the street leading to that home.

    GERTRUDE (GERT) LYNCH is sixty-eight, bedridden with diabetes. Her short red hair is falling out. Ravaged by the illness, she feels sorry for herself. When she applies cosmetics she makes up in that excessive fashion often used by old women which becomes nothing but a greasy caricature.

    HELEN LYNCH is seventy-six; she was a piano teacher at one time. While her face and posture reflect her age she...

  5. Wilson
    (pp. 73-162)

    The play concerns events in the life of Woodrow Wilson and in the history of the United States just before, during, and immediately after World War I. It takes place in Washington, D.C., Paris, and various towns and cities throughout the western United States.

    AlthoughWilsonis divided into scenes, every effort should be made to ensure that both acts flow seamlessly from one moment to the next, the only noticeable breaks occurring in the moments when the title of each scene appears on the rear center screen. To further encourage this continuity, only minimal scenery should be used, and...

  6. A Lean and Hungry Priest A MUSICAL PICARESQUE
    (pp. 163-206)

    Act One: Cologne, Italy, Paris, and many crossroads in between.

    Act Two: Several years later as a few old friends and new acquaintances meet by chance in England, Spain, and Orleans.

    The overture begins cheerfully enough. But then voices—live or on tape—begin to intrude. The voices murmur and the words are not always distinct.


    Carol singing, summer games,

    Or playing the drum or the flute or the pipe—

    Whoever does such shameful things

    In church or in the churchyard,

    Be careful, this is sacrilege.

    All such things are strictly forbidden

    While the priest is saying the mass....

  7. A Bunch of the Gods Were Sitting Around One Day A DRAMA IN TWO ACTS
    (pp. 207-268)

    The pilot room of a very advanced space ship large enough to carry forty-six people for an extended voyage. Against the rear wall at center stage is a mass of faintly sparkling glass or crystal extending to the ceiling. This is Sri, the ship’s master computer. It can be constructed of hundreds of glass rings cut from bottles and suspended by threads against a curtain of black velvet. The stage is built in two levels, both circular. At its downstage edge the upper level is about eight inches higher than the lower level. From that edge the lower level slopes...