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Playwrights for Tomorrow

Playwrights for Tomorrow: A Collection of Plays, Volume 11

Susan Yankowitz
David Roszkowski
Philip A. Bosakowski
John O’Keefe
Copyright Date: 1973
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Playwrights for Tomorrow
    Book Description:

    This volume presents four plays by writers who have worked under the program of the Office for Advanced Drama Research (O.A.D.R.) at the University of Minnesota, an experimental project which provides promising playwrights with the opportunity of working with cooperating theatres in the production of their plays. Arthur H. Ballet, the editor, is director of the O.A.D.R. The plays in this volume and the theatres which cooperated in their production are Boxes by Susan Yankowitz, Magic Theatre, Berkeley, California; Canvas by David Roszkowski, Scorpio Rising Theatre, Los Angeles; Bierce Takes on the Railroad! by Philip A. Bosakowski, Theatre III, College of Marin, Kentfield, California; and Chamber Piece by John O’Keefe, Magic Theatre, Berkeley, California. In an introduction Professor Ballet discussed the program and accomplishments of the O.A.D.R., which was established with the aid of a Rockefeller Foundation grant. He writes: “It seemed obvious that no artist worked in more lonely isolation and needed more direct contact with the theatre than the playwright. Despite loud pronouncements...that theatres outside of New York were searching for new plays and writers, the evidence indicates that very few theatres really wanted to work with unknown but living playwrights. The O.A.D.R., in its small way, has tried to open a highway...between new, often untried writers and willing, even brave theatres. As Speech and Drama (England) pointed out in a review of earlier volumes of the Playwrights for Tomorrow series: “Schemes like this one at Minnesota deserve the highest praise. On the evidence of these volumes, the executive committee which operates this venture is not attempting to impose any single imprint on its authors - a further example of the generosity of the patronage.”

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6131-2
    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

    As volumes 10 and 11 ofPlaywrights for Tomorroware published, it might be appropriate to glance back over the ten years of existence of the Office for Advanced Drama Research. At the prodding and with the financial support of the Rockefeller Foundation, and under the protective wing of the University of Minnesota, the O.A.D.R. set out in 1963 to find some way to aid theatre generally. A large order, still largely unfulfilled. But seldom are matters accomplished “generally” anyway, and soon it was apparent that if our “advanced research” was to be supportive of theatre at all, it would...

  4. Boxes
    (pp. 7-36)

    1. The play is divided into sections.

    2. Each section is self-contained and, at the same time, related to the other sections: like the boxes on the stage; like the apartments in a building; like the buildings in a city; like the cities in a state; etc.

    3. The fragmented form of the piece provides a parallel to the alienation and fragmentation of urban life. Chaos resides in its form and variety of action, but the actions themselves should be focused, clearly delineated, and precise.

    4. The order of the sections has been arranged according to the author’s notion of theatrical logic, but they...

  5. Canvas
    (pp. 37-82)

    I have only marked scene transitions into the text of this play assuggestedways of getting from one scene to the next; they are therefore subject to change according to the concept of the individual director. I must emphasize, however, that the dialogue of the play is to remain as written: unembellished by improvisation no matter how ingenious, and uncut.

    I recognize the difficulty inherent in trying to portray actors as paintings, but I think that this problem was handled very well by Richard Steel, who directed a production ofCanvasat the Circle Theatre in New York. He...

  6. Bierce Takes on the Railroad!
    (pp. 83-172)

    The play takes place in the United States of America, around the turn of the century.


    Bierce takes on the railroad! This play is not my story. Bierce takes on the railroad! That’s the story. It’s about Ambrose Gwinnet Bierce, the devil’s disciple, who worked for me. And a railroad. That I fought tooth and nail. And a paper. TheSan Francisco Examiner, the Monarch of the Dailies. My paper. My first paper. But that’s another story.

    And it’s about a country. My country. The United States of America, as she used to be. As we moved from the...

  7. Chamber Piece
    (pp. 173-231)

    A simple white wooden chair. A white empty window frame hanging stage left. The window frame is optional.

    The lights are unjelled and bright. The lights are up before the house is opened. Tom and Mary enter.


    (looking at the room) This is an absolute mess. Wouldn’t you know it, Tina’s mother would have to kick off in the middle of the season.


    It’s not really so bad, darling. A little dusting, a little rearrangement.


    It’s not that I resent work. Papa taught me the value of work, but there is a time and a place, and...