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Playwrights for Tomorrow

Playwrights for Tomorrow: A Collection of Plays, Volume 8

Copyright Date: 1972
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Playwrights for Tomorrow
    Book Description:

    Three playwrights are represented in this, the eighth volume of the continuing series Playwrights for Tomorrow, which makes available the work of playwrights who have been sponsored by the University of Minnesota Office for Advanced Drama Research. Under the program of the O.A.D.R., which is aided by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, writers are given the opportunity to work on their scripts and have their plays produced by cooperating theater companies. The program is directed by Arthur H. Ballet, the series editor. The three plays in this volume are A Gun Play by Yale M. Udoff, Anniversary on Weedy Hill by Allen Joseph, and The Nihilist by William N. Monson. Professor Ballet provides an introduction in which he explains the purpose and scope of the O.A.D.R. program, recounts some of its history and accomplishments, and tells a little about the O.A.D.R. productions of each of the plays included here. A Gun Play was produced by the Hartford Stage Company in Hartford, Connecticut, under the direction of Paul Weidner. Later it had an off-Broadway run in New York City, staged by commercial producers. The author, Yale Udoff, is a professional writer primarily involved in the mass media. Anniversary on Weedy Hill was produced by Theatre West, a professional company in West Hollywood, California. Allen Joseph, the author, a professional actor in film and television, turned to playwriting in the midst of a well-established career in the theater. The Nihilist was the second play of the O.A.D.R. offered through the facilities of the University of California at Davis Theatre under the direction of Alfred Rossi. William Monson, the playwright, is from the world of academe.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6139-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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

    As Sabina in Thornton Wilder’sSkin of Our Teeth says: “Oh — why can’t we have plays like we used to have —peg o’ My Heart,andSmilin’ Thru,andThe Bat . .” Well, Sabina, we still do have plays like that. Playwrights write them and theatres do them. Despite protests to the contrary, I rather suspect that writers, audiences, and theatres really do want “plays like we used to have . . good entertainment with a message you can take home with you!”

    The Office for Advanced Drama Research (O.A.D.R.) has tried to find new voices and daring theatres...

  4. A Gun Play
    (pp. 7-68)


    You’re late with that tray by twenty minutes!


    (indicating the empty tables) So what difference?


    Allthe difference. (Orlando has so positioned himself as to prevent Stan from putting down the tray. Three times he attempts to put it down and three times he is rebuffed.)


    May I put it down, please!


    Why! (Pause. Orlando steps aside.) Well, what are you waiting for! Put it down. Put it down . . Stanley!


    You know I don’t like to be called Stanley. Don’t call me that way. Call me Stan . . if you don’t...

  5. Anniversary on Weedy Hill
    (pp. 69-112)


    Leave some for me, piker. What ya come stealin’ from me when I got my back turned? (throws a handful of crackers uphill} Up somebody else’s leg, ya twitchy squeaks. (Virginia wakes up and stares out at the audience. She is a worn-out, middle-aged woman with long hair. She has a vague quality highlighted by short bursts of energy. Her mind slips in and out of the past.)


    That rush hour traffic gets worse every day.


    (finding a cigarette in a torn coat that has been lying on a rock) Hot damn! Lookit that. A whole smoke...

  6. The Nihilist
    (pp. 113-212)

    Sergei Nechaev was an actual revolutionary. The events he describes in the play did happen — but not necessarily as he relates them. And that should be remembered: this is Nechaev’s play. It reflects the drive and turmoil of his mind, and any production should reinforce this point. He is narrator, ringmaster, hero, and the play is pervaded by the real Nechaev’s sense of melodrama and sardonic humor. To a certain extent, all of the events and characters are thus Nechaev’s creations; they exist as he desires them to be — and this forces some of them close to stereotypes. But reality...