Download Anglo-American Interplay in Recent Drama by Ruby Cohn PDF

By Ruby Cohn

The concept of a modern cross-cultural trade in the medium of theater is right here imposed on a dozen modern Anglo-American dramatists: Alan Ayckbourn and Neil Simon, Edward Bond and Sam Shepard, David Mamet and Harold Pinter, Caryl Churchill and Maria Irene Forn?s, David Hare and David Rabe, Christopher Hampton and Richard Nelson. In each one pairing, Ruby Cohn unites a British with an American playwright, exploring similarities that function a springboard for the publicity of a extra profound, culturally-based distinction.

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Five songs comment on the action of Melodrama Play, functioning both with the emotional flavor of melodrama and with a quasi-Brechtian commentary. 3 Rather than reveal class division, the songs of Melodrama Play indict the artist for complicity in his own commercial entrapment. " 4 Shepard's Melodrama Play bounces stock types of the rock scene through an action-packed play, while the virtuous hero of traditional melodrama shrivels into the figure of the beleaguered artist, whoever he may be. Revealing Shepard's facility for pastiche, Melodrama Play is a minor work thriving on its songs and visual images - the eyeless giant photographs, the ubiquitous dark glasses, the artist Drake on all fours.

As Deborah Geis writes: "Like his artist-protagonists Duke/Drake, Hoss/Crow, Rabbit/Wheeler, . . Niles/Louis/Pablo, Shepard splits his dramatic texts between a reliance on the pop culture milieu for the images of his art and a problematization . . of the milieu that his art has created" (Postmodern Theatric[k]s, p. 75). In contrast to Shepard's moody musicians, Bond's artists are invariably writers, and sometimes they are actual authors within our cultural tradition. The first Bond artist is, however, somewhat exotic, and probably unfamiliar to most Western audiences.

Business; since he thinks that he and his wife are alone, he wants to make love, and when his family spring out of the darkness to surprise him, he is literally caught with his pants down. The play closes on the birthday party for old Ken, the founder of the small family business. To that party Michael Gambon as Jack wore a wide-striped suit that might have been left over from The Godfather. Still considering himself honorable - "It still stands" - Jack is trapped with his ethical pants down.

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