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Grove New American Theatre: An Anthology

Grove New American Theatre: An Anthology
Your Price: $21.95 CDN
Author: Michael Feingold
Publisher: Grove Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 386
Pub. Date: 1994
ISBN-10: 0802132782
ISBN-13: 9780802132789

About the Play:

Grove New American Theatre is a collection of full-length plays edited by Michael Feingold, the long-serving lead drama critic of The Village Voice, and an advocate of bold and challenging theatre.

In this collection, editor Michael Feingold has gathered the work of Karen Finley, Mac Wellman and four other cutting-edge authors, all of whom have won acclaim for their originality and accomplishment. They have challenged, delighted, antagonized, entertained, and fascinated audiences – often with explosive results. Some have faced censorship, loss of funding, and threats of violence. But despite changing political climates, the scripted play has become over the years an ever more flexible phenomenon, as this representative anthology so provocatively reveals. Grove New American Theatre includes:

The Mysteries and What's So Funny? is a performance piece by award-winning director and choreographer David Gordon: An Obie Award-winner about family life and the life of an artist and that age-old question of "What is art?" (Cast: 8 female, 6 female – flexible)

Sincerity Forever is a dark comedy by Mac Wellman: The play depicts a group of young people, members of the Invisible Nation, who are blinded by their belief in their own sincerity and their true American optimism. A classic, defiant and funny retort to censorship that skewers the social malignancy of ignorance. Garnered the author two Obie awards. (Cast: 4 female, 4 male)

The American Plan is a romantic comedy by Richard Greenberg: In a 1960s Catskills summer home, an overbearing mother tries to control her eccentric daughter, who begins to fall for a handsome stranger and longs to escape her wealthy mother's manipulative stronghold. (Cast: 3 female, 2 male)

The Theory of Total Blame is a dark comedy by Karen Finley: Centers around a completely dysfunctional family together for a holiday dinner. (Cast: 2 female, 4 male)

Das Vedanya Mama is a comedy by Ethyl Eichelberger: An excellently strange spoof of Chekhov, Stanislavsky and the Bolshoi Ballet set in a post-modern era. The last produced work of the legendary New York performance artist. (Cast: 7 crazy characters played by 5 people)

Dead Mother (or Shirley Not All in Vain) is a comedy by David Greenspan: In this post-modern farce, Harold got away with impersonating his dead mother once and now he has to do it again, and again, and again. But in the hands of five-time Obie Award-winning actor-playwright David Greenspan, this comic situation runs through bad marriage, bad acting, Greek myth, and the circles of Hell, bending genders and theatrical reality along the way in a savagely funny, sharp and haunting romp through the confusing layers of identity and family. (Cast: 2 female, 4 male)

What people say:

Ethyl Eichelberger: "A rare and idiosyncratic comic spirit ... [He] punctured pretension while retaining his sense of the ridiculous." — The New York Times

Karen Finley: "Mesmerizing and brilliant." — Newsweek

David Gordon: "Gordon [has the] wit and canny ability to seek out vulnerables and demystify them, to lay out the commonalities of living and help us come to terms with them." — Back Stage

Richard Greenberg: "A major playwriting talent." — Associated Press

David Greenspan: "Hard to like, but even harder to dismiss." — Newsday

Mac Wellman: "A word spinner... He writes a kind of rapturous rap — street language mixed with metaphorical flights of fantasy." — The New York Times

About the Playwright:

Michael E. Feingold (1945-2022) was an American critic, translator, lyricist, playwright and dramaturg. He was perhaps best known through his association with The Village Voice, where he wrote reviews and essays for more than 40 years. He was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism, in 1992 and 2010. He also received the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism twice. He also was a dramaturg and a Tony-nominated translator of many plays, including works by Ibsen, Ionesco, Brecht and Weill, and Moliere.