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  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: March 2008

3 - The Plays and Playwrights

The work of American playwrights who began extending the boundaries of dramatic form in ways that both imitated and anticipated such European experiments as Surrealism, Dadaism, Expressionism, and epic theatre. Arthur Miller sets the play in the suburban backyard, with Keller surrounded by the comfortable domestic routine that characterized the lives of so many following the disruptive war years. The postwar American stage also hosted a number of writers who had established reputations before the war, most notably Lillian Hellman, Maxwell Anderson, Clifford Odets, and Elmer Rice. If there was a playwright who shared the respect of Arthur Miller and Williams in the fifties, with which he dramatized the American family, it was William Inge. In 1956, an American production of Beckett's Waiting for Godot left the American theatre reeling. Among the first to react to the Beckett production were Jack Gelber and Edward Albee, who took the lead in redefining, and relocating, the American play.
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The Cambridge History of American Theatre
  • Online ISBN: 9781139053761
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