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Plays / Theatre

Ballet's Magic Kingdom: Selected Writings on Dance in Russia, 1911-1925

Ballet's Magic Kingdom: Selected Writings on Dance in Russia, 1911-1925

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Akim Volynsky was a Russian literary critic, journalist, and art historian who became Saint Petersburg s liveliest and most prolific ballet critic in the early part of the twentieth century. This book, the first English edition of his provocative and influential writings, provides a striking look at life inside the world of Russian ballet at a crucial era in its history.

Stanley J. Rabinowitz selects and translates forty of Volynsky s articles vivid, eyewitness accounts that sparkle with details about the careers and personalities of such dance luminaries as Anna Pavlova, Mikhail Fokine, Tamara Karsavina, and George Balanchine, at that time a young dancer in the Maryinsky company whose keen musical sense and creative interpretive power Volynsky was one of the first to recognize. Rabinowitz also translates Volynsky s magnum opus, "The Book of Exaltations, " an elaborate meditation on classical dance technique that is at once a primer and an ideological treatise. Throughout his writings, Rabinowitz argues in his critical introduction, which sets Volynsky s life and work against the backdrop of the principal intellectual currents of his time, Volynsky emphasizes the spiritual and ethereal qualities of ballet."

Bambi vs. Godzilla

Bambi vs. Godzilla

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From the Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and playwright: an exhilaratingly subversive inside look at Hollywood from a filmmaker who's always played by his own rules.

Who really reads the scripts at the film studios? How is a screenplay like a personals ad? Why are there so many producers listed in movie credits? And what on earth do those producers do anyway? Refreshingly unafraid to offend, Mamet provides hilarious, surprising, and refreshingly forthright answers to these and other questions about every aspect of filmmaking from concept to script to screen. A bracing, no-holds-barred examination of the strange contradictions of Tinseltown, Bambi vs. Godzilla dissects the movies with Mamet's signature style and wit.

Bands Visit

Bands Visit

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Winner of the 2018 Tony Award for Best Musical

After a mix-up at the border, Egypt's Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra, bound for the cosmopolitan Israeli city Petah Tikvah, is stranded in a small desert town. With no transportation until the next day, the band is taken in by the locals. By morning, the lives of visitors and hosts are forever altered. Itamar Moses and David Yazbek's stunning musical adaptation of the 2007 acclaimed film finds transcendence in the surprising and tender relationships that are forged between strangers under the desert sky.

Beat Generation

Beat Generation

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Beat Generation is a play about tension, about friendship, and about karma -- what it is and how you get it. It begins one fine morning with a few friends, honest laborers some of them, some close to being down-and-out, passing around a bottle of wine. It ends with a kind of satori-like reaffirmation of the power of friendship, of doing good through not doing, and the intrinsic worth of the throw-away little exchanges that make up our lives. Written in 1957, the same year that On the Road was first published, and set in 1953, Beat Generation portrays an authentic and alternate 1950s America. Kerouac's characters are working-class men and women -- a step away from vagrants, but not a big step. Their dialogue positively sings, suggesting jazz riffs in their rhythm and content, and Kerouac, like a master composer, arranges it to magical effect. Here is the heart and soul of the beat mentality, the zeitgeist that blossomed over the decades and eventually culminated in the counter-culture of 1960s America. It's a spirit that still lives.
Beat Generation

Beat Generation

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Beat Generation is a play about tension, about friendship, and about karma--what it is and how you get it. It begins one fine morning with a few friends, honest laborers some of them, some close to being down-and-out, passing around a bottle of wine. It ends with a kind of satori-like reaffirmation of the power of friendship, of doing good through not doing, and the intrinsic worth of the throwaway little exchanges that make up our lives. Written in 1957, the same year that On the Road was first published, and set in 1953, Beat Generation portrays an authentic and alternate 1950s America. Kerouac's characters are working-class men and women--a step away from vagrants, but not a big step. Their dialogue positively sings, suggesting jazz riffs in their rhythm and content, and Kerouac, like a master composer, arranges it to magical effect. Here is the heart and soul of the beat mentality, the zeitgeist that blossomed over the decades and eventually culminated in the counter-culture of 1960s America. It's a spirit that still lives.
Beauty of the Father

Beauty of the Father

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"In Beauty of the Father one of the American theater's most promising voices rings true and strong."--Lynn Jacobson, Variety


"Cruz conducts arias with his pen. He is a writer of ideas, who fills the stage with a kind of lush dramatic literature . . . Beauty of the Father brings to mind the playwright Maria Irene Fornes. Like his artistic forebear, Cruz recognizes the magic in the everyday. And he has found an astonishing language with which to describe it."--Hilton Als, The New Yorker

What will we sacrifice in the name of love? After young woman reunites with her painter father in the south of Spain, both fall in love with the same exciting young man. Beauty of the Father invokes the lyrical language of Lorca, as the great poet himself appears to the father and counsels him in his life. The play's rhythms are infused with the spirit of the Andalusian people who sing their sorrows in cante jondo, as Cruz once again creates musical poetry to honor unrequited love.

Nilo Cruz won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Anna in the Tropics. Other works include Two Sisters and a Piano, Lorca in a Green Dress, Night Train to Bolina, A Bicycle Country, and Dancing on Her Knees. He is one of this country's most produced Cuban American writers.

Beauty Queen of Leenane and Other Plays

Beauty Queen of Leenane and Other Plays

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These three plays are set in a town in Galway so blighted by rancor, ignorance, and spite that, as the local priest complains, God Himself seems to have no jurisdiction there.
"The Beauty Queen of Leenane" portrays ancient, manipulative Mag and her virginal daughter, Maureen, whose mutual loathing may be more durable than any love. In "A Skull in Connnemara," Mick Dowd is hired to dig up the bones in the town churchyard, some of which belong to his late and oddly unlamented wife. And the brothers of "The Lonesome West" have no sooner buried their father than they are resuming the vicious and utterly trivial quarrel that has been the chief activity of their lives.
"[McDonagh is] the most wickedly funny, brilliantly abrasive young dramatist on either side of the Irish Sea.... He is a born storyteller."--"New York Times"
Becket

Becket

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From its powerful opening scene, of a naked King Henry II praying at the tomb of Thomas Becket, to the final wrenching act of ultimate self-sacrifice, Jean Anouih's "Becket" remains a towering achievement in the history of the theatre. Winner of the Antoinette Perry Award for Best Play of the Season (1960-61), Anouih's monumental work draws from historical events in the Norman conquest of England to create a profound portrait of a man's soul - and a transcendent vision of the human spirit...
Before Sunrise and Before Sunset

Before Sunrise and Before Sunset

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In one volume, the screenplays to two contemporary classics, directed by Richard Linklater, and starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, about the immediate and life-altering attraction between two strangers.

On a train from Budapest to Vienna, Jesse, a young American student, at the end of a romance and his European trip, meets Celine, a young French woman. They are immediately attracted. Despite knowing this may be the only time they will see each other, in the next few hours in the city of Vienna, they share everything and promise to meet again.

Nearly a decade later, Jesse, now a novelist on a publicity tour, sees Celine in a bookstore in Paris. Again their time is short, and they spend it reestablishing the connection they experienced on their first meeting. Romantic, poignant, understated, and often profound, these two screenplays are sure to become classics in their own right.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

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A stage adaptation of Katherine Boo's National Book Award-winning study of life in a Mumbai slum

India is surging with global ambition. But beyond the luxury hotels surrounding Mumbai airport lies a makeshift slum, Annawadi, full of people with plans of their own.
Zehrunisa and her son Abdul aim to recycle enough rubbish to fund a proper house. Sunil, twelve and stunted, wants to eat until he's as tall as Kalu the thief. Asha seeks to steal government antipoverty funds to turn herself into a first-class person, while her daughter Manju intends to become the slum's first female graduate.
But their schemes are fragile; global recession threatens the garbage trade, and another slum dweller is about to make an accusation that will destroy herself and shatter the neighborhood.
For Behind the Beautiful Forevers, journalist Katherine Boo spent three years in Annawadi recording the lives of its residents. From her uncompromising book, David Hare has fashioned a tumultuous play on an epic scale.

Behind the Scenes: Improvising Long Form

Behind the Scenes: Improvising Long Form

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"Mick has been the catalyst for the most messed-up, funny, smart, low-budget, loud, subversive, hilarious, mind-expanding improv shows of his time." Bob Odenkirk, star of "Better Call Saul." In this follow-up to his highly regarded book "Improvise. Scene from the Inside Out", globally acclaimed improviser, director, and instructor Mick Napier focuses on the complexities and theories of long form improvisation. This extended form of improvisation invites performers to be inspired for at least thirty minutes by a single suggestion as they push their creativity to the limit. Napier taps into more than 30 years of experience and distills his tools for success into practical, engaging lessons: -The art of introductions and edits -Different approaches to openers -Pros and cons of the back line -Why it's okay to be funny -Finding the dominant energy -Sustaining a strong character
Belleville

Belleville

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A quietly devastating play... Both a perceptive drama depicting the sudden fraying of a young marriage and a nail-biting psychological thriller... Belleville is among the most suspenseful plays I've seen in years. - Charles Isherwood, New York Times

Masterly... Among the new crop of young American playwrights, Herzog is in a class by herself. - Richard Zoglin, Time

Abby and Zack, young American newlyweds, have abandoned a comfortable postgraduate life in the states for Belleville, a bustling, bohemian, multicultural Parisian neighborhood. But as secrets both minor and monumental are revealed, their fraught relationship begins to unravel. Belleville examines the limits of trust and dependency in a world where love can turn pathological and our most intimate relationships may not be what they seem.

AMY HERZOG's plays include 4,000 Miles (Pulitzer Prize finalist), After the Revolution and The Great God Pan. Ms. Herzog is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Whiting Writers' Award, an Obie Award and the Helen Merrill Award for Aspiring Playwrights.

Bereaved and Mary

Bereaved and Mary

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This is the first trade volume of the author who has been featured in "Time Out" as one of the top ten playwrights to watch, and who was then called Best Provocative Playwright by the "Village Voice." "The Bereaved" was highly praised in a recent New York premiere, with its portrayal of an American family turned inside out like a sit-com gone wild. "Mary," soon to be produced by the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, brings together a white suburban Beltway family, their black maid, and their young gay son who brings home his college boyfriend, setting off shotguns in surprising directions.

Thomas Bradshow recieved his MFA from Mac Wellman's playwriting program at Brooklyn College and is an adjunct professor at Brooklyn College and Medgar Evers College. His plays include "Songs of Love," "All But Forgotten," "Revelation," "When I Woke," and "Strom Thurmond Is Not A Racist."

Best American Short Plays 2012 - 2013

Best American Short Plays 2012 - 2013

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(Applause Books). For over 70 years, The Best American Short Plays has been the standard of excellence for one-act plays in America. From its inception, it has identified cutting-edge playwrights who have gone on to establish award-winning careers, including Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, and more. In this volume, the plays capture the struggle between "hot tempers and cold decrees." Humans love to think of themselves as rational beings well in control of their lives and surroundings from sunup to sundown, sundown to sunrise. We learn to follow rules of proper behavior and more than happily issue out advice to our friends who just can't get a handle on themselves. Restraint and order, after all, are the cornerstones of human society and civilization. The problem is that human nature bucks and bridles at every attempt to socialize and civilize. Shakespeare got it right when he penned the observation, "The brain may devise laws for the blood, but a hot temper leaps o'er a cold decree." In those few words he has managed to capture precisely why it is so difficult to be human; if it were okay simply to let our hot tempers prevail, life would be so much easier. But cold decrees are what prevent us from self-destruction, and so we endure the struggle.
Best American Short Plays 2013-2014

Best American Short Plays 2013-2014

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For more than 70 years, The Best American Short Plays has been the standard of excellence for one-act plays in America. From its inception, it has identified cutting-edge playwrights - Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, and others - who have gone on to establish award-winning careers. The Best American Short Plays 2013-2014 takes a look at our changing times. "Uncertain" seems to be the watchword of today's world, full of surprises, shocks, and even a few delights. Uncertainty brings with it fear and insecurity, as well as nostalgic longing for the good old days, but for some, uncertainty means opportunity and along with it the prospect of change for the better. This volume explores various experiences of uncertainty and includes a series of nine plays gathered by Daniel Gallant, entitled Nine Signs of the Times, as well as short plays by Neil LaBute, John Guare, Laura Shaine Cunningham, Daniel F. Levin, Quincy Long, Halley Feiffer, Caridad Svich, and Clay McLeod Chapman. This collection will be complemented by a range of plays from around the country by playwrights likewise observing and digesting the signs of the times. Together the plays of this volume work as a time capsule, capturing the fears and longings of a world on the verge and in the midst of big changes, hopefully for the better - but quite possibly for the worse.
Best American Short Plays 2014-2015

Best American Short Plays 2014-2015

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For more than 70 years, The Best American Short Plays has been the standard of excellence for one-act plays in America. From its inception, it has identified cutting-edge playwrights Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, and others who have gone on to establish award-winning careers. The Best American Short Plays 2014-2015 is the next installment from series editor William W. Demastes. This volume takes a look at the trinity Shakespeare coined as "the lunatic, the lover, and the poet." The works in this volume explore whimsical, imaginative, humorous, and romantic themes. In the introduction, Demastes writes, "What really hits home in Shakespeare's plays is how he uses his own seething brain to put things onstage that cool reason will never be able to comprehend. He shows us that the world is more than facts and figures, that humans are connected by more than a balance sheet, and that life is more than biology." The wonderful short plays in this collection delve into the spectrum of emotions that bubble beneath "cool reason" and remind us about the some of the aspects that make life worth living for better or worse - the insanity, the beauty, the unbridled joy, and the mystery.
Best American Short Plays 2015-2016

Best American Short Plays 2015-2016

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Now in its seventh decade, the annals of The Best American Short Plays series now boasts hundreds of groundbreaking one-acts and an alumni list the likes of which other anthologies can only dream. From luminaries like Tennessee Williams and Edward Albee to the brightest stars of today, such as Murray Schisgal, James Armstrong, Billy Aronson, Jules Tasca, Neil LaBute, and Daniel Gallant, TBASP established itself as the standard bearer for its genre by presenting materials that offer a forthright annual reading of our nation's pulse. If The Best American Short Plays 2015-2016, co-edited by William Demastes and John Patrick Bray, proves as portentous as its forebears, suffice it to say that our hearts are pounding. In this volume, DeMastes and Bray have assembled a collection of plays centered on the notion of "Starting Over." Following the 2016 election cycle, which turned centuries-old political mores and traditions on their heads, many Americans - especially those in the theatre community -ÿfeel as though the incoming presidential administration and congress will require our nation to start anew. The feeling that we are beginning again (for better or for worse) has crept into the consciousness of this year's crop of writers. These playwrights individually and collectively demonstrate the vitality and necessity of the theatre as a space where we can ask questions about character and identity on both personal and national scales. Although answers aren't easily forthcoming, the ensuing silences provides a vacuum of sorts - an ideal but ephemeral space where any citizen, regardless of persuasion or belief, can stop, sit, and think.
Best American Short Plays 2018–2019

Best American Short Plays 2018–2019

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Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Paula Vogel once said that theater helps us learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable with each other. Revolving around the theme of "this is who we are," the one-act plays in this latest edition of the Best American Short Plays series (now in its ninth decade) explore the thoughtful ways in which playwrights are wrestling to make sense of our world today. The selected plays reflect how we perform our identities (private and public) and how we negotiate who we are with others who often have different perspectives, perspectives that make us uncomfortable. The theme of this collection is topical and apt as our country continues to shore up its borders along party lines, from pride parades to strict abortion laws, from inclusivity in education curricula to children in detention centers at the US-Mexico border. Each of the plays presents a clear reflection of who we are (and who we aspire to be) as individuals and as a nation. The styles of the plays also reflect different approaches to storytelling: two characters, four characters, a single setting, multiple settings, or a utopian "nowhere." The rich and compelling characters try to work out their differences and overcome obstacles using humor and a sense of magic that comes with simple moments of human connection. This is who we are: people who are grappling with the desire to be understood, the hope to be loved and accepted, and to allow that hope to shape a larger sense of who we could be if we continue to work and listen.