The Other American Drama
Published by John Hopkins University
"Robinson wisely eschews merely providing an alternative 'tradition,' but instead discusses with singular penetration and marvelous style a collection of important artists who simply do not fit into the tidy conventional tradition." -- Theater Magazine
The Other American Drama proposes an alternative to the received history of American drama, the Eugene O'Neill-Arthur Miller-August Wilson line of development so familiar to readers of standard drama surveys. Marc Robinson begins his book with a study of Gertrude Stein, whose prolific career as a playwright has been unjustly overshadowed by that of O'Neill. Subsequent essays rethink familiar figures such as Tennessee Williams and Sam Shepard, and make the case for such undervalued writers as Maria Irene Fornes, Adrienne Kennedy, and Richard Foreman. An afterword suggests new directions in the work of several younger playwrights. Robinson's book is the first to discuss Stein, Fornes, Kennedy, and Foreman as essential members of modern American theater rather than as curious fringe figures. He shows how these writers direct attention away from plots, experiment with form, redefine emotion and psychology, and search for the essences of theatrical notions usually taken for granted, such as presence, speech, and movement. Taken together, his essays trace the evolution of a truly innovative American drama.
"Robinson has produced a work that will be viewed [not only] as an important contribution to American theatre, but also as a significant book about the place of drama in American literature."--Theatre Studies
"At a time when a new generation of critics is under increasing pressure to 'theorize' drama, often before having had a chance to experience at first hand this most performative of the performing arts, Marc Robinson's The Other American Drama stands out as a bright and informed work."--American Theatre