Beat Drama: Playwrights and Performances of the 'Howl' Generation

Beat Drama: Playwrights and Performances of the 'Howl' Generation

Hardcover(UK ed.)



Readers and acolytes of the vital early 1950s-mid 1960s writers known as the Beat Generation tend to be familiar with the prose and poetry by the seminal authors of this period: Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Diane Di Prima, and many others. Yet all of these authors, as well as other less well-known Beat figures, also wrote plays-and these, together with their countercultural approaches to what could or should happen in the theatre-shaped the dramatic experiments of the playwrights who came after them, from Sam Shepard to Maria Irene Fornes, to the many vanguard performance artists of the seventies.

This volume, the first of its kind, gathers essays about the exciting work in drama and performance by and about the Beat Generation, ranging from the well-known Beat figures such as Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs, to the “Afro-Beats” - LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Bob Kaufman, and others. It offers original studies of the women Beats - Di Prima, Bunny Lang - as well as groups like the Living Theater who in this era first challenged the literal and physical boundaries of the performance space itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781472567888
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 07/28/2016
Series: Methuen Drama Engage
Edition description: UK ed.
Pages: 376
Product dimensions: 5.67(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

Deborah R. Geis is Associate Professor of English at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, USA, where she specializes in 20th and 21st-century American literature and drama. She is the author of Postmodern Theatric(k)s: Monologue in Contemporary American Drama and of Suzan-Lori Parks, and the editor of Approaching the Millennium: Essays on Angels in America (with Steven F. Kruger) and of Considering MAUS: Approaches to Art Spiegelman's “Survivor's Tale” of the Holocaust. She is also a published performance poet who has appeared in the National Poetry Slam and in many other venues.

Table of Contents

Part I. The “Canonical” Beat Writers
Jack Kerouac: The Beat Generation
Gregory Corso and the Cambridge Poets' Theatre (Ronna Johnson - Tufts University, USA)
Lawrence Ferlinghetti: One-act Plays (Deborah Geis - DePauw University, USA)
Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs: Forerunners of Performance Poetry

Part II. The New York Poets Theatre
Diane Di Prima: Murder Cake, Whole Honey, and other works
Michael McClure: Poetic Plays
John Wieners: Theatre Experiments and Poetic Plays
Frank O'Hara: Drama and the Transition to Language Poetry

Part III. From the Margins: Drama of the Afro-Beats and Women Beats
LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka): Dutchman and Other Plays; Theatre of Black Power (Jimmy Fazzino - University of California-Santa Barbara, USA)
Bob Kaufman and Ted Joans: Political Performance
Ed Bullins and Black Arts drama
Adrienne Kennedy and Surrealism
Bunny Lang and Cambridge Poets Theatre (Kevin Killian)
Anne Waldman and Feminist Performance
Maria Irene Fornes, Rochelle Owens, Rosalyn Drexler

Part IV. Transitions: From Experimental Theatre to Film
The Living Theater: Confronting Audiences (Tim Good - DePauw University, USA)
Sam Shepard: Early Plays
Beats Making Films: Pull My Daisy
Playing the Beats: Heart Beat, Howl
Adapting Kerouac: The Subterraneans, On the Road (Sara Villa - University of Montreal)

Notes on Contributors

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