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The contemporary scene in American drama includes major contributions from a diverse array of gay authors (who now write openly on gay themes; see also Roudané, “Plays,” 404), playwrights of various ethnic and racial backgrounds, and an improving representation of women from all groups. Not surprisingly, the goal of many underrepresented writers is to bring their story to the American stage, developing dramatic work from the unique perspective of their personal/contemporary and collective/historical experience. Many continue tapping into the absurdist tradition established by Beckett and others, and many mix dark humor with implicit or explicit violence per the genre-blending tendencies of the wider contemporary stage. As have the dramas, so the stages themselves have continued to diversify beyond the bounds of Broadway; important regional theaters such as the Magic in San Francisco, the Mark Taper in Los Angeles, the Guthrie in Minneapolis, the Goodman and Steppenwolf in Chicago, Yale Repertory Theater New Haven, and the McCarter Center in Princeton have sponsored plays by many of the artists represented in this part; the Public Theater’s Joseph Papp (in New York), Yale Rep’s Lloyd Richards, and McCarter’s Emily Mann are cited as key mentors to these writers in their early and mid-careers, as are important playwriting teachers such as Marie Irene Fornés and Paula Vogel, who directs the playwriting program at Brown. Theatre Communications Group is an active publisher of contemporary American plays and a sponsor of theater-related research; its American Theater and BOMB are two online magazines with frequent updates regarding theater news and interviews with contemporary playwrights.
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Meanwhile, director Jo Bonney of the New York premiere positioned Helen onstage “eating, and necessarily, at length” as the audience entered the theater. With this staging, Tom’s “reaction can thus be judged against [the audience’s] own. They are already implicated in the aesthetic, moral questions raised by the relationship which now unfolds” (Bigsby, Neil LaBute, 167).
go back to reference Brantley, Ben. “ Hamilton, Young Rebels Changing History and Theater.” New York Times, August 6, 2015. Brantley, Ben. “ Hamilton, Young Rebels Changing History and Theater.” New York Times, August 6, 2015.
go back to reference Mamet, David. Oleanna. New York: Pantheon, 1992. Mamet, David. Oleanna. New York: Pantheon, 1992.
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