New Russian Drama took shape at the turn of the new millennium—a time of turbulent social change in Russia and the former Soviet republics. Emerging from small playwriting festivals, provincial theaters, and converted basements, it evolved into a major artistic movement that startled audiences with hypernaturalistic portrayals of sex and violence, daring use of non-normative language, and thrilling experiments with genre and form. The movement’s commitment to investigating contemporary reality helped revitalize Russian theater. It also provoked confrontations with traditionalists in society and places of power, making theater once again Russia’s most politicized art form.This anthology offers an introduction to New Russian Drama through plays that illustrate the versatility and global relevance of this exciting movement. Many of them address pressing social issues, such as ethnic tensions and political disillusionment; others engage with Russia’s rich cultural legacy by reimagining traditional genres and canons. Among them are a family drama about Anton Chekhov, a modern production play in which factory workers compose haiku, and a satirical verse play about the treatment of migrant workers, as well a documentary play about a terrorist school siege and a postdramatic “text” that is only two sentences long. Both politically and aesthetically uncompromising, they chart new paths for performance in the twenty-first century. Acquainting English-language readers with these vital works, New Russian Drama challenges us to reflect on the status and mission of the theater.
The Damon Runyon Theatre Hour. Damon Runyon is acknowledged as one of the great writers to come out of twentieth century America. Runyon's short stories are almost always told in the first person by a narrator who is never named, and whose role is unclear; he knows many gangsters and has no job that can be gleaned from his musings, nor does he admit to any criminal involvement; He’s a bystander, an observer, an average street-corner Joe. Runyon described himself as "being known to one and all as a guy who is just around". That line seems to say a lot about Runyon and his life. It was like you were with him on some street corner hustle or some shady dive and he was filling you in on all the angles, all the gossip, all of life. He was who so many people wanted to be with……or so many people wanted to be. Of course, the cliché about newspapermen and writers is that they are heavy drinkers, chain-smokers, gamblers and obsessively chase women with a sideline in the gathering of stories and facts and actually getting something written just before the deadline hits. That seems like Damon Runyon and his life summed up in one sentence. His stories became legendary ways of looking that bit differently at America, of soaking up the atmosphere of a glamorous and rip-roaring age and distilling it into a black and white type or, in our case, The Damon Runyon Theatre Hour.
The award-winning author of In My Father’s Footsteps combines prose and poetry in a poignant memoir that captures the aftershocks of a tragic car accident. “Beginner’s Guide to a Head-on Collision offers the deeply moving poetic memoir of Sebastian Matthews’s life in the years after the car accident that devastated him and his wife and son. The poems, which often read like electric improvised prayer-songs, intimately evoke the terrors and wonders of catastrophic physical injury and of ‘life re-booted.’ They are disturbing, eerie poems that embody the paradoxes of being The Dead Man at the crossing. They are amazingly honest in their hopeful, mystical sense of fate. In this unforgettable book, the reader is present at the scene of the accident where the hovering spirit that has departed the body addresses the living person re-entering his brokenness and answering for his transcendent awareness.” —Kevin McIlvoy, author of Hyssop “These poems detail both physical and spiritual misery, and though suffering can turn us into many things, Matthews—our banged-up storyteller, singer, docent—strives to deliver himself back to a body of affection, intimacy, and kindness. Beginner’s Guide to a Head-on Collision is a remarkable record of that difficult journey.” —Patrick Rosal, author of Brooklyn Antediluvian “By reading Beginner’s Guide to a Head-on Collision we learn how to go in and out of the body as necessary and, in order to take in the possibility of a larger life, how to wrest from breakage release from our thin views of who we are.” —Vievee Francis, author of Forest Primeval
The year is 2076, the nation’s Tricentennial. Guns are outlawed, but the last seven surviving weapons are in captivity and on display in your city zoo. Billy the Kid’s colt .45, Andrew Jackson’s dueling pistol, a retired military rifle, a backwoods hunting rifle, a playful plastic toy gun, an unfinished nuclear handgun, and the flashy Saturday night special. In plotting and executing their escape, they see for the first time what they were really made for and why they can never be free. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Edward Asner, Tyne Daly, Bruce French, Robert David Hall, Tommy Hicks, Ella Joyce, Marnie Mosiman, James Reeder and Yeardley Smith.
Death is a subject that few of us talk about, but many think about and more than a few of us dread. Whether it is the actual end of our life’s journey or merely a transit point to Heavenly glory its actual point of impact is, obviously, life changing. But what do poets think of it? How do their minds tangle with the subject and make sense of this? That’s what we thought too. Poets as rich and diverse as Tennyson, Hardy, Shelley & Poe here share their words, thoughts and visions with us. Death is unavoidable but the journey there should be as informed and enjoyable as possible. On this Volume our readers include Richard Mitchley & Ghizela Rowe
Volume 1 in the Casey Crime Photographer series! This lighthearted crime drama spotlights witty dialogue, fanciful characters, and the congenial atmosphere that comes from setting much of the show’s action against the backdrop of a popular watering hole. The plots are basic - Casey snaps photos for the Morning Express and finds himself playing amateur sleuth by getting involved in the stories he covers - but what sets the series apart is its laid-back atmosphere, chiefly personified in its backdrop of The Blue Note Café. There, in-between assignments, the characters engage in badinage with their philosophically sardonic bartender pal Ethelbert, often to the melodious accompaniment of the Blue Note’s background piano. Strong characterizations and fine scripting continue to make Casey a delightful and enjoyable series.
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