Theater of the Avant-Garde, 1950-2000

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A Critical Anthology

Edited by Robert Knopf and Julia Listengarten

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This critical anthology assembles an international selection of influential avant-garde plays from the second half of the twentieth century. Supplemented by essays by major theater practitioners, the book approaches the recent avant-garde as a non-linear, pluralistic phenomenon, includes collaborative constructed scripts, and highlights the complex dynamic between avant-garde text and performance.

Robert Knopf is professor of theatre and director of theatre studies, University at Buffalo/SUNY. Julia Listengarten is associate professor of theater, University of Central Florida.

“The anthology's editors wisely ask readers to envision an expansive, pluralistic, discipline-blurring, non-linear, and non-compliant theatrical avant-garde.  The thirty-six plays, performance texts, essays, and interviews provide ample evidence of an avant-garde whose only stable characteristic is constant self-reinvention”.—Jean Graham-Jones, City University of New York, Graduate Center

“Wide-ranging and comprehensive, Theater of the Avant-Garde 1950-2000: A Critical Anthology is a worthy successor to Theater of the Avant Garde 1890-1950 and will be equally useful for teachers and students of modern drama and theater.”— Daniel Gerould, Lucille Lortel Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature, Graduate Center, City University of New York

“Tackling a period that often seems to lack defining movements and that defies canon formation, the editors have assembled representative works from both familiar and less-familiar authors that demonstrate the continuing vitality of the theatrical avant-garde as it reinvented itself throughout the latter half of the 20th century. Moving deftly among texts, interviews, and commentaries, this volume is fresh, engaging, and insightful.”—John Emigh, Professor Emeritus, Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, Brown University

"...a remarkably wide-ranging and dazzlingly eclectic anthology which illustrates the almost infinite number of ways in which the auditory and the visual, the verbal and gestural, can  interact with one another  in live performance."—Roger Copeland, author of Merce Cunningham: The  Modernizing of Modern Dance


“This anthology offers a rare combination of breadth and depth, without becoming a brick-heavy tome of plays . . . it’s a useful text for anyone wanting greater entrée into the world of the theatrically avant-garde.”—Justin Maxwell, Rain Taxi
ISBN: 9780300134230
Publication Date: March 29, 2011
568 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4

Sales Restrictions: For sale in North America only
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