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Contemporary Plays Group Prezi

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Julia Feeser

on 5 November 2013

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Transcript of Contemporary Plays Group Prezi

The Zoo Story

Edward Albee
On the Author
Born March 12, 1928
Adopted, but he disagreed with his parents
Had a love for theatre from a young age and ran away from home to join it.
Wrote his first play and got it shown in 1959, in Berlin.
Some believe that the character Jerry is based off himself
The World at the Time of the Play
1959- World event context
Alaska and Hawaii join the United States
Fidel Castro gains power over the Cuban government
The cold war is peaking
The space race is in progress
1959- Influences to the play
The United States was on the verge of social upheaval
WWII had ended more than a decade before, but in the midst of the cold war violence was a fear of the populace
The economic situation of the country was unstable, the glamour of the post war prosperity was ending
Works Cited


The Plays of Edward Albee
His plays are always about a controversial topic
This led to many mixed reviews on his work. Some people thought he was brilliant, others were terrified.
He wrote a lot about economic and social classes.
Berlin, Normand. "Traffic Of Our Stage: Albee's "Peter And Jerry." Massachusetts Review 45.4 (2004): 768. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 31 Oct. 2013.
Ebrahim, Anas."Essay on Edward Albee's The Zoo Story." academia.edu
Other Plays
The American Dream
Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe
At Home at the Zoo (a remake of The Zoo Story that includes an Act 1.)
Other playwrights who wrote at the same time as him
Tennessee Williams
Lorraine Hansberry
John Patrick Shanley
What is The Zoo Story?
The Zoo Story is a one act play, about two people, Peter and Jerry.
Peter is successful financially, and has a happy family life. Jerry lives in a run-down apartment and barely has enough money to survive.
Jerry repeatedly says he has been to the zoo. This zoo is a criticism of economic classes in the United States at the time.
Edward Albee was a contemporary playwright
His plays were shocking to watch, and made people confront uncomfortable ideas
Hidden (or not so hidden) criticism of society and its injustice.

Excerpt from The Zoo Story
: I warn you, I'll have you arrested POLICE! [pause.] I said POLICE! [pause.] I feel ridiculous.
:You look ridiculous: a grown man screaming for the police on a bright Sunday afternoon in the park with nobody harming you. If a policeman did fill his quota and come trudging over this way he'd probably take you in as a nut.
: [With disgust and impotence]: Great God, I just came here to read, and now you want me to give up the bench. You're mad.
:Hey, I got news for you as they say. I'm on your precious bench, and you're never going to have it for yourself again.
: [Furious] Look, you; get off my bench. I don't care if it makes sense or not. I want this bench to myself;
I want you OFF IT!
: [Mocking] Aw... look who's mad.
: No.
: Do you know how ridiculous you look now?
: [His fury and self-conciousness have possessed him] It doesn't matter. [He is almost crying.] GET AWAY FROM MY BENCH!
: Why? you have everything in the world you want; you've told me about your home, and your family, and your own little zoo. You have everything and now you want this bench. Are these the things that men fight for? Tell me, Peter, is this bench, this iron and this wood, is this your honor? Is this the thing in this world you'd fight for? Can you think of anything more absurd?

The Style and Elements of His Work
Works Cited:

How I Learned to Drive

Paula Vogel
About the Author
Born in Washington D.C. on November 16, 1951.
Parents divorced and lost connection with her dad and her brother Carl died of AIDS.
Lost her scholarship for playwriting to Bryn Mawr and went on to do dramatic literature.
Her earliest plays were also turned down by the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference.
These rejections were good for her because it led to her win the Pulitzer Prize for How I Learned to Drive.
She only created plays that have directly impacted her life.
As a feminist, she focuses on the female perspective instead of the male perspective.
She feels it is a mistake to demonize those who hurt us.

What Did the Playwright write?
She often talks about controversial issues like sexual abuse and prostitution.
She writes the plays backwards, moving from the emotional circumstances and character to craft narrative structure.
Handles brutle themes in a seductive, kind of musical way, winning the audience with truth and irreverent humor.
Other plays written:
The Baltimore Waltz
A Play About a Handkerchief
The Oldest Profession
And Baby Makes Seven
Hot N' Throbbin
The Long Christmas Ride Home
Civil War Christmas
The Mineola Twins
Swan Song of Sir Henry
Apple-Brown Betty
Bertha in Blue
About the Play
Themes: Incest, Alcoholism, Pedophilia.
This play is about families, growing up, becoming independent, and being a survivor.
The play is about a strained, sexual relationship between Li'l Bit and her aunt's husband, Uncle Peck, from her adolescence through her teenage years into college and beyond. Using the metaphor of driving and the issues of pedophilia, incest, and mistrust of women, the play explores the ideas of control and manipulation.
Historical Events in the 1960s
Bay of Pigs invasion
Berlin Wall Built
Cubin Missle Crisis
Marilyn Monroe death
MLK "I have a dream speech
First Super Bowl
MLK and Kennedy assassination.

Originally seen on Broadway in 1997 and directed by Mark Brokaw.
Audiences think it needs a trigger warning before going to see the play.
Audiences recommend it and that there is always a deeper meaning behind each scene.
For mature audiences that can handle tough situations.

Lil Bit:
Listen, Uncle Peck, I don’t know how to begin this, but –
: I have been thinking of how to say this in my head, over and over –
: Sorry.
Lil Bit
: You first.
: Well, you’re going away—has just made me realize how much I miss you. Talking to you and being alone with you. I’ve really come to depend on you, Lil Bit. And it’s been so hard to get in touch with you lately—the distance and – and you’re never in when I call—I guess you’ve been living in the library—
Lil Bit
: --No—the problem is, I haven’t been in the library—
: Well, it doesn’t matter—I hope you’ve been missing me as much.
Lil Bit
: Uncle Peck—I’ve been thinking a lot about this—and I came here tonight to tell you that—I’m not doing very well. I’m getting very confused—I can’t concentrate on my work—and now that I’m away—I’ve been going over and over it in my mind—and I don’t want us to “see” each other anymore. Other than with the rest of the family.
Are you seeing other men?
Lil Bit:
I—no, that’s not the reason—I—well, yes, I am seeing other—listen, it’s not really anybody’s business!
Are you in love with anyone else?
Lil Bit
: That’s not what this is about.
: Lil Bit—you’re scared. Your mother and you grandparents have filled your head with all kinds of nonsense about men—I hear them working on you all the time—and you’re scared. It won’t hurt you—if the man you go to bed with really loves you. And I have loved you since the day I held you in my hand. And I think everyone’s just gotten you frightened to death about something that is just like breathing—
Lil Bit
: Oh, my god—I can’t see you anymore, Uncle Peck.

Moment from the Play
Works Cited
Bradford, Wade. ""How I Learned to Drive" by Paula Vogel." About.com Plays / Drama. N.p., 2013. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
"How I Learned to Drive." : About the Playwright. MU Department of Theatre, Sept. 2010. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
Parker, Mary L. "BOMB Magazine: Paula Vogel by Mary Louise Parker." Atom. Bombsite, Oct. 1997. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
"Paula Vogel." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 10 June 2013. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
"Playwright Spotlight: How I Learned…from Paula Vogel | Dramachicks." Dramachicks. Word Press, 16 Sept. 2011. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.

Bradford, Wade. ""How I Learned to Drive" by Paula Vogel." About.com Plays / Drama. N.p., 2013. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
"How I Learned to Drive." : About the Playwright. MU Department of Theatre, Sept. 2010. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
Parker, Mary L. "BOMB Magazine: Paula Vogel by Mary Louise Parker." Atom. Bombsite, Oct. 1997. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
"Paula Vogel." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 10 June 2013. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
"Playwright Spotlight: How I Learned…from Paula Vogel | Dramachicks." Dramachicks. Word Press, 16 Sept. 2011. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
Jacobus, Lee A. The Bedford Introduction to Drama. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Everyone dreads being introduced to the in-laws for the first time. But most of us have it easy compared with Ruth. Her new family insult her, then attempt to molest her and end up discussing whether to establish her in a brothel.
Questions for Discussion:
1. What might have impacted Teddy's decision to leave his wife with his brothers and return to his children at home in America?
2. What was the reason for Ruth's decision to allow the boys to let her be their woman of the house?
Historical Context:

1956: Clean Air Act in London

1960's: Decline of London Docks

1965: Sir Wonston Churchill's funeral

1966: Post Office Tower opened to public

1982: Barbican Centre Opened (Europe's largest arts complex)

The Zoo Story was met with mixed feelings, many were shocked and uncomfortable with how direct it was, others were interested in the new abrupt daring style of theatre it was.
Edward Albee now has many awards celebrating his works.
The Zoo Story
Peter is sitting on a bench
Jerry enters and begins asking questions of peter, talks about how he went to the zoo.
After more and more questions Peter begins to get uncomfortable, he says he wants to know what Jerry did at the zoo.
Jerry says he will tell Peter what he did at the zoo once he tells Peter the story of "Jerry and the Dog."
Jerry tells the story, and Peter is horrified.
Jerry says he will tell Peter what he did at the zoo, if he can share Peters bench.
Peter agrees, but Jerry only bullies him off the bench.
Peter is angry, so Jerry challenges him to defend his bench and honor. He gives Peter a knife.
Peter looks at the knife in confusion, and Jerry impales himself on it, dying and mocking Peter to his last.
Biography of John Patrick Shanley
Born 1950 in Bronx, New York
Youngest of 5 siblings
Son of an Irish immigrant meat packer
Trouble in school
Joined Marines during Vietnam War
After went back to NYU to finish degree
Other Works
Saturday Night at the War (1978)
Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (1984)
Moonstruck (1987) Oscar Winner
Five Corners (1978)
Danny I Roberta (1993)
Doubt, the parable (2004)
Teachers at Thomas Moore encouraged his writing ability
They correlate Tennessee Williams with John Patrick Shanley
He began writing poetry and being influenced by poets
Wrote Doubt because his relative experienced being molested by a Catholic Priest
Setting: 1964
One year after John F Kennedy's assassination
Important time for Catholic church because of the establishment of Vadican II
Written in 2004, a few years after terrorist attack in New York

First production: March 2005-January 2006
Cherry Jones: Sister Aloysius
Brian F. Obyrne: Father Flynn
Heather Goldenhersh: Sister James
Adriane Lenox: Mrs. Muller
Won the Pullitzer Prize for Drama
Won a Tony award for best play
Performed world-wide and translated into many languages
Works Cited
Levy, Emnuel. "Doubt: Interview with Writer-Director John Patrick Shanley." Emanuel Levy. Cinema 24/7, 5 May 2009. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
"World Biography." John Patrick Shanley Biography. Encyclopedia of World Biographies, n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
The Confessions of John Patrick Shanley." New York Times. New York Times, 7 Nov. 2004. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.
Kachka, Boris. "Q&A with Pulitzer Winner John Patrick Shanley." NYMag.com. New York Theatre, n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
"Doubt | IBDB: The Official Source for Broadway Information." Doubt | IBDB: The Official Source for Broadway Information. Internet Broadway Database, n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
Schilling, Mary Kae. "Un-''Doubt''-edly Good." EW.com. Entertainment Weekly, 28 Mar. 2005. Web. 05 Nov. 2013
Abneau, Marcia. "Doubt the Parable Study Guide." Park Square Theatre. Park Square Theatre, n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.

The Homecoming:

-Written in 1964
-Published 1965
-Premiered in London June 1965

-Staged on Broadway in America 2 years later

-Won Tony Award for best play, best performance by leading actor, best performance by featured actor, and best direction.
-Revived on 40th anniversary at Cort Theater in Manhattan
What was Jerry's motivation in attacking Peter?

Is it alright to force viewers to face something they may be uncomfortable with in order to prove a point or gather awareness?

Discussion Questions
Early criticism had potential for
multiple meanings mistaken for "meaningless"

Repeated readings and plays of The Homecoming continue to find new meanings and purpose for Pinter's writing.

Currently regarded as one of Pinter's masterpieces
1. Why did Lil Bit confide in Uncle Peck?
2. What did Paula Vogel's brother die from?
London Premiere directed by Peter hall, featuring Royal Shakespeare Company

American Premiere on Broadway was one actor away from having the same cast.

Discussion Questions
1. What influenced John Patrick Shanley to write Doubt?
2. What is the purpose of Sister James in the play?
Max: 70-year-old retired butcher, man of the house

Sam: Max's Brother, a 63-year-old chauffer

Sons of Max:
Teddy: Philosophy professor in the US
Lenny: A brother
Joey: Demolition worker and wannabe boxer

Ruth: Teddy's wife
City of London. "City Timeline." 2013. (3 November
2013). <cityoflondon.com>
Hemmings, Sarah. "The Crescent Theatre Presents:
The Homecoming." March 2008. (3 November
2013). <www.crescent-theatre.co.uk>
Hickling, Alfred. "The Homecoming." 11 June, 2013
(1 November, 2013). <www.thegurdian.com>
Judy Daish Associates Limited. "harold Pinter."
2000-2012. (3 November, 2013).
The Homecoming on Broadway. "The Homceoming
by Harold Pinter." 2007-2011. (1 November, 2013). <www.thehomecomingonbroadway.com>

Harold Pinter: 1930-2008
-born in East London
-Made Companion of Honour in 2002 by the Queen of services for Literature
-In 2005, awarded Nobel Prize for Literature
-Many other awards throughout life

-Playwright, director, actor, poet, and political activist.
-Died in November 2008.
-wrote 29 plays and 21 screenplays.
The Homecoming

Harold Pinter
Full transcript