A.R. Gurney by Arvid F. Sponberg

By Arvid F. Sponberg

This is often the 1st full-length learn dedicated to the artwork of A.R. Gurney, a tremendous modern American playwright who has written over thirty performs, together with Love Letters. This quantity brings jointly unique interviews with Gurney and 4 actors and a director who've labored heavily with him, in addition to essays via prime theater students at the variety of Gurney's paintings.

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Additional resources for A.R. Gurney

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The unusual circumstances of Wilder’s, Inge’s and Gurney’s careers, however, prompt questions about the relation of theatrical achievement and university training in the twentieth century, a period of our theatrical history in which most universities established theater schools and departments. Chief among the questions raised is why there are not more Gurneys and Wilders? Gurney asserts that he tried to keep his academic and artistic lives separate, but, as both professor and playwright, questions about society, history, and their relation to the quest for dramatic form always held center stage in his attention.

AFS: And then somewhere in my notes I’ve got a list of all the hymns in Old Boy. So it’s hymns in Old Boy. Cole Porter in Fourth Wall. GURNEY: Yes. AFS: I still have not found the tune for Sweet Sue. GURNEY: That was very popular. I don’t know how that came up. It’s from my generation. It was just a common song. Everybody knew it. It wasn’t written in our generation. It wasn’t written in the fifties or the forties, but it was one of those songs that people sang around campfires or around pianos.

How do you reflect the fluidity of American life, the geographical variety of American life, and still keep the concentration that the theater requires? AFS: One of the defining terms that I have already used in the Broadway Talks book is this quest for community. Peggy’s speeches in The Fourth Wall make her your sharpest and clearest dramatic expression of the yearnings for that kind of community. Your use of language, the way you write for the characters, their capacities to express their own feelings, your use of music in the plays, in some places your frank borrowings from literature, in other places your subtle borrowings from literature, all seem to me to connect to a strong concern about what holds communities together.

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