Political Drama Book

Literature and Politics Today
by M. Keith Booker

Literary works have often engaged political issues, and many political writings give close attention to literary concerns. This encyclopedia explores the complex relationship between literature and politics through detailed entries written by expert contributors on authors, historical figures, major literary and political works, national literatures, and literary movements, covering specific themes, concepts, and genres related to literature and politics from the 20th century to the present. The work covers cover authors that include Margaret Atwood, James Baldwin, Philip K. Dick, W.E.B. Du Bois, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Jack London, Toni Morrison, George Orwell, John Steinbeck, and Virginia Woolf, just to mention a few.

International in scope, Literature and Politics Today: The Political Nature of Modern Fiction, Poetry, and Drama covers writing ranging from the beginning of the 20th century to the present, with special emphasis on works written in English. The content of the some 150 alphabetically arranged entries is ideal for high school students working on assignments involving literature to explore such current yet historically ongoing social issues as censorship and propaganda. This book is appropriate for public libraries where it will serve to support student research and to help general readers learn more about enduring political concerns through literary works. Academic libraries will find this reference a valuable guide for undergraduates studying literature, history, political science, law, and other disciplines.


Shakespeare’s Political Drama
by Alexander Leggatt

In “Shakespeare’s Politcal Drama, “Alexander Leggatt concentrates on the ordering and enforcing, the gaining and losing, of public power in the state, in the English and Roman histories. He sees Shakespeare not as the propogandist for a myth of order, but as concerned both with things as they are and with things as they ought to be. Leggatt sees each play as a fresh experiment, so that what emerges is not a single homogeneous view of Shakespearean politics but a series of explorations of differing material.

Political Stages
by Emily Mann

Warning: The plays of Political Stages do not make for a quiet evening of theatre. These are the plays which got audiences out of their seats, and sometimes out into the streets. Their words and ideas rumbled ominously down the marble hallways of legislatures and challenged, even threatened, and often changed, the thinking of millions. These are the plays which either lit or reflected the fires of those political controversies which blazed across the American Twentieth Century. Individually, each is a molotov cocktail tossed onto the stage, each a political movement encapsulated in dramatic form. Combined, they constitute both a conflagration and a record of American political and theatrical ideology. Never before, however, have they been collected in one explosive volume. In Political Stages, they have at last been preserved, ever ready to serve at the barricades of subsequent eras. Includes works by Tennessee Williams, Emily Mann, Clifford Odets, Langston Hughes, and others.

Atlas Shrugged
by Ayn Rand

Peopled by larger-than-life heroes and villains, charged with towering questions of good and evil, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand’s magnum opus: a philosophical revolution told in the form of an action thriller—nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.

Who is John Galt? When he says that he will stop the motor of the world, is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he have to fight his battles not against his enemies but against those who need him most? Why does he fight his hardest battle against the woman he loves?

You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the amazing men and women in this book. You will discover why a productive genius becomes a worthless playboy…why a great steel industrialist is working for his own destruction…why a composer gives up his career on the night of his triumph…why a beautiful woman who runs a transcontinental railroad falls in love with the man she has sworn to kill.

Atlas Shrugged, a modern classic and Rand’s most extensive statement of Objectivism—her groundbreaking philosophy—offers the reader the spectacle of human greatness, depicted with all the poetry and power of one of the twentieth century’s leading artists.


Hamlet’s Moment
by András Kiséry

Hamlet’s Moment identifies a turning point in the history of English drama and early modern political culture: the moment when the business of politics became a matter of dramatic representation. Drama turned from open, military conflict to diplomacy and court policy, from the public contestation of power to the technologies of government. Tragedies of state turned into tragedies of state servants, inviting the public to consider politics as a profession-to imagine what it meant to have a political career. By staging intelligence derived from diplomatic sources, and by inflecting the action and discourse of their plays with a Machiavellian style of political analysis, playwrights such as Shakespeare, Jonson, Chapman, and Marston transformed political knowledge into a more broadly useful type of cultural capital, something even people without political agency could deploy in conversation and use in claiming social distinction. In Hamlet’s moment, the public stage created the political competence that enabled the rise of the modern public sphere.

The Politics of Love
by Rebecca Joubin

Dramatic miniseries are the primary arena for the expression of postcolonial Syrian culture and artistic talent, an arena that unites diverse aspects of artisanship in a struggle over visions of the past, present, and future of the nation. As the tour de force of the television medium, blossoming amidst persisting authoritarianism, these miniseries serve as a crucial and complex artistic avenue through which political and social opposition manifests. Scholars have tried to come to terms with a highly critical culture produced within attempted state co-optation, and argue that politically critical culture operates as a “safety valve” to release frustrations so that dissenters are less likely to mobilize against the government.

Through research fueled by a viewing of over two hundred and fifty miniseries ranging from the 1960s to the present—as well as an examination of hundreds of press reports, Facebook pages, and extensive interviews with drama creators—this book turns away from the dominant paradigm that focuses on regime intent. When turning attention instead to the drama creators themselves we witness the polyphony of voices employing love and marriage metaphors and gender (de)constructions to explore larger issues of nationalism, self-identity, and political critique. At the heart of constructions of femininity are the complications that arise with the symbiosis of pure femininity with authentic national identity. Deconstructing masculinity as political critique has been less complicated since it is not implicated in Western identity issues; on the contrary, illustrations of subservient masculinity serve to subtly denounce government corruption and oppression. Miniseries from the 1960s demonstrate that the focus of the qabaday (tough man) on female sexuality comes from his own political alienation vis-à-vis the state, and is part of a vicious cycle of state violence vis-à-vis the citizen. In recent years, and in particular after the uprising, we can see the emerging definition of the true qabaday as one who does not suppress a woman’s sexuality, thereby allowing for full equality in relationships as the basis of a truly free society.


Political Performances
by

Political Performances: Theory and Practice emerges from the work of the Political Performances Working Group of the International Federation for Theatre Research/Fédération Internationale pour la Recherche de Théâtrale. The collection of essays strives to interrogate definitions and expand boundaries of political performance. Members of Political Performances are from around the world and so approach the intersection of politics and performance from very different perspectives. Some focus on socio-political context, others on dramatic content, others on political issues and activism, and still others examine the ways in which communities perform their collective identity and political agency. The organizational structure of Political Performances highlights the variety of ways in which politics and performance converge. Each section – “Queries”, “Texts”, “Contexts” and “Practice” – frames this confluence according to certain common threads that emerge from essays that deal with topics from the ethics of autobiographical performance, the political efficacy of verbatim theatre, the challenges of community-based performance, political and self-censorship, and the impossibility of representing atrocity. The essays challenge existing ideas of political performance and point the way to new approaches.


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