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This is the "American Playwrights" page of the "Literature and English Research" guide.
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Last Updated: Nov 15, 2017 URL: http://libguides.warner.edu/literature Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

American Playwrights Print Page
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American Playwrights

  • Lillian Hellman (1905 - 1984): Topic Page
    U.S. dramatist. Her works include the plays The Little Foxes (1939), The Searching Wind (1944), and the autobiographical Scoundrel Time (1976).
  • George Kaufman (1889 - 1961): Topic Page
    American playwright noted for many collaborations, including Dinner at Eight (1932) with Edna Ferber and You Can't Take It with You (1936) with Moss Hart.
  • Tony Kushner (1956 - ): Topic Page
    American playwright who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Millennium Approaches (1992), the first part of his trilogy Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes.
  • David Mamet (1947 - ): Topic Page
    U.S. dramatist and film director. His plays include Sexual Perversity in Chicago (1974), American Buffalo (1976), Glengarry Glen Ross (1983), and The Spanish Prisoner (1998).
  • Arthur Miller (1915 - 2005): Topic Page
    American playwright whose works include Death of a Salesman (1949), for which he won a Pulitzer Prize, and The Crucible (1953).
  • Eugene O'Neill (1888 - 1953): Topic Page
    U.S. dramatist. His works, which are notable for their emotional power and psychological analysis, include Desire under the Elms (1924), Strange Interlude (1928), Mourning becomes Elektra (1931), Long Day's Journey into Night (1941), and The Iceman Cometh (1946): Nobel prize for literature 1936.
  • Neil Simon (1927 - ): Topic Page
    American playwright whose lighthearted comedies of middle-class life include The Odd Couple (1965) and Lost in Yonkers (1991), for which he won a Pulitzer Prize.
  • Thornton Wilder (1897 - 1975): Topic Page
    American playwright and novelist, b. Madison, Wis., grad. Yale (B.A., 1920) and Princeton (M.A., 1925). He received most of his early education in China, where his father was in the U.S. consular service.
  • Tennessee Williams (1911 - 1983): Topic Page
    Playwright, born in Columbus, Mississippi, USA. From an old Tennessee family (he adopted his first name by 1939 while in New Orleans), he was raised under the influence of his clergyman-grandfather.

Notable Plays & Musicals

  • A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry
    From The Cambridge Guide to Women's Writing in English
    Lorraine Hansberry turns the raw material of family history (her father's decision in 1938 to defy Chicago's restrictive real-estate covenants) into a play whose appeal derives in part from the specificity of its focus (on the Younger family) and the universality of its main concern (dreams deferred).
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, by Tennessee Williams
    From The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English
    A play by Tennessee Williams, first performed in New York in 1955 and awarded a pulitzer prize. It was revised for a revival in 1974.
  • Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller
    From The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English
    A play by Arthur, Miller, first performed and published in 1949. It won instant critical acclaim, running for 742 performances at the Morosco Theatre in New York and winning both the Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award.
  • Mourning Becomes Electra, by Eugene O'Neill
    From The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English
    A trilogy of plays by Eugene O'Neill, based on the Oresteia of Aeschylus, and first produced in New York in 1931. The 13-act trilogy is set in a small New England coastal town at the close of the Civil War.
  • Our Town, by Thornton Wilder
    From The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English
    A play by Thornton Wilder, performed in New York in 1938 and awarded a pulitzer prize. Its three acts treat Daily Life, Love and Marriage, and Death, respectively, in the small New Hampshire town of Grover's Corners and focus on two families in particular: the Gibbses and the Webbs.
  • The Crucible, by Arthur Miller
    From Brewer's Curious Titles
    A historical drama (1953) by the US playwright Arthur Miller (b. 1915) about the witchcraft hysteria that swept through Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692.
  • West Side Story: Topic Page
    Following the development of opera, operetta, and the musical play (or musical, as we now know it), American composers such as Jerome Kern (1885-1945) and Oscar Hammerstein (1846-1919) became very popular.
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, by Edward Albee
    From The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English
    A play by Edward Albee, first performed in New York in 1962. The first of his three-act dramas, it is also the most admired of his plays.
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