New Essays on the Art and Politics of the Plays
About the Book
Playwright Tony Kushner is a voice of intellectualism, neo-socialism, gay activism and political outrage in an era when the political pendulum has swayed to the right. Through scalding humor, thought, and compassion, he explores political dynamics and the human condition in the modern era, shedding light on and giving hope for the direst of circumstances. His best known work, Angels in America, delves beneath the anti-gay rhetoric and political superficiality of the AIDS pandemic to true suffering and transformation. His political epic Homebody/Kabul engages the issue of terrorism and conflicting fundamental beliefs.
In this book 11 scholars explore the works of Tony Kushner across his career. Several address Angels: one explores the presentation of homosexuality by Kushner compared to that of Tennessee Williams, who wrote in a less tolerant era; another places Angels in the contexts of Hegel’s concept of freedom and the gay revolution; a third discusses the play in terms of queer theory and politics. Homebody/Kabul is examined in two essays, one analyzing media reaction, the other exploring cultural and economic differences, religious fundamentalism and the “West’s luxurious predominance in the world.” Other studies address relationships in Kushner’s works to William Inge’s 1950 play Come Back, Little Sheba; the plays of experimentalist Adrienne Kennedy; and fascist creep in the era of playwrights W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood, among other topics.
About the Author(s)
Edited by James Fisher
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2006
Table of Contents
1. The Angels of Fructification”: Tennessee Williams, Tony Kushner, and Images of Homosexuality on the American Stage 5
2. Kushner, Inge and “Little Sheba”: Strange Bedfellows 28
3. Blood Relations: Adrienne Kennedy and Tony Kushner 41
4. Then and Now: W.H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, Tony Kushner, and Fascist Creep 56
5. Stonewall, “Constant Historical Progress,” and Angels in America: The Neo-Hegelian Positivist Sense 98
6. Queer Politics to Fabulous Politics in Angels in America: Pinklisting and Forgiving Roy Cohn 112
7. Two Illusions: Cultural Borrowings and Transcendence 127
8. Reading Corneille with Brecht: The Comedy of Illusion and the Illusions of Citizenship 135
9. When Worlds Collide: The Kushner-Lamos A Dybbuk at Hartford Stage 149
10. Repairing Reality: The Media and Homebody/Kabul in New York, 2001 172
11. “Succumbing to Luxury”: History, Language, and Hope in Homebody/Kabul 190
12. The Therapy of Desire 201
Book Reviews & Awards
“essays are all clearly written…recommended”—Choice; “stimulating and worthwhile”—Modern Drama; “excellent…essays offer fresh insights”—Theare Journal; “a view of Kushner as a political playwright who seems almost prophetic in his critiques of American society”—Review of Literature.