Re-Imagining Greek Tragedy on the American Stage

Re-Imagining Greek Tragedy on the American Stage

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This book explores the emergence of Greek tragedy on the American stage from the nineteenth century to the present. Despite the gap separating the world of classical Greece from our own, Greek tragedy has provided a fertile source for some of the most innovative American theater. Helene P. Foley shows how plays like Oedipus Rex and Medea have resonated deeply with contemporary concerns and controversies--over war, slavery, race, the status of women, religion, identity, and immigration. Although Greek tragedy was often initially embraced for its melodramatic possibilities, by the twentieth century it became a vehicle not only for major developments in the history of American theater and dance, but also for exploring critical tensions in American cultural and political life. Drawing on a wide range of sources--archival, video, interviews, and reviews--Reimagining Greek Tragedy on the American Stage provides the most comprehensive treatment of the subject available.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 396 pages
  • 157.48 x 226.06 x 30.48mm | 662.24g
  • University of California Press
  • Berkerley, United States
  • English
  • 26 b/w photographs
  • 0520272447
  • 9780520272446

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Review quote

"Obligatory reading for anyone interested in Greek tragedy, reception studies, the history of the theater, or US cultural history... Essential." -- P. Nieto, Brown University Choice "[A] monumental mosaic of a book." -- Oliver P. Foley The Times Literary Supplement

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"Only Helene Foley could have written this book. The combination of meticulous classical scholarship with a lifetime of accumulated experience of the US contemporary arts scene has produced a stylish, exciting, and energising read. Mandatory reading for anyone who loves either Greek or American Theatre. Edith Hall, author of "Greek Tragedy: Suffering under the Sun" This eagerly anticipated volume covers enormous ground with great skill and insight. It demonstrates unequivocally that the ancient plays have not simply been central to life within the American academy; they have also routinely been at the forefront of innovation and debate within the American theatre. Fiona McIntosh, Director of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama, University of Oxford. "A magnificent work, impressive in its scope and learning, yet accessible and engagingan extraordinary, indeed indispensable contribution to reception studies of Greek tragedy."Mary Kay Gamel, Professor of Classics, Comparative Literature, and Theater Arts, University of California, Santa Cruz"

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About Helene P. Foley

Helene P. Foley is Professor of Classics at Barnard College, Columbia University, and the 2008 Sather Professor at UC Berkeley. Her many books include Ritual Irony and Female Acts in Greek Tragedy .

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