By Arvid F. Sponberg
This can be the 1st full-length research dedicated to the paintings of A.R. Gurney, an immense 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 through top theater students at the diversity of Gurney's paintings.
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Extra resources for A.R. Gurney
For instance, we did a lot of work with Northrop Frye when we talked about Shakespeare. I remember that was always helpful. I remember the discussions of the “green world” comedy when we were talking about The Merchant of Venice or Twelfth Night. So it was a broad course, but I always enjoyed it and I think the students did. AFS: As you continued working on your own plays, did you find reflections and conversations in the classroom infiltrating your work? GURNEY: Not really. I’ve always tried to turn off the academic side of myself when I’m writing.
And I didn’t want to get caught in soap opera. And I certainly didn’t want to get caught up in Greek choruses and old-fashioned devices. Also I think again there are a number of influences on me. By then I’d had enough of my plays done to know that there were many different ways of doing a play that were equally valid. I’d seen a number of productions of The Dining Room, a number of productions of Children, and I’d say to myself, well, she’s good, and she’s good. That scene works that way but it also works this way.
We dealt with a number of comic theories along the way and I tried to connect the theories to the particular work which to some degree inspired the theory or were inspired by the theory. For example Bergson and Shaw went very well together. SPONBERG Woody Allen. And Aristophanes and Aristotle. And then for some of the nineteenth century we read a little Meredith, for example, and we read Schlegel on comedy. I felt, and most of the students felt, that comic theory was always limited and that the works always expanded beyond the comic coordinates that these theorists tend to put on them.