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You will need this to supplement your other works from this series. -Reference for Students, Gale Group
This newest addition to a reference standard belongs in most public, academic, and secondary libraries. Hopefully, the days when Masterplots was routinely locked up in teachers-only, professional collections are long over, and this useful series is openly displayed and promoted. It serves as an effective tool to enhance student understanding of key literary works. -Booklist
Masterplots II: Drama Series offers much to students in search of information about its plays, particularly some newer or more obscure titles that may not be addressed elsewhere. -American Reference Books Annual, 2004
This set is recommended for public, high school, and college libraries; those that own the previous edition (orMasterplots) would be wise to invest in this update owing to its contemporary emphasis. -Library Journal
Editor: Christian H. Moe,
Southern Illinois University
Masterplots II, Drama Series, Rev. Ed.
This first revised edition of Masterplots II: Drama Series since 1990 adds 92 plays never covered in any Masterplots series, for a total of 345 plays in a four-volume set. The new titles range from four plays produced before the twentieth century to more than twenty plays first produced after 1990, including award-winning titles such as Topdog/Underdog, Wit, Copenhagen,Lost in Yonkers, Dinner with Friends, and Three Tall Women. The editors have striven to incorporate play titles most often studied and performed in North American secondary schools and colleges, including The Diary of Anne Frank,Driving Miss Daisy, Harvey, Inherit the Wind, and That Championship Season. New voices that have received recognition since the previous edition are also represented: The works of nearly 20 playwrights born in or after 1950 are included in these pages.
The titles covered in Masterplots II: Drama represent a diverse range of themes, issues, cultures, minority playwrights, and international locales. While the majority of the plays covered in the set are English-language works, plays from such countries as Italy, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Nigeria, Poland, South Africa, and Sweden are also covered. The vast majority of the plays were first produced during the twentieth century, while a handful were produced earlier. Many views of American life are represented in these plays, from the African American experiences depicted by August Wilson, Ntozake Shange, and Suzan-Lori Parks; the Mexican American experiences depicted by Luis Valdez and Miguel Piñero; and the Chinese American experiences depicted by Frank Chin and David Henry Hwang. The set also covers 30 plays by women writers, including Alice Childress, Lorraine Hansberry, Adrienne Kennedy, Caryl Churchill, and Megan Terry. Themes that have proven both relevant and at times, explosive, in the late twentieth century are explored in many of the newly added plays, including AIDS, domestic abuse, the "troubles" in Northern Ireland, racism, South African apartheid, South American political upheaval, the Cold War arms negotiations, Cuban immigrants, and urban deterioration. Articles from the 1990 edition have been updated with information relating to the playwright's careers, including important drama awards.
Plays from a broad spectrum of genre types are also represented within this revised set. Comedy is represented with titles such as The Dresser (Ronald Harwood) and Idiot's Delight (Robert E. Sherwood); tragicomedy with How I Learned to Drive (Paula Vogel) and Our Country's Good (Timberlake Wertenbaker); realism and domestic realism with Keely and Du (Jane Martin),The Grapes of Wrath (Frank Galati), Short Eyes (Miguel Piñero), and The Young Man from Atlanta (Horton Foote); absurdist drama with Fefu and Her Friends (Maria Irene Fornes) and The Goat: Or, Who Is Sylvia? (Edward Albee); epic theater with The Kentucky Cycle (Robert Schenkkan); and problem plays with The Stick Wife (Darrah Cloud) and Wit (Margaret Edson).