The Theater of Tony Kushner is a comprehensive portrait of the life and work of one of America's most important contemporary playwrights.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION The Feathers and the Mirrors and the Smoke, The Great Work Begins: A Short Biography, Grief Pushes Outward: Yes Yes No No, CHAPTER ONE Past Heaven, through the Earth, to Hell: A Bright Room Called Day CHAPTER TWO The Progress of Death in the Land of Pure Delight: Hydriotaphia, or The Death of Dr. Browne CHAPTER THREE Troubling the Waters: Angels in America. A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, The Angel of History: Millennium Approaches, Living Past Hope: Perestroika, CHAPTER FOUR What Is to Be Done?: Slavs! Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue and Happiness CHAPTER FIVE Transformations and Convergences: Kushner's Adaptations, The Heart Chases Memory: The Illusion, A Play for Lovers: Stella, Give Me Meaning: St. Cecilia, or The Power of Music, Into the Desert: Grim(m), Between Two Worlds: A Dybbuk, For the World Must Be Happy: The Good Person of Setzuan, Waiting by the River: Widows CHAPTER SIX An Undoing World: Kushner's One-Acts, And Then You'll Know Suffering: It's an Undoing World or Why Should It Be Easy When It Can Be Hard? Notes on My Grandma for Actors, Dancers and a Band, Strategies of Resistance: Notes on Akiba, The Transmutation of Horror into Meaning: Reverse Transcription. Six Playwrights Bury a Seventh, A Ten-Minute Play That's Nearly Twenty Minutes Long, To Be with You Alone: Terminating, or Lass Meine Schmerzen Nicht Verloren Sein, or Ambivalence Swimming in Guilt: G. David Schine in Hell My Tight-Wound Soul: And the Torso Even More So Marvelous Dislocations: Home Body/Kabul CHAPTER SEVEN The Great Work Continues: Screenplays, Activism, and Future Projects Collective Expression: East Coast Ode to Howard Jarvis, Never Oh Never Oh Never Forget: Caroline, or Change, Forget Not the Unhappy: Henry Box Brown, or The Mirror of Slavery, Pessimism of the Intellect: Politics and Activism, Optimism of the Will: Future Projects
College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. He has published books on Al Jolson, Spencer Tracy, Eddie Cantor, and the history of commedia dell'arte in the twentieth century, In 1996, he staged the Indiana premiere of Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches.
"The Theater of Tony Kushner: Living Past Hope is an insightful and thorough examination of the Kushner canon. In it James Fisher illuminates the renowned playwright's works and influential aspects of his life and career, smartly capitalizing upon readers' familiarity with Kushner's hit play Angels in America by using it as a basis for comparison with his other works..." -- Mary L. Cutler, University of North Dakata Modern Drama
"Fisher's volume...makes abundantly clear through sheer information that the relationship between Kushner and Brecht is begging to be explored within the German Studies classroom and scholarship." -- Norman Roessler
"This book is a must for anyone interested in the theater and for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of Kushner, the man and the writer. While Fisher's research is exhaustive and his analysis deep and probing, his work is accessible and enjoyable. Fisher is that rare scholar whose work is meaningful yet doesn't intentionally confound its readers in an attempt to appear legitimate." -- Gay People's Chronicle
"The great virtue of this book is Fisher's attempt to present Kushner not as a gay playwright but as one of the prominent political dramatists in the US today." -- CHOICE
"A valuable book for anyone interested in American drama...offering crisp explications and fact-filled stage histories of Kushner's varied canon. ... My vote is for James Fisher to write the continuing history of Kushner's prolific and prophetic theater. No one is more qualified." -- World Literature Today