Winter Passages : Reflections on Theatre and Society book cover
1st Edition

Winter Passages
Reflections on Theatre and Society

ISBN 9781138517974
Published September 25, 2017 by Routledge
176 Pages

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Book Description

Winter Passages is Robert Brustein's nineteenth book of criticism. It includes his considerations of culture and politics over the past four years of American life, demonstrating how the imperfections of the government and economy have plunged the country into an artistic winter in which there is a troubling lack of support for, and understanding of, America's arts and artists.

In a section on "Cultural Passages," Brustein includes chapters on compromised theatre institutions, auteur productions, the American musical, generational idiosyncrasies, and China's growing theatre culture, which contrasts with American culture. The second section, "Dramatic Passages," addresses twenty-seven great playwrights from Aeschylus to August Wilson and demonstrates how they have influenced our sense of history and human character.

In "Laudatory Passages," Brustein discusses great American artists, living and dead, who continue to influence our sense of self as a nation and as individuals. Brustein concludes that we will be judged, like all cultures, by the quality of our arts and artists, and by our willingness to allow their insights to influence our behavior.

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Past is Prologue

1 Cultural Passages
The Institution as a Work of Art
More Masterpieces
Weill, Lenya, and the Broadway Musical
Thornton Wilder: The Paleface Who Wanted to Be a Redskin
Mel Brooks's America: Puttin' on the Spritz
The Like Generation
Return of the Booboisie
China Begins to Dream

2 Playwright Passages
Edward Albee
Alan Ayckbourn
Samuel Beckett
Anton Chekhov
Noel Coward
Gilbert and Sullivan
Lorraine Hansberry
Henrik Ibsen
Tony Kushner
Arthur Miller
Eugene O'Neill
Luigi Pirandello
Theresa Rebeck
Sarah Ruhl
Arthur Schnitzler
William Shakespeare
George Bernard Shaw
Sam Shepard
Tom Stoppard
Frank Wedekind
August Strindberg
Tennessee Williams
August Wilson

3 Commemorative Passages
F. Murray Abraham
Robert Woodruff
John Douglas Thompson
Oskar Eustis
Carmen De Lavallade
Christopher Durang
Philip Roth
David Wheeler
Stanley Kauffmann
Jeremy Geidt



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