Word Plays: Collected Writings on Politics and Culture, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Word Plays

Collected Writings on Politics and Culture, 1st Edition

By Robert Brustein


212 pages

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pub: 2017-04-03
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According to Robert Brustein, the theater should be taken seriously as one of the fine arts, but it should also be considered a means to reflect on our world, times, and culture from a different perspective. However, this presents a great challenge—the masses must come to appreciate the theater as a means of leisure, but also one of learning. If Word Plays tickles your funny bone as well as touches your mind, then Brustein will have achieved his goal.

Word Plays, a collection of Brustein’s articles, satires, and skits, is his attempt to both entertain and educate about the current political and cultural environment in America. Openly positioning himself as a left-leaning political observer, Brustein’s material is wide-ranging and witty. His provocative views on contemporary politics and his ease with a broad range of subjects, from Shakespeare to The Sopranos, makes this an enjoyable, engaging, and reflective volume.

The book is divided into three sections. The first is a set of short essays, many of which link political themes to the dramatic arts and others that are purely political commentary. The second includes a series of "dramatic commentaries"—short skits— lampooning contemporary politics and modern American life. The final section consists of "elegies and eulogies" honoring recently deceased icons of the American theater.

Table of Contents


I Literary Word Plays

1 The Contemporary American Theater

2 Arab Spring Forward, Fall Back

3 Theater and the University: Marriage or Misalliance

4 How to Love Your Country

5 Shakespeare's Absent Queen

6 School for Crime

7 Dynasties

II Dramatic Word Plays

1 Broken News

2 Poker Face

3 Airport Hell

4 Sex for a Change

5 Kosher Kop

6 Allies in Blunderland

7 The Comfort Zone

8 Gun Play

9 The Press Assess the Gettysburg Address

10 Moses and the Deep Red Sea

III Commendatory Word Plays

1 Wendy Wasserstein

2 Austin Pendleton

3 Justin Kaplan

4 Jonathan Miller

5 Blushing

6 Lewis Black

7 Mark Rylance

8 Todd London

9 Robert Kiley



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