Based partly on a Kent State U. Open Theatre conference in 1983 which brought together writers, directors, and critics who had been integral to the New York theatre scene of the 1960s and 1970s, this study analyzes the creative shifts of that period. After profiling the American playwright-director before 1960, Gardner (playwriting, American drama, Ohio Wesleyan U.) traces how the Vietnam War, other social issues, and increased funding cued decentralization and experimentation in dramatic styles (e.g., in regional and off-off Broadway theatre), and the emergence of the new playwright-director. Some 90 pages are devoted to appendices listing playwright-directed productions and biographical data on selected playwright-directors. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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