Hit the Nerve: New Voices of the American Theater (Edge Books)

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9780805048179: Hit the Nerve: New Voices of the American Theater (Edge Books)

An anthology of writings, including plays, stand-up routines, monologues, and songs, all of which explore the unusual aspects of coming of age in America, features such works as Sam Shepard's "True West," "Spic-o-rama" by John Leguizamo, and Anna Deavere Smith's "Hair Anonymous Girl."

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 10 Up. An anthology of 19 scenes selected from contemporary American plays, this compilation introduces YAs to the works of a variety of modern playwrights, ranging from the well-known Sam Shepard and Anna Deavere Smith to the less-familiar Cynthia Cooper and Richard Foreman. Following an interesting author's introduction on the power of good theater, each scene is prefaced by a list of characters, an explanation of the setting, and a brief comment on the themes and/or style of the play from which it comes. The selections vary from the realistic drama of Lawrence Kelly's OUT!, a play about the "fixed" 1919 World Series, to the absurdist comedy of Christopher Durang's Baby with the Bathwater. Production techniques range from the traditional dialogue of August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom to the musical monologues of William Finn and James Lapine's Falsettoland to the multimedia performance art of John Leguizamo's Spic-O-Rama. Themes dealing with race, parent/child relationships, and America's changing moral/ethical codes predominate. Short biographical notes are included and explain the playwrights' current status within the contemporary American theater. Several of the scenes contain profanity or coarse language, and some of Brennan's choices are highly sophisticated. A few of the scripts hail from the late '70s or early '80s?hardly eligible for consideration as "New Voices." Nevertheless, this collection will serve serious students whose interests and abilities extend beyond Lorraine Cohen's more traditional Scenes for Young Actors (Avon, 1982).?Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Gr. 8^-12. Hoping to seduce young adults with the power and pleasure of a well-written play, Brennan has compiled 19 dramatic excerpts, songs, and performance pieces that represent a broad range of theatrical styles. There are comic scenes and monologues, as well as abstract pieces that will have readers questioning where reality stops and fantasy begins. Brennan has chosen his scenes with an eye for the themes that mark YA fiction, and that--paired with the variety of styles and moods--virtually ensures that the collection has something for everyone. Drama students will gladly set aside Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams to sample scenes written by the newer playwrights Brennan includes, but this book will serve other students as well. Booktalk it to short story fans, poetry lovers, and class clowns. Randy Meyer

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Stephen Vincent Brennan (Editor)
Published by Henry Holt & Co (1997)
ISBN 10: 0805048170 ISBN 13: 9780805048179
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Published by Henry Holt & Co (1997)
ISBN 10: 0805048170 ISBN 13: 9780805048179
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Book Description Henry Holt & Co, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0805048170

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