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Playing God: The Bible on the Broadway Stage

Henry Carl Bial

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ISBN 10: 0472072927 / ISBN 13: 9780472072927
Published by University of Michigan Press, 2015
Condition: Good Hardcover
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Title: Playing God: The Bible on the Broadway Stage

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

Publication Date: 2015

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Good

About this title

Synopsis:

Biblical texts have inspired more than 100 Broadway plays and musicals, ranging from early spectacles like Ben-Hur (1899) to more familiar works such as Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar. What happens when a culture’s most sacred text enters its most commercial performance venue? Playing God focuses on eleven successful productions, as well as a few notable flops that highlight the difficulties in adapting the Old and New Testaments for the stage. The book is informed by both performance studies and theater history, combining analysis of play scripts with archival research into the actual circumstances of production and reception. Biblical plays, Henry Bial argues, balance religious and commercial considerations through a complex blend of spectacle, authenticity, sincerity, and irony. Though there is no magic formula for a successful adaptation, these four analytical lenses help explain why some biblical plays thrive while others have not.

About the Author:

Henry Bial is Professor of Theatre and Director of the School of the Arts, University of Kansas. 

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