|Budget Amount *help
¥1,800,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,800,000)
Fiscal Year 1996 : ¥600,000 (Direct Cost : ¥600,000)
Fiscal Year 1995 : ¥1,200,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,200,000)
These past two years I have worked on a number of contemporary American playwrights who have created a cycle or sequence of plays, principally SamShepard, Lanford Wilson, August Wilson, Robert Schenkkan, and Tony Kushner.
I found that Eugene O'Neill seems to have influenced and inspired this whole generation of American dramatists to strive after an epic scope by linking a series of plays together. Just as O'Neill proposed to follow two hundred years of American history by tracing the history of an Irish-American family, contemporary American playwrights such as Robert Schenkkan, Lanford Wilson, and August Wilson have proposed similar projects. Most American playwrights focus on the American family ; indeed, this has been recognized as the central theme of much of American drama.
But most often, including the case of O'Neill, this has chiefly been a psychological portrait, focusing on individual characters, especially on those representing the artist as a young man.
The linked plays examined in this study represent a movement in contemporary American theater to expand and extend its imaginative terrain through a deliberate choice of open, episodic structures that allow interaction, influence, development, and variation in works that embrace both the familiar psychological exploration of individuals within that perennial American theme, the family, and the larger, more extensive questions posed by the most traditional of theatrical themes, the family as a metaphor of the state. I believe that this tendency to create linked plays in contemporary American theater is substantial from the 1960s on and that it will continue as one source of renewal in American drama.