Gay Drama Now: An Anthology

by John M. Clum


This is a collection of seven contemporary American plays (six of them by gay playwrights) that depict the lives of gay men in the years before gay liberation and in our own time. All of these plays have been successfully produced by major American theaters and all have received critical acclaim.

The first three works in the collection—Robert O’ Hara’s Antebellum, Joseph and David Zellnik’s Yank! , and Jon Marans’s The Temperamentals—demonstrate gay playwrights’ impulse to share the history of oppression and liberation gay men have faced. The remaining four plays—Guillermo Reyes’s Deporting the Divas, Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet, Neal Bell’s Spatter Pattern and Jose Rivera’s Pablo and Andrew at the Altar of Words—offer depictions of the ways in which gay men have and have not assimilated in the twenty-first century.

These plays also deal with larger sociopolitical issues: racism, war, immigration, unemployment and same-sex marriage. They also dramatize experiences common to everyone: illness, grief, guilt, and familial and romantic love.

As these seven plays dramatize a variety of personal and social issues, they also demonstrate a variety of dramatic styles, from realism to flamboyant gender-bending to musical theater. They offer a good introduction to the stylistic richness and variety of contemporary American theater.

In addition to a general introduction, each play is preceded by a critical introduction. In most cases, the playwrights have also provided statements about their work.

Written by some of the most celebrated playwrights working today, from veteran playwrights like Jose Rivera and Neal Bell to younger writers like Stephen Karam and Robert O’Hara, Gay Drama Now offers a sampling of the best of contemporary drama about the gay experience in America. It represents the work of African-American, Latino and white playwrights.

This volume will appeal to readers interested in American drama, particularly drama of this century. It will also appeal to students of gay and lesbian studies.


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