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"Contemporary American Drama" explores the roots of contemporary drama in the United States and its development from the 1960s to the present day. Examining the work of influential playwrights such as Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, David Mamet, Adrienne Kennedy, August Wilson, and Tony Kushner, it presents contemporary drama as primarily a drama of postmodernism. Key avant-garde theatre groups and 'happenings', as well as the work of controversial performance artists such as Karen Finley, Holly Hughes, Tim Miller, and Eve Ensler are also discussed in cultural context. The book is organized into six chapters: the background of contemporary American theatre through the cross-cultural impact of postwar British, European, and Latin American experimental innovations; the questioning of traditional representations of American identity on stage; the rejection of dramatic realism and the emergence of experimental theatre groups; the development of African-American theatre; postmodern experiments with language and form; and solo performance texts. "Contemporary American Drama" serves as an introductory guide for students of literature and drama. It is organized thematically in order to offer a comprehensive historical, social, political, and aesthetic view of the development of contemporary theatre as an experimental theatre of multiplicity, inclusion and diversity. Key features: *Identifies the post-World War II innovations across Europe, Britain, and Latin America that influenced the development of contemporary American theatre. *Discusses a representative range of playwrights, performers, and theatre groups and examines the key dramatic styles of the period. *Defines critical terms such as modernism, postmodernism, and absurdism that are crucial to understanding developments in American drama. *Introduces students to the main arguments surrounding realistic and anti-realistic dramatic representation and their political implications for social identity. *Contextualises contemporary American drama in terms of the political, sexual, and racial revolutions of the period.