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I am a huge fan of all films Coen, and was so interested to see what happens when such a specific and unique talent and writing voice is applied to a different medium. This shift from film to stage makes Almost an Evening both foreign and strangely familiar at the same time. An interesting and compelling read! --Emily
The seemingly effortless ways in which Will Eno plays with language are almost as engrossing as his characters themselves, particularly in this, one of his newest plays. Middletown's unique twist on a play-within-a-play examines the human condition, particularly those moments when we seem to be caught in the in-between. --Emily
This was the first Neil LaBute play I ever read, and what a wonderful introduction it was! I love LaBute's plays, each with such a unique, distinctive voice and fascinating way of asking difficult questions. I love his portrayal of characters as three-dimensional real people who are neither wholly good nor bad, and I love his consistent refusal to accept easy answers or black-and-white situations. LaBute's plays will make you question yourself, they'll make you think, and they'll make you pay attention. --Emily
"Picasso, Einstein, Schmendiman?" In my book, Steve Martin can do no wrong, and to me, his playwriting is as charming as his acting or banjo-playing. Full of love, art, humor, and outrageous characters in even more outrageous situations, Picasso at the Lapin Agile is a play you won't want to end. --Emily
Sartre's most famous play, No Exit, not only contains the familiar line "Hell is other people," but also captures an amazing depth and range of human emotion and interaction, all written in Sartre's subtle yet powerful style. And not to be overshadowed are the other plays found in this collection: The Flies, The Respectful Prostitute, and the compelling and complex Dirty Hands. An excellent read! --Emily
Tracy Letts, son of "Where the Heart is" author Billie Letts, explores the bittersweet relationships in a crumbling family with such raw honesty and such beautiful prose that as I read it, I couldn't help but think of these characters as genuinely real people. A beautiful, sad, honest story from a wonderful playwright. Give this play a read before you see the film! --Emily
"If space is infinite, there are tons of you's out there, and tons of me's." "And so this is just the sad version of us... But there are other versions where everything goes our way... Well that's a nice thought. That somewhere out there I'm having a good time." This 2007 Pulitzer Prize winner is wonderfully written, equal parts heartbreaking and beautiful. David Lindsay-Abaire tackles a difficult subject with the respect, care, and artistry it deserves. --Emily
Sarah Ruhl has done it again! Dead Man's Cell Phone is a humorous, poetic, insightful look into human connections and interactions, both in this life and the next. And as always Ruhl's unique use of language and style make her plays just as enjoyable to read as to see onstage. If you like this, check out Our Town by Thornton Wilder or Almost an Evening by Ethan Coen. --Emily
“I’ve always been interested in Southern grotesque as a genre, and O’Connor’s voice is just so interesting. She’s unflinching as she looks at different facets of humanity. During the writing process, she would agonize over every single word. Her collections took her years, but every page just seems so natural. It’s this perfect slice of life on the surface, this real and matter-of-fact study of humanity, but behind that there was so much effort and agony put into it.” -- Emily
“Each chapter is a fiction in and of itself, pulling us in and then slipping away to reveal itself to have been a story within a story. One begins to feel as if Jansma is granting a forbidden peek into the mechanics of the writer’s inventions, his narrative fantasies. A quote of Hemingway’s had come to mind: “All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you…” As the writer writes and re-writes his life, patterns and people ripple and echo into each other and the suspicion begins to grow that none of the story is reliable, but somehow, all of it is true.” -- Emily
“It’s about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life surrounding the writing of The Great Gatsby, how the author’s experience filtered into his fiction. Churchwell focuses on this notorious double murder case in 1922 where a clergyman and his lover were discovered in a field. She explores how that case would have shaped the plot of Gatsby. It’s really easy for an author to say ‘this lead to that,’ but Churchwell really explores the depth of what was going on in Fitzgerald’s life and how that would affect the impact this event had on his writing.” -- Emily
“Echo Spring is a case study of six famous writers who struggled with alcoholism. Laing’s voice is excellent, and she’s an exceptional writer. The book is this combination of different perspectives. First, there’s Laing’s literary criticism of how alcoholism shows up in their writing. Second, there’s her own personal story of family members who have suffered from the disease. Lastly, there’s this tour she did of the States where she would spend time in the places where the authors would write, to reflect on their life and their craft. It’s one of those books I picked up on a whim and read it all in 2 days.” -- Emily
This book is fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of and machinery of the mind. Mlodinow studies the interesting (and sometimes bizarre) unconscious processes that help the human brain navigate the world and its own shortcomings. This book is a great introduction to the world and workings of the subliminal mind.
This book is a fascinating exploration of the shifting power dynamics between and within gender systems. Solnit explores the social constructs that lead not only to overt violence against women, but also to the more subtle ways in which women are confined in male-dominated society. A thoughtful, careful look at today's shifting gender roles.
As a lover of all things Vonnegut, I was delighted when these drawings of his were compiled and released. These sketches, studies, and self-portraits are a fascinating glimpse into the intricacies of Vonnegut's extraordinary mind.
Aside from being one of my favorite artists, Robert Rauschenberg's work is a fascinating forerunner of the Pop Art Movement. Combines focuses mainly on his intriguing exploration into the combination of painting with sculpture, works whose dimensionality foster audience curiosity and interaction. Check out his unique style and see for yourself!
This beautifully-written, thoughtful piece won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2013, and is an engaging, thought-provoking meditation on culture, love, and heritage. Aktar doesn't shy away from the hard questions, making for truly memorable theatre.
The wit and wisdom of Sarah Ruhl, beautifully presented in these bite-sized essays about art, dreams, motherhood, theatre, and the playwright's own experiences, all told in her fantastic voice. Fans of Ms. Ruhl's work won't want to miss this collection.
This exceptionally readable little volume will capture your interest and keep you fantastically entertained with bite-sized stories and trivia about your favorite infamous authors.
Learn about the scandals and scruples of some of your favorite authors in this collection of bite-sized essays from the people who brought you the fascinating Novel Destinations. Personal favorites include: Norman Mailer (pg. 53), Lord Byron (pg. 63), Agatha Christie (pg. 228), and Gertrude Stein (pg. 238).
This book is an incredibly fascinating look at some of the physical ailments that afflicted famous writers, and how those ailments affected not only the way in which they wrote, but also the content itself of their writing. An extraordinary glimpse into some famous authors and the processes that shaped their most famous works.
This book speaks for itself: "You're a different human being to everybody you meet. You only ever is in the eyes of other folks. The future you have tomorrow won't be the same future you had yesterday. Some people are just born human. The rest of us, we take a lifetime to get there. We won't ever be as young as we is tonight."
This book is a beautiful, nostalgic, moving piece of art."Futures not achieved are only branches of the past; dead branches.""Memory's images, once they are fixed in words, are erased.""There runs an invisible thread that binds one living being to another for a moment, then unravels, then is stretched again between moving points as it draws new and rapid patterns..."
This book is a fascinating glimpse into some of the intricacies of the human brain, the hidden processes and idiosyncrasies that result in what we know as thought.
Matt and Ben is a hilarious two-person play about the writing of Good Will Hunting by Office star and writer Mindy Kaling. It's so rare to find good comedic pieces, particularly for women, but this play seems to have it all!
This play, Virginia Woolf's one and only theatrical work, is a farce based on the life of her great aunt, Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. The comedy was first written in 1923, originally intended as a private performance, and was re-written in 1935 as part of one of the Bloomsbury Group's theatrical evenings. This edition includes both the 1923 and 1935 texts, along with charming illustrations by Edward Gorey.
Peter Brook examines four kinds of theatre in this book: the Rough, Holy, Immediate, and Deadly, and brings so much wisdom and insight to this easy read that you can't afford not to pick it up! A must-read for artists; it really changed the way I thought about theatre and its place in our culture.