The dramatists represented include women and people of color, and their works frequently grapple with enduring social issues.
Each chapter provides a biography, a plot summary, a discussion of themes, major characters, and dramatic art, and a survey of the play's historical background and critical reception. The individual chapters cite works for further reading, and the volume closes with a selected, general bibliography.
"After a succinct overview, Abbotson presents 10 masterpieces by some of America's best-known playwrights, paying some small tribute to gender and ethnicity. From Thorton Wilder's Our Town to August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, each play is introduced with a short biography of the playwright and is followed by several pages of information on each: plot summary, character development, themes, historical background, literary style and devices, place of the work in the playwrights' oeuvre and 20th-century drama, critical reception, and suggested readings….[c]lear and concise analyses of these plays for libraries still needing such a reference source."-
School Library Journal