The uniquely thematic approach of this resource will help teachers and librarians identify pertinent works of modern drama for students, and will enhance readers' understanding of these works. Organized alphabetically around 33 themes, each chapter presents an engaging essay exploring different perspectives of the theme in three representative plays. Readers will encounter themes of historical significance such as the heritage of slavery and the Holocaust, as well as timeless themes such as betrayal and guilt, growing up, and ambition and fame.
Ninety-nine plays are discussed, covering a broad range of works spanning more than a hundred years by such playwrights as George Bernard Shaw, Clifford Odets, and Henrik Ibsen, as well as more contemporary works by playwrights like David Mamet and Neil Simon. The selection of surveyed plays includes many of the canonical works most frequently assigned to students, such as Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. Varied cultural perspectives are offered through chapters devoted to the experiences of African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Jewish Americans, and Latino Americans.^LThis resource will be helpful to librarians identifying dramatic works of related themes, and to educators developing thematic units for the classroom. Students are encouraged to compare and contrast themes in works from different playwrights and time periods. An index allows users to search for works by title or author.