ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE: Modern Plays for Young People by Lowell -- Ed. Swortzell

ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE: Modern Plays for Young People

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Far more substantial and challenging than the usual ill-made teen-age trivia, these eighteen short plays are not, however, as impressive as the list of playwrights would imply. Strindberg, properly introduced as hugely influential, is represented by a romantic fairy tale that offers no hints as to the nature of his influence, Lorca by a somewhat livelier fantasy, Pirandello and O'Casey by light one-act comedies, and Robert Bolt by a resolutely ""outlandish"" comedy of knights and dragons. Swortzell's introduction and his table of contents indicate some uncertainty as to the age of his ""young people"" (all but four comedies, two of them written for children, have young protagonists, ranging in age from about eight to the early 20's) and some confusion as to whether he has collected the plays for reading (less than satisfactory in the case of the multimedia rock musical Your Own Thing) or performance (not that easy when the characters are called upon to fly, fade away, break in two, etc.). His selection criteria allow a few chestnuts (Saroyan's The Man with the Heart in the Highlands, Menotti's TV staple Amahl and the Night Visitors) and some imported curiosities (a Russian Little Red Riding Hood said to ""give new meaning to the word 'red' in the title"" and the didactic The Chief's Bride from Africa). Perhaps the collection will be most useful as a spur to adults working with young performers; in any case it represents a welcome broadening of the concept of juvenile drama.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1971
Publisher: Delacorte