Playwrights in an Hour

Playwrights in an Hour series is devoted to exploring the life and times of the most studied and produced playwrights in America. These informative, little books, written by leading authorities, connect the histories and societies to the playwright and provide an understanding of the playwright’s work. Playwrights In an Hour represents all periods of Western theater, from Aeschylus to the great contemporary playwrights.

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The Purpose

Designed to provide a bridge of knowledge and understanding, this innovative series will connect cast, crew, audience members, and students to the playwright on an unprecedented level.

Article: A new cheatsheet for theater buffs

April 28, 2010, Article from

So, you have a term paper on Euripides due tomorrow and you haven’t even cracked “Medea,” “The Trojan Women” or any other of the ancient Greek writer’s tragedies.

Or you’re an actor who has an audition this week for a Tom Stoppard play and you don’t have time — between your other auditions and your gig waiting tables — to brush up on the British scribe’s biography. Read the full of the article.

What’s Included

Each book, identical in format, features an introduction by Robert Brustein, founding director of the Yale and American Repertory Theatres, an index and the following sections:

IN A MINUTE This snapshot chronology page lists global events that would have influenced the playwright’s world view and moral development.

PLAYWRIGHT’S WORK A complete listing of the playwright’s writing, divided into genres and ordered chronologically.

ONSTAGE WITH THE PLAYWRIGHT The playwright’s contemporaries in the areas of theater, arts, film, politics/military, science, literature, religion/philosophy, sports, and industry/business.

IN AN HOUR ESSAY This central feature of each book integrates the playwright into the context of his or her time and place. The reader will learn about the play- wright’s family and life circumstances along with what is happening in the world.

DRAMATIC MOMENTS FROM THE PLAYS Short excerpts from each of the play- wright’s significant plays with brief introductions placing the scenes in context to the plays.

THE PLAYWRIGHT’S READING ROOM An extensive bibliography grouped according to type of reader.

Playwrights in an Hour