Vol 27 no.1

Sur la Pointe on the Prairie: Giuseppina Morlacchi and the Urban Problem in the Frontier Melodrama

When the frontier melodrama, The Scouts of the Prairie, And, Red Deviltry As It Is!, opened in Chicago in December 1872, it marked the beginning of a performance genre that would have significant impact on the American national imagination. Written by Ned Buntline (E. Z. C. Judson), the dime novel author who christened William F. […]

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James Purdy as Playwright: A Retrospective Reading of A Day After the Fair and The Paradise Circus

James Purdy (1914-2009)—a prolific American writer of fiction, drama, poetry, and essays—has been known almost exclusively as a novelist, recognized for his early portrayals of gay characters and themes. Accordingly, scholarship has focused almost entirely on his well-respected novels. Purdy’s most notable contribution to the theatre is indirect, by way of adaptation of his novel, […]

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“Just Saying Our Goodbyes”: Elegies’ Queer Interventions into the History of 9/11

In Elegies: A Song Cycle, the 2003 William Finn musical first produced at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center, five performers sing both in honor of and as the lost.[1] More specifically, they perform losses from the life of the gay Jewish composer-lyricist William Finn, embodying and/or narrating the lives of a diverse […]

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Refusing the Reproductive Imperative: Sex, Death, and the Queer Future in Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s boom

Apocalyptic narratives, based on fears and fantasies about the end of the world and the destruction of humanity, often turn on a character’s success or failure in producing or protecting a child. In such dramas, the survival of a child represents humanity’s hope for the future, and characters go to great lengths to ensure the […]

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