Intersecting Boundaries

The Theatre of Adrienne Kennedy


Paul K. Bryant-Jackson and Lois More Overbeck, editors

This collage of essays and interviews illuminates the complexity and richness of Adrienne Kennedy’s innovative dramas.

Although Adrienne Kennedy's plays are highly regarded in the world of American theater, this is the first major critical study of her work. Topics covered encompass all of Kennedy's writing for the theater and explore her innovative dramaturgy in the context of its intersections with African, modern, postmodern, and contemporary drama, African-American consciousness, and feminist theory in theater. In addition to examining the incredible variety of Kennedy's work and suggesting critical strategies that will support fuller study of her dramatic writing, Intersecting Boundaries demonstrates that only through a collage of critical models can the complexity and richness of her postmodern dramaturgy be illumined. Interviews with persons directly involved in the productions of Kennedy's work emphasize the central role theater artists have had in shaping her plays--ultimately suggesting useful approaches for the production of these compelling dramas.


Part I: The Life and Work

*Adrienne Kennedy: An Interview. Paul K. Bryant-Jackson and Lois More Overbeck
*People Who Led to My Plays: Adrienne Kennedy's Autobiography, Werner Sollors
*The Life of the Work: A Preliminary Sketch, Lois More Overbeck

Part II: Intersecting Dramatic Traditions

*Kennedy's Travelers in the American and African Continuum, Paul K. Bryant-Jackson
*Diverse Angles of Vision: Two Black Women Playwrights, Margaret B. Wilkerson
*Adrienne Kennedy and the First Avant-Garde
*Adrienne Kennedy Through the Lens of German Expressionism, William R. Elwood
*Surrealism as Mimesis: A Doctor's Guide to Adrienne Kennedy's Funnyhouse of a Negro, Robert Scanlan

Part III: Changing Boundaries: Interpretive Approaches

*Locating Adrienne Kennedy: Prefacing the Subject, Kimberly W. Benston
*Mimesis in Syncopated Time: Reading Adrienne Kennedy, Elin Diamond
*(Hetero) Sexual Terrors in Adrienne Kennedy's Early Plays, Rosemary Curb
*Kennedy's Body Politic: The Mulatta, Menses, and the Medusa, Jeanie Forte
*"A Spectator Watching My Life": Adrienne Kennedy's A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White, Deborah R. Geis
*Critical Reflections: Adrienne Kennedy, the Writer, the Work, bell hooks

Part IV: Performance as a Collaborative Art

*An Interview with Michael Kahn, Howard Stein
*An Interview with Gaby Rodgers, Howard Stein
*An Interview with Gerald Freedman, Paul K. Bryant-Jackson
*An Interview with Billie Allen, Paul K. Bryant-Jackson and Lois More Overbeck
*Developing a Concert for the Spoken Voice: Solo Voyages, and an Interview with Robbie McCauley, David Willinger

Paul K. Bryant-Jackson is chair and assistant professor of theater and drama at Spelman College. Lois More Overbeck is research associate with the Graduate School of Emory University. She is associate editor of The Correspondence of Samuel Beckett and edited The Beckett Circle.

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