A.R. Gurney by Arvid F. Sponberg

By Arvid F. Sponberg

This can be the 1st full-length examine dedicated to the artwork of A.R. Gurney, an incredible modern American playwright who has written over thirty performs, together with Love Letters. This quantity brings jointly unique interviews with Gurney and 4 actors and a director who've labored heavily with him, in addition to essays by means of top theater students at the diversity of Gurney's paintings.

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GURNEY: Communal aspects. Very much so. AFS: Because there’s so much out there in the way of other options for people— television, film—that attracts us all strongly but which does not strike to the heart of the community the way the theater can. So let’s be sure that we’re using what the theater does well as much as we can and as excellently as we can. GURNEY: Right. Absolutely. AFS: Could we put some definitions to the virtues that the theater strives to sustain beyond community. If community is the goal, what are the objectives that we achieve on the way to that goal.

You have to speak to a large audience. It tends to reflect the theater experience. AFS: Do you think of it in those terms when you’re in the creative process, that you’re dealing with public meetings, or is it just a continuing fascination with the public aspects of our behavior? GURNEY: It’s hard to talk about the creative process, to know what’s going on. The older I get, the more I’m puzzled and perplexed by it, the more I’m terrified, for example, of losing what I’m in the process of writing, because there’s no way of retrieving it.

This interview occurred on the morning after a performance of The Fourth Wall. 4 . RGurney,” in Jackson R. Bryer, The Playwright’s Art: Conversations with Contemporary American Dramatists, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1995, p. 89. 5 . Gurney also could have cited Professor Carroway in The Love Course, from 1969, who teaches literature. Lois in The Perfect Party is a newspaper critic. Portia in Overtime is an attorney and Kate in Sylvia is a teacher. In all four plays, the occupation is integral to the characterization and motivates the action.

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