Cover image for Death & taxes : Hydriotaphia & other plays
Death & taxes : Hydriotaphia & other plays
Kushner, Tony.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Theatre Communications Group, 2000.
Physical Description:
xviii, 316 pages ; 22 cm
Reverse transcription : six playwrights bury a seventh -- Hydriotaphia, or, The death of Dr. Browne -- G. David Schine in Hell -- Notes on Akiba -- Terminating, or, Sonnet LXXV, or, "Lass meine Schmerzen nicht verloren sein, " or, Ambivalence -- East coast ode to Howard Jarvis : a little teleplay in tiny monologues.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3561.U778 D4 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PS3561.U778 D4 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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"This is an odd assemblage of plays, for which gathering-together there is no overarching thematic justification. Because several of the plays deal with death, and one of the death-plays deals as well with money, and the last play deals with taxation, we're calling the book Death & Taxes. But all plays, directly or indirectly, are about death and taxes, so this title explains little..." -Tony Kushner
This stunning new collection by Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angels in America , showcases his masterful explorations of form and style. A rich and vibrant collection from one of our greatest American playwrights, Death & Taxes includes the following treasure trove of works:

In Reverse Transcription: Six Playwrights Bury a Seventh , six playwrights come together to bury their contemporary and friend, Ding. They discuss and brood on their lives, writings, and loves. Theatre critic Dr. David Nowlan calls Reverse Transcription "rich in allusion, elegant in language and satirically funny" ( Irish Times ).

Hydriotaphia or The Death of Dr. Browne begins at one man's deathbed and becomes an epic farce spanning Heaven and Earth.
"Karl Marx said that history occurs first as tragedy and then as farce. In Hydriotaphia , Tony Kushner says that history is tragedy and farce at once. Ben Jonson meets Bertolt Brecht in this brilliantly funny and dark knockabout play of the rise of the entrepreneurial spirit. As in all of Kushner's work, the play teems with ideas." -Robert Hass, former U.S. Poet Laureate
"The play flourishes Kushner's trademark ability to mix up wildly diverse tonalities and ideas -- bawdy humor, theological and class warfare debate, fourth-wall-breaking, dizzying monologues, fantasy and domestic intrigue all whirl like a juggler's pins." - Variety

Inspired by Shakespeare's "Sonnet 75," Terminating or Sonnet LXXV "is a delirious, scatological encounter between a psychotherapist, her madly besotted patient and their lovers, which contains some dizzyingly fine writing" ( Variety ).
"Tony Kushner at his most fanciful and eclectic ... fierce, strange and clever theatre." - Evening Standard

East Coast Ode to Howard Jarvis is a one-man show featuring two dozen characters' involvement in a tax evasion scheme.
"Surreal, confrontational and funny." - Prospect Magazine (UK)
"There is such clarity conveyed not just in the language but in the rhythm and the nuance. Ideas and phrases honey drip from the script. Listening is an indulgence." - The Stage

Notes on Akiba has been performed at The Jewish Museum and other venues during Passover. Fictionalized versions of playwright Tony Kushner and director Michael Mayer reimagine aspects of Jewish history, tradition and myth.

G. David Schine in Hell was originally published in New York Times Magazine . Featuring an appearance by Kushner's fictionalized Roy Cohn of Angels in America , this short play revisits Cohn and several other American Conservatives of the McCarthy era as they adjust to an afterlife in Hell.

Author Notes

Playwright Tony Kushner was born in New York City and raised in Louisiana.

In addition to his plays, Kushner teaches at New York University and has co-written an opera with Bobby McFerrin.

Kushner is best known for Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, a two-part seven-hour play that has won many awards (two Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, two Drama Desk Awards, the Evening Standard Award, the New York Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award). It was also selected one of the ten best plays of the 20th century by London's Royal National Theatre. (Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xi
Reverse Transcription: Six Playwrights Bury a Seventh: A Ten-Minute Play That's Nearly Twenty Minutes Longp. 1
Hydriotaphia or The Death of Dr. Browne: An Epic Farce about Death and Primitive Capital Accumulationp. 25
G. David Schine in Hellp. 227
Notes on Akibap. 241
Terminating or Sonnet LXXV or "Lass meine Schmerzen nicht verloren sein" or Ambivalencep. 261
East Coast Ode to Howard Jarvis: A Little Teleplay in Tiny Monologuesp. 291