Cover image for Banned plays : censorship histories of 125 stage dramas
Title:
Banned plays : censorship histories of 125 stage dramas
Author:
Sova, Dawn B.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Facts on File, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
xvi, 400 pages ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780816040186

9780816050703
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library PN2042 .S68 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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Summary

Summary

As public tastes change, so does the nature of popular drama. In the fifth century BC, Aristophanes's Lysistrata attracted censors for its themes of wifely rebellion and sex. From the 15th to the 18th centuries, plays were censored primarily for religious or political reasons. In the 19th century, social and sexual reasons for censorship emerged, and modern moralists have objected to works by such playwrights as Arthur Miller, Eugene O'Neill, and Lillian Hellman.


Author Notes

Dawn B. Sova is the author of Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Social Grounds, Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Sexual Grounds, Agatha Christie A to Z. She also co-author of 100 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature. She teaches English at Monclair State University and lives in Garfield, NJ.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Library Journal Review

Censorship is as old as drama, but the reasons for it vary from play to play, period to period. Sova (English, Montclair State Univ.; Forbidden Films) provides an important look at the public perception and reception of plays from ancient times to the present. Her treatment of playwrights from Aristophanes to Shakespeare to O'Neill and beyond reflects changes in both popular drama and public tastes. While similar books focus on the general issue of censorship or on a specific play, playwright, country, or period, this one provides directors' and producers' insights into the reception of 125 diverse plays, from Oscar Wilde's Salome to Tony Kushner's Angels in America. Each main entry includes first production information, filmed versions, a detailed synopsis, discussion of its censorship history, and a bibliography. Appendixes include profiles of the playwrights, a sorting of play titles by reasons for banning, and a list of an additional 100 plays that have historically been challenged, censored, or banned. Highly recommended for all theater collections.-Laura A. Ewald, Murray State Univ. Lib., KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Sova has chosen a fine, representative selection of suppressed plays throughout the centuries, from Lysistrata to The Misanthrope and The Capeman. This companion volume to Forbidden Films (2001) and the four-volume set Banned Books (1998, both Facts On File) follows the same basic format of providing production and character information, a summary, "Censorship History," and "Further Reading" for each of the 125 plays. The entries are alphabetically arranged by title and generally range from two to three pages in length. The book also includes a useful bibliography and index and three appendixes-playwright biographies, lists of plays that were banned for specific reasons (sexual, social, political, religious), and 100 additional plays that were banned or challenged. This meticulously researched title offers valuable information for both scholars and casual readers.-Betty S. Evans, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

Sova's exceptional reference source details the censorship of plays throughout 2,500 years of theater history. Each entry begins with a helpful list of the play's author or authors, date and place of original production, characters, and filmed versions. A lengthy plot summary is followed by a detailed account of the play's censorship history. Suggestions for further reading that conclude each entry are gathered in a separate 20-page bibliography. Sources include both print and online texts from a wide range of time periods (e.g., readings for Oedipus Rex range from 1911 to 1997). Appendixes supply brief profiles of featured playwrights, group the censored plays under four categories for which they were banned (sexual, social, political, religious), and list 100 additional challenged, censored, and banned plays by title and date. Sova's previous work about censored material includes Forbidden Films: Censorship Histories of 125 Motion Pictures (CH, May'02) and two books in the Facts on File censorship series: Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Social Grounds and Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Sexual Grounds (both CH, Nov'98). ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All libraries, especially those serving undergraduates. R. M. Roberts Lincoln Land Community College


Excerpts

Excerpts

As public tastes change, so does the nature of popular drama. In the fifth century BCE, Aristophanes' Lysistrata attracted censors for its themes of wifely rebellion and sex. From the 15th to the 18th centuries, plays were censored primarily for religious or political reasons. In the 19th century, social and sexual reasons for censorship emerged. In recent years, plays dealing with topics such as homosexuality and AIDS have garnered attention from censors. This comprehensive guide outlines the censorship histories of 125 classic plays from ancient times to the present. Each entry presents the name(s) under which the play has appeared, the date it was produced and place of original production, a summary of the play, its censorship history, and suggestions for further reading. Among the works covered are: Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (Tony Kushner, 1991) Le Barbier de Seville (Pierre Beaumarchais, 1775) The Children's Hour (Lillian Hellman, 1934) The Crucible (Arthur Miller, 1953) Henry IV, Part 2 (William Shakespeare, 1598) Jesus Christ, Superstar (Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, 1971) Oedipus Rex (Sophocles, 425 BCE) Oh! Calcutta (Kenneth Tynan, 1969) Salome (Oscar Wilde, 1896) Le Tartuffe (Molière, 1669). Excerpted from Banned Plays: Censorship Histories of 125 Stage Dramas by Dawn B. Sova All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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