Cover image for America hurrah and other plays
America hurrah and other plays
Van Itallie, Jean Claude, 1936-
Publication Information:
New York : Grove Press, 1978.
Physical Description:
1 volume (various paging) ; 21 cm
America hurrah.--The serpent.--A fable.--The hunter and the bird.--Almost like being.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3572.A45 A19 1978 Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Jean-Claude van Itallie is one of the most distinguished playwrights of the American avant-garde. A keen deconstruction of American popular culture, the America Hurrah triptych served notice that here was a major new dramatic voice. Rounded out with such works as Bag Lady, written in the voice of a deceptively insightful homeless woman; The Serpent, a fanciful interpretation of the story of Adam and Eve; The Traveller, which depicts a charismatic and brilliant artist recovering from a stroke; and van Itallie's dazzling play based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, America Hurrah & Other Plays is a definitive collection of the work of a major American playwright.

Author Notes

Van Itallie was born in Brussels and grew up in Great Neck, New York, which, he says, "left me with a horror of the American suburbs." After graduating from Harvard University, he got involved with the Open Theatre group under the direction of Joe Chaikin, producing as a result some of the most stunning and innovative experimental theater work of the 1960s, especially America Hurrah, a 1965 trilogy consisting of Interview, TV, and Motel, and The Serpent, a 1968 ritualistic and largely mimed theatrical piece that grew out of improvisations on Genesis and juxtaposes biblical events with current ones. Van Itallie's plays of the 1970s, which include A Fable and Bag Lady, have been more traditional in form and simpler in scope, and he has also adapted several of Chekhov's (see Vol. 2) plays. In 1983 he returned to the mode of The Serpent in The Tibetan Book of the Dead, but with notably less success. (Bowker Author Biography)