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Category: DRAMA


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    Conjoined triplets on a blind date. A lesson in human reproduction by a manic-prudish teacher. A heart-stopping game of cards. An instrument that tunes in to the music of our bodies’ organs.

    Collected Plays brings together, in a much-anticipated series, the dramatic works of Onassis prize-winning playwright and author Manjula Padmanabhan.

    Laughter and Blood, the second volume, presents within its covers Padmanabhan’s short performance pieces. From The Sextet and Ladies’ Night to Hidden Fires and Blind Date, these wildly inventive, subversive and often chilling plays introduce readers to the intrigues of inverted power structures, tantalizingly suggestive interactions and powerful voices from the fringe.

    With new introductions to the works that affirm the relevance of the themes of the plays, this collection showcases the playwright’s mastery of her art and reconfirms her standing among the leading dramatists of our time.

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    A neighbourhood that turns a blind eye to a recurring gruesome crime. A game show that puts the lives of its contestants on the line. An insidious tableau that pits three artists against each other. A world where organs of the poor are commercially harvested for the rich.

    Collected Plays brings together, in a much-anticipated series, the dramatic works of Onassis Prize-winning playwright and author Manjula Padmanabhan.

    Blood and Laughter, the first volume, presents within its covers Padmanabhan’s full-length plays – including the three-times cinematized Lights Out, the previously unpublished Mating Game Show and Artist’s Model, and the award-winning Harvest – all known for their masterful portrayal of the dilemmas of morality, relationships and the idea of justice. Horror, anticipation and chilling realism mark each of these works, drawing readers and audiences alike to the edge of their seats.

    With new introductions to the works that affirm the relevance of the themes of the plays, this collection showcases the playwright’s mastery of her art and reconfirms her standing among the leading dramatists of our time.

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    Offers acting exercises to be used with young people in the classroom or by individuals, many based on the teachings of Meisner, Stanislavski and Brecht.

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    This compact and portable volume will quickly enlighten readers and enhance their enjoyment of both the written word and the plays in performance. For each of Shakespeare’s 39 plays there is a synopsis of the plot, a list of characters and notes on the chief figures, and a resume of the performance history. The book also includes a critique on the poems and sonnets, a history of the Shakespearean theatre and the early players, a background to the Apocrypha of plays attributed to Shakespeare, and a selected glossary of Elizabethan English. The book is readily consultable on the spot and will enhance the enjoyment of any Shakespearean production

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    Here are three more of John Waters’s most popular screenplays — for the first time in print including an original introduction by Waters and dozens of fun film stills. John Waters the writer and director of these movies is a legendary filmmaker whose films occupy their own niche in cinema history. His muse and leading lady was Divine — a 300-pound transvestite who could eat dog shit in one scene and break your heart in the next. In “Hairspray” a “pleasantly plump” teenager played by Ricki Lake and her big-hearted hairdresser mother played by Divine teach 1962 Baltimore about race relations by integrating a local TV dance show. “Female Trouble” is a coming-of-age story gone terribly awry: Dawn Davenport (again Divine) progresses from loving schoolgirl to crazed mass murderer destined for the electric chair — all because her parents wouldn’t buy her cha-cha heels for Christmas. In “Multiple Maniacs” dubbed by Waters a “celluloid atrocity” the traveling sideshow “Lady Divine’s Cavalcade of Perversions” is actually a front for a group of psychotic kidnappers with Lady Divine herself the most vicious and depraved of all — but her life changes after she gets raped by a fifteen-foot lobster.


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    Wilde blazed like a comet across the gloomy
    skies of Victorian London
    The ebullient evangelist of irony, Wilde preached his gospel of wit
    and aestheticism to a public at once outraged and enchanted. The last
    word in elegance of expression and elasticity of thought, he turned
    proprieties inside out with his dazzling paradoxes. His effortless
    epigrams ridiculed conventional wisdom in all its lumbering
    obtuseness, cosy complacency and pious hypocrisies.
    An incisive moral and political thinker, and a brilliant critic, he was
    the greatest literary figure of the fin de siècle. This collection brings
    together work from Wilde in his many moods: from the perfumed
    exoticism of ‘The Sphinx’ to the trenchant polemic of The Soul of Man
    Under Socialism; from the dazzling sophistication of The Importance of
    Being Earnest to the poignant simplicity of ‘The Ballad of Reading
    A unique selection, with introduction, notes, selected criticism
    and chronology of Wilde’s life and times

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    These tales are ‘pleasaunt so well abroade as at home, to avoid the
    griefe of Winter’s night and length of Sommer’s day … Delectable
    they be for al sortes of men, for the sad, the angry, the cholericke, the
    pleasaunt, the whole and sicke.’
    William Painter
    The Palace of Pleasure
    So delightful and powereful are these tales of murderous husbands
    and brothers, clever wives – both faithful and unfaithful – gullible
    young men and cruel rulers that many sixteenth- and seventeenthcentury
    dramatists based their plays on them. Included in this volume
    are sources and analogues of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, All’s
    Well that Ends Well, Twelfth Night, Jonson’s The Devil is an Ass and
    Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi.
    The most comprehensive paperback edition available,
    with introduction, notes, selected criticism, glossary,
    text summaries and chronology of the authors’ lives and times

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    *Now on Broadway at Lincoln Center starring Steven Pasquale*

    From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Disgraced a fast-paced economic thriller that exposes the financial deal making behind the mergers and acquisitions boom of the 1980s.
    Set in 1985 Junk tells the story of Robert Merkin resident genius of the upstart investment firm Sacker Lowell. Hailed as “America’s Alchemist” his proclamation that “debt is an asset” has propelled him to a dizzying level of success. By orchestrating the takeover of a massive steel manufacturer Merkin intends to do the “deal of the decade” the one that will rewrite all the rules. Working on his broadest canvas to date Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar chronicles the lives of men and women engaged in financial civil war: insatiable investors threatened workers killer lawyers skeptical journalists and ambitious federal prosecutors. Although it’s set 40 years in the past this is a play about the world we live in right now; a world in which money became the only thing of real value.

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    Every three years, over the last decade, the Mumbai-based theatre group RAGE – in collaboration with the Royal Court Theatre in London – organizes the Writers’ Bloc Workshop. Offering a much-needed artistic retreat to playwrights, this workshop allows aspiring and professional playwrights a chance to perfect their scripts with established actors and professionals from within the industry. Apart from encouraging them to break free from the rigid boundaries of English theatre in India to fashion their own idiom, the workshop also ensures its playwrights access to the final pilgrimage of any script – the stage. As it stands today, the infamous debate on whether an Indian play written in English mirrors a bona fide Indian reality is no longer relevant. Using a vocabulary that is entirely their own – ‘unaffected, homegrown and lyrical’ – the three plays in this collection convincingly capture the peculiar accents and the particular chaos of our times. Rahul Da Cunha’s Pune Highway is set in a seedy hotel room where three friends, having just witnessed the gruesome murder of a fourth, are holed up, desperate to escape its consequences; Ram Ganesh Kamatham’s Crab takes a hard-talking look at the existential angst of a new generation, looking at once for purpose and an emotional safe place from an increasingly concrete world; Farhad Sorabjee’s Hard Places explores the unspoken borders that divide us from our loved ones and the violently disputed borders between countries. Bridging the invisible lines between the personal and the political and taking us to places and situations a little less familiar and safer than our own, these brilliantly written plays can be performed.

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    ‘A modern morality play. A bitter, savagely funny vision of the cannibalistic future that awaits the human race…’ – OUTLOOK

    A searing portrayal of a society bereft of moral and spiritual anchors, Manjula Padmanabhan’s fifth play, Harvest, won the Onassis Award for Original Theatrical Drama in 1997, the first year in which the prize was awarded. Following its international premiere in Greece in 1999, the play has been performed over the years by theatre groups, both amateur and professional, around the world.

    A dark satire, Harvest tells the story of an impoverished family and the Faustian contract they enter into with a shadowy international corporation: fabulous wealth in exchange for the organs of one of its members. As Ginni, the glamorous American woman who hopes to receive the organs, invades their one-room home via an interactive video device the play lays bare the transactional nature of human relationships – even the most intimate ones.

    This edition includes, for the first time, a gender-reversed version of the play – an experiment by the author that provides startling insights into the stereotypes and societal constructs ingrained deep in the human psyche and, indeed, into how we perceive gender.

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