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Post Mortem - Full Length Play, Drama

Post Mortem

A.R. Gurney

Full Length Play, Drama

1m, 2f

ISBN: 9780881453287

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Description | Characters | Author
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Full Length Play


“A R Gurney has written a play that, as accurately appraised by one admirer, has `turned the world upside down’. It can be said without exaggeration that this epochal work is directly responsible for, among other things, an effective universal health care system, world peace, smooth-running public transportation and significant declines in global warming and the divorce rate.   Would that Mr Gurney were alive to witness the effects of his miracle drama. Sadly, he was killed—some say murdered (possibly by, ssshhh,) Dick Cheney—before it was ever produced.   POST MORTEM, the panacea of a play described above, is not to be confused with the bubbly grievance list of a comedy with the same title...about a panacea of a play called POST MORTEM… [which] was also written by Mr Gurney, who at last report was very much alive.   Indeed, Mr Gurney—the theatrical sociologist who has devoted much of his career to recording the habits of the endangered American WASP in plays like THE COCKTAIL HOUR and the magazine article THE DINNER PARTY—could be said to be more than alive. For the purposes of his latest offering, set “sometime in the future” at a Midwestern university ruled by censorship, he has become God, restructuring the world in his own image to consider the plight of his beloved country and the state of his beloved art.   Though he is principally known as a practitioner of the “middle-class comedy of manners” (to borrow a dismissive self-description from this latest play), in recent years he has used the stage of the Flea for cathartic venting about a world that seems determined to destroy itself. His previous collaborations with Mr Simpson include O JERUSALEM, MRS FARNSWORTH and SCREENPLAY, all political fantasies of wish—and fear—fulfillment….   But in addition to taking sardonic aim at Mr Gurney’s usual favorite targets—chiefly, the sins of the Bush administration—this latest work deals specifically and wistfully with the role of drama in a culture that has increasingly little respect for it. On one level, POST MORTEM isn’t much more than a grab bag of Broadway insider jokes, polemical satire and cosmic lamentation. But its parental concern and love for theater lends the show an affecting sweetness that lingers.….it’s hard not to be infected by the relish with which Mr Gurney rewrites his own past, as well as invents a glorious posterity for himself. Early in the play Dexter talks about coming upon a rare copy of Mr Gurney’s privately printed autobiography, which reveals that he had affairs with many famous actresses, including Cameron Diaz and both Audrey and Catherine Hepburn.    Hey, if you’re going to be the author of your own life, you might as well make it juicy.”Ben Brantley, The New York Times


1m, 2f


A.R. Gurney

A.R. (“Pete”) Gurney was born in 1930 in Buffalo, New York. He graduated from Williams College in 1952, served as an officer in the Navy, and afterwards attended the Yale School of Drama. For many years, he taught literature at M.I.T., but moved to New York in 1982 to devote more time to writing for the theatre. He has won a fair amount of awards during his career, and is now a member of the ... view full profile

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