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Strictly Academic - Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy

Strictly Academic

A.R. Gurney

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy

2m, 2f

ISBN: 9780881452488

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Description | Characters | Author
Acting Edition

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Full Length Play

Dramatic Comedy

 “For many years, as he was forging his reputation as a playwright, A R Gurney was also a college professor, and in recent plays like HUMAN EVENTS and THE FOURTH WALL he has portrayed campus denizens in not-so-flattering terms. The academic life he depicts is an insular one, the academics themselves self-absorbed and self-important. They behave almost as if they were performing for an audience.   Indeed, more than once Mr. Gurney has used the university setting to make arguments about the state of the theater, which he also finds insular and self-absorbed, increasingly marginalized and increasingly accepting of its marginalization. In STRICTLY ACADEMIC, an evening of two one acts, Mr. Gurney is painting his direst portraits of both the campus and the theater.   The opening playlet, THE PROBLEM, is a shrewd, sardonic bit of camp about the sex life of a mathematics professor and his wife….   In a very funny dialogue, the level of their inability to communicate with each other is ratcheted up again and again….   …The story takes some imaginative swerves, and the twist at the end is just right. …it gently makes a savage point about academics who live only in their own minds and not in the world.   In the concluding play, THE GUEST LECTURER, Mr. Gurney has the same mischief in his heart, but bigger things in mind….   There is something terrifically sly and admirable about Mr. Gurney’s idea here, for what he’s constructed is an elaborate, plaintive allegory about what he sees as the strangulation of the theater in America….   …any critic will tell you that you can go to the theater nightly and still not come close to keeping up withy new work that rarely achieves but often aspires to the level of art. From that perspective, the theater is currently thriving. And Mr. Gurney himself is an example of it.”Bruce Weber, The New York Times


2m, 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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