A.R. Gurney by Arvid F. Sponberg

By Arvid F. Sponberg

This is often the 1st full-length examine dedicated to the artwork of A.R. Gurney, an enormous modern American playwright who has written over thirty performs, together with Love Letters. This quantity brings jointly unique interviews with Gurney and 4 actors and a director who've labored heavily with him, in addition to essays through major theater students at the variety of Gurney's paintings.

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Sample text

That’s a better analogy. In Cocktail Hour, John comes home to the space where he once lived and which was once important to him, and he’s got to go through with this kind of exorcism. But in the end it’s not where he’s going to make his life. It’s not really where anybody is going to make a life except the old folks and they’re probably not going to be there that much longer. AFS: And does Later Life use temporary spaces? GURNEY: Later Life [occurs in an] even more temporary [space]. It’s a place where the play can happen, where you can use certain evocative stage images.

GURNEY: Right. Right. And they played The Mamas and the Papas. AFS: That’s right. And I could go on. So what itch are you scratching when we you do this? GURNEY: I don’t know. Sometimes I think it’s a kind of a wise-guy itch. There can be a kind of sophomoric pleasure in parody. A lot of writers start out writing parody. It’s a kind of challenge to your father, the anxiety of influence, as [Harold Bloom would] say. You have to go through that. Look, I’m telling my own story and I’m debunking or debasing the Homers as I’m doing it.

But Mary Tyler Moore was in it from the start. She’s a very cagey person. She wouldn’t have hooked on to a play that she thought was a loser. But for some reason, even though it seemed to turn on audiences, the critics could not abide it. They wanted to say, “One Sue stands for the id and the other for the superego” or something like that. They kept trying to impose a scheme on it. AFS: Any way to make an equation out of it. GURNEY: Right. Right. So maybe its time will come. I’m not embarrassed about it at all.

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