CFP: [American] American Drama
SAAS IX CONFERENCE
Spanish Association for American Studies
WATER AND AMERICAN RENEWAL:
Critical readings. Political interventions
Barcelona, 1-3 April 2009
Panel 17: â€œTHE FLOW OF INSPIRATION OR HOW THE DESIRE OF ONE PLAYWRIGHT
AFFECTS ANOTHER IN THE AMERICAN DRAMA.â€
Panel Chair: Barbara Ozieblo
Institution: Universidad de MÃ¡laga
Juan Ponce de Leon, Eugene Oâ€™Neillâ€™s protagonist of The Fountain (first
performed in 1925), distracted by desire for youth, sought the fountain
of eternal life in the New Land. When Oâ€™Neill wrote The Fountain he was
responding to the challenge of George Cram Cookâ€™s The Spring (1921) in
which inter-racial, inter-generational communication bubbles forth thanks
to the agency of the waters of an age-old spring. Oâ€™Neill, in private
letters, revealed that he too hoped to show â€œeach soul connect[ing] with
every other.â€ Cook and Susan Glaspell had co-founded the Provincetown
Players to give American playwrights a stage on which to experiment and
the three undoubtedly influenced one another as they drunk the dregs of
the famous Provincetown Punch (in the face of Prohibition) and
interchanged thoughts and ideas on the sand dunes of Provincetown.
Inspiration flew freely between them, enhancing their creative powers and
enriching the American Drama. In 1943, recalling their earlier optimism,
Glaspell wrote the still unpublished and unperformed Springs Eternal in
which inter-generational understanding and communication springs from the
deepest illusions and dreams held by human beings.
This panel will look at the ways in which inspiration and influence have
always flown, like water, like wine, between American playwrights,
renewing the American Drama by providing subtle channels that connect
dreams, illusions, and ambitions and allow new forms to develop that
provoke audiences to action.
We will address issues such as the following:
connections between playwrights: how inspiration/influence flows
to transform/renew the medium of theater.
how one theme can inspire a variety of treatments as it flows
traditional groupings of playwrights â€" the deltas of the many
streams of American drama â€" can highlight or obscure connections.
the creation of new theatrical forms; the source, the stream, the
rapids, the cataracts, the rivulets, the river, the floods . . . creating
many pronged deltas that flow into an ocean of theatrical experience.
how the desire to reach an audience inspires the playwright to
renew the forms of drama: an examination of the devices used to inundate
the spectator with new emotions and so provoke audience reaction to the
issues presented by a playwright.
Abstracts â€" using the form on the SAAS web (www.saasweb.org) â€" should be
Barbara Ozieblo at ozieblo_at_uma.es by 15 October 2008.
Notification of acceptance/rejection will be sent out by 15 November
2008. You will be asked to submit the complete text of your paper (2500
words) by 10 February 2009, together with a brief CV. The papers will be
circulated among the members of the panel in order to aid discussion
after the presentations.
For more information on the conference and guidelines for participants,
please go to www.saasweb.org >next conference>submit your proposal
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Received on Sun May 18 2008 - 12:24:18 EDT