American Theater Essays and Research Papers

Instructions for American Theater College Essay Examples

Title: Theater

  • Total Pages: 5
  • Words: 1785
  • Bibliography:5
  • Citation Style: APA
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: READING: Elmer Rice, The Adding Machine; Clifford Odets, Waiting for Lefty
VIEWING: Harold Clurman biography You Tube

The Harold Clurman video gives you background to the evolution of the Group Theatre, founded by Clurman and others, that aimed, during the Great Depression, to transform theater in America.

The Adding Machine, written in the 1920’s, was Elmer Rice’s attempt to employ expressionism (non-realism) to theater art. It reads like a bad dream. The theme becomes evident -- that society has dehumanized its citizens. We’ve become machines stripped of our personal identities, like Mr. and Mrs. Zero. The theme is certainly relevant today. Interestingly, a modern musical was made of The Adding Machine only recently, to critical acclaim.

Waiting for Lefty is an excellent example of didacticism in theatre art, an effort to persuade the audience to stand up and make changes in society. The setting is a taxi union meeting in New York during the Depression. It is moderated by corrupt union officials. The union workers on stage tell their stories, which become the heart of the play. The Clurman video will give you more background on this play.

1. Relate the video to Waiting for Lefty. In what respects was this play a part of the Groups Theater’s vision in transforming American theater? (Approximately 250 words)

2. Discuss one or two of the themes in The Adding Machine. Do you feel this play is both relevant and producible today? (Approximately 250 words)

YOUR WEEK #4 SHORT ESSAY: Find online background information on the following two important theater organizations of the 1930’s: THE MERCURY THEATER, THE FEDERAL THEATER PROJECT.

Choose one of these organizations and discuss its relevance to American theater in the 1930’s. THREE PAGES MINIMUM.

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Excerpt From Essay:


Classical TV. "Harold Clurman: A Life of Theater." Youtube. 2011. Web. Retrieved 5 Jun 2012 from

Fearnow, Mark. The American Stage and the Great Depression: A Cultural History of the Grotesque. Cambridge University Press. 1997.

Odets, Clifford. Waiting for Lefty. Dramatists Play Service. 1962.

Rice, Elmer. The Adding Machine. Samuel French Inc. 2011.

Scarborough, Kim. "Mercury Theater History." Mercury Theater on the Air. 2008. Web. Retrieved 4 Jun 2012 from

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Title: Kabuki theater

  • Total Pages: 4
  • Words: 1246
  • Sources:0
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: Midterm Report about Asian American Theater - Japan

1. Theatrical roots and history
2. Leading theatrical gorups and plays
3. If and how that group has impacted the American theater
4. What makes that particular group interesting?
5. Does theater of diversity improve relations between different people and how.

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Works Cited

Ichimura Manjiro Presents Kabuki for Everyone. Kabuki: A Brief History. 21 October 2004. Theater - Kabuki. 21 October 2004.

Lo, Tamara. Graceful stars of Japan's Kabuki Theater take over Jones Hall. The Daily Cougar, 1996. 21 October 2004.

Nakamura, Matazo. Kabuki, backstage, onstage: An actor's life. Kodansha International, 1990.

Spencer, Michael. Kabuki Story 2001 Japan Festival Award. 22 October 2004.

Project devised and co-ordinated

University of Texas at Austin. KABUKI: Traditional Theatrical Arts. Courtesy of: The International Society for Educational Information, Inc., Tokyo. 21 October 2004.

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Title: Death of a sales man

  • Total Pages: 5
  • Words: 1938
  • References:4
  • Citation Style: None
  • Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: One of the reasons that Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman, has had such success in the American theater is because the dreams, desires, priorities and experiences of Willy Loman and family reflect many of the elements operating in American society. For your critical paper assignment, using the play and the specific articles on shared files, examine the connection between the Loman family and American culture. Begin by summarizing the basic argument presented by one of the articles, and then develop a thesis of your own that either supports or challenges the view you have summarized. Be sure that your summary is both accurate and substantial. In the course of your essay, be sure to cite from the text of at least two more critics other than the one whose argument you summarize at the beginning of your essay.

Your paper should be about 1000 words and use the methods of paraphrase, quotation and documentation that you learned in English I. These methods are reviewed on pages 1764-88 of your literature text.

Your thesis should be clearly stated, and you should support it with careful analysis of the play and relevant passages from the critical material on shared files. Your paper should not just be an analysis of the play itself. It should demonstrate that you have read carefully the other materials and used them in the development of your paper.

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Clurman, Harold. "Willy Loman and the American Dream." Readings on Arthur Miller. Ed. Tomas Siebold. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1997. 132-136.

Heyen, William. "Authur Miller's Death of a Salesman and the American Dream." Arthur Miller Death of a Salesman. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House,1988. 47-57.

Jacobson, Irving. "Family Dreams in Death of a Salesman." Critical Essays on Arthur Miller. Ed. James J. Martine. Boston G.K. Hall & Co., 1979. 44-52

Miller, Arthur. "Death of a Salesman." Masters of Modern Drama. Ed. Haskell M. Block and Robert G. Shedd. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1962. 1020-1054.

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Title: Amy Tan

  • Total Pages: 6
  • Words: 1812
  • Works Cited:0
  • Citation Style: MLA
  • Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: Research paper about Author Amy Tan

Six pages, ( two pages of her life and writing style , 2 pages of comparing Mother tough and other short story & two pages of Conclusion)

I. Look for information that sheds light on what compelled or inspired the author to begin a writing career and how it has changed their life.

II. Compare and Contrast two short stories, poems , novels or play , and discuss the similarities and differences of each work in terms of style, plot and character development. Find critical essay or leasts book reviews to support your work.

Be sure to write to third person (formal voice) thoughout the paper No “1” opinion.

Two rough drafts must accompany the final paper, along with a brainstorming and outline. Work cited “ Don’t just use internet sources. NO WIKIPEDIA

Don’t flunk the class by plagiarizing

Opening Grabber or Hook & Thesis Statement ( Neil Simon )

Quote or paraphrase, “ if Broadway ever erects a monument to the patron sain of laughter, Neil Simon would have to be it” (Time)

Starling Statement or Fact

Neil Simon has written more broadway hits than any other playwright.

Thesis Statement: the thesis statement needs to mention your author and the two works you are comparing and contrasting.

Example, Neil Simon has become the quintessential writer of the American Theater, and his talent is best illustrated in two of his most successful plays, The Odd Couple and Biloxi Blues.

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