Signs of Life (Paperback)
Six Comedies of Menace
Joan Schenkar, widely regarded as America's most original female contemporary playwright, is the author of numerous experimental plays which she refers to as "comedies of menace." Bristling with wit and intelligence, the collection features Signs of Life, Cabin Fever, The Universal Wolf, Burning Desires, The Last of Hitler, and Fulfilling Koch's Postulate. These plays explore issues of feminism and gender politics, history and memory, sexuality and violence, bringing to life such figures as Gertrude Stein and Marlene Dietrich, Hitler and Eva Braun, P. T. Barnum and Henry and Alice James, Claude Levi-Strauss and Roland Barthes. Schenkar's charged language and evocative stage directions invite the reader to become both performer and audience, and the experience is enhanced both by richly evocative stage directions and illustrations from productions of the plays. Initially written to be read like novels as well as staged, the plays provide a unique theatrical experience, an experience that can only be accessed by laughter.