Though better known for his poetry, T. S. Eliot wrote seven important plays between 1926 and 1958, of which Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and The Cocktail Party (1949) may be most produced. Posthumously, he won Tony Awards in 1983 for the musical adaptation of his poetry in the Broadway production of Cats. He was at the forefront of a mid-twentieth-century revival of the genre of verse drama and also wrote a considerable body of dramatic criticism. Notwithstanding the hundreds of critical sources annotated in this bibliography, the Eliot industry has neglected the plays in recent years, producing few important studies on par with those on the poetry.
This new sourcebook surveys the entire dramaturgical and critical discourse surrounding Eliot's plays. A separate chapter for each play provides characters, synopsis, detailed production history, critical overview of both performance reviews and scholarly response, textual notes and influences, and publishing history. The comprehensive bibliography is divided into sections for primary works, including Eliot's plays and essays on drama plus interviews and archival materials, and secondary sources, including scholarly and review criticism in general and of single plays. Also featured are a chronology of major career events, an introductory analysis, and an appendix of additional performance adaptations. Two other appendixes offer chronological access to all secondary sources and succinct data on major productions and their credits. Fully cross-referenced and indexed, this exhaustive compendium makes information and resources immediately accessible to anyone doing research on Eliot or modern British and American drama.
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