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Adrienne Kennedy

ADRIENNE KENNEDY

  (1931 - )

Nationality:    African American
email:    Click here to contact     Website:    Click here

Literary Agent:    n/a

Adrienne Kennedy. Since Funnyhouse of a Negro blazed a trail in the American Theatre, Adrienne Kennedy's work has had a profound influence on American playwrights. Her plays The Owl Answers, Ohio State Murders, a Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White, and her remarkable short plays: an evening With Dead essex, the Film Club, a Lesson in Dead Language, She Talks to Beethoven, andaa Rat's Masshave enriched our concept of the possible on stage for the past thirty years and given us a vocabulary of Dramatic technique no other writer has explored: the fragmentation of identity, the haunting use of repetition, the creation of elegiac language, an alienation of/and from canonical literature, and the journeys of race, gender, and sexual ruptures from the scripted and policed behaviors that a dominant culture has enforced. But her dream logic, her steadfast persistence, her witnessing to a vibrancy beneath the surface, feels triumphant. With a passion, a courage, a personal investment and visibility in her work, Ms. Kennedy continues to change the landscape of American Drama with a wealth of plays whose importance will continue to inspire all in this field. Ms. Kennedy is a three time Obie-award winner. among her many honors are the Guggenheim fellowship, the American academy of Arts and Letters award, PeN/Laura Pels award for Master American Dramatist, and anisfield-Wolf Book's Lifetime achievement award.

Research:    Member of the Dramatists Guild of America (as at 2015)

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below is a list of Adrienne Kennedy's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

        Beast's Story, A         Black Children's Day         Boats         Cities In Bezique         Diary of Lights: New York About 1955         Dramatic Circle, The         Evening With Dead Essex, An         Film Club, The         Funnyhouse Of A Negro         June And Jean In Concert         Lancashire Lad, A         Lennon Play, The: In His Own Write         Lesson In Dead Language, A         Madame Bovary         Mom, How Did You Meet the Beatles?         Motherhood         Movie Star Has To Star In Black And White, A         Ohio State Murders         Orestes And Electra         Owl Answers, The         Rat's Mass, A         She Talks To Beethoven         Sleep Deprivation Chamber         Sun



Beast's Story, A

Synopsis:
Dead baby is born to black woman raped by black man and then again by her father.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
New York    1965

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Cities in Bezique", French, New York, 1969   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
symbolic Drama One act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  4 characters

Further Reference:
-

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Black Children's Day

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Providence, Rhode Island    1980

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Boats

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Los Angeles    1969

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Cities In Bezique

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
the Owl's Answer & A Beast Story

1st Produced:
New York    1969

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, NY, 1969   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Two 1 act Plays One act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Diary of Lights: New York About 1955

Diary of Lights: New York About 1955
New York about 1955 is a series of scenes which depict a group of friends during one evening in New York City, in the mid-fifties. Part dramatic literature, part dance, and part musical theatre, Diary of Lights... is a window into a part of American culture, expressed through the unique voice of one of America's most formidable dramatists.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
http://www.samuelfrench.com/p/56872/diary-of-lights-new-york-about-1955   978-0573703973

Music:
-

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Genre:
drama 120 min

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Dramatic Circle, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Moon Marked and Touched By the Sun", Hern, London,    -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Evening With Dead Essex, An

Synopsis:
Mark Essex was called up and served with the navy. For two years he suffered violent racial abuse. He was discharged and later went on a killing spree in New Orleans.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
America Place Theatre, New York    1973

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Contained in: "an adrienne Kennedy Reader" published by University of Minnesota Press   978-0816636037

Music:
-

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Genre:
One act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/sixties/HTML_docs/Resources/Bibliographies/VN_drama_bib.php

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Film Club, The

Synopsis:
a lyrical monologue delivered by Suzanne (during her husband's imprisonment in Ghana in 1961) recounting the activities of a film club that has been organized to view Bette Davis's movies. With action shifting between Legon and London, Kennedy explores the power of popular culture, the movies in particular, and Bette Davis most specifically.

Notes:
the Alexander Plays

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1992   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
One act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Funnyhouse Of A Negro

Synopsis:
the white fixations of an educated black girl lead to guilt and identity problems

Notes:
Music by Carmen Moore; lyrics and book by Adrienne Kennedy. Based on the one act play "The Funnyhouse of a Negro" by Adriene Kennedy

1st Produced:
New York    1964

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, NY, 1969   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
symbolic Drama One act

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  5            Other:  chorus

Further Reference:
-

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June And Jean In Concert

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in the adrienne Kennedy Reader intro by Werner Sollors, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Lancashire Lad, A

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Albany, New York    1980

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Childrens Youth audience

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Lennon Play, The: In His Own Write

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
written with John Lennon And Victor Spinetti, book by Lennon

1st Produced:
London    1967

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Cape, London, 1968   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Lesson In Dead Language, A

Synopsis:
Non-sequiters prevail as a class of girls are taught by a white dog.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
New York    1968

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Collision Course", Random House, New York, 1968   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
theatre of the absurd One act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  10            Other:  -

Further Reference:
National Library of Scotland ref: Traverse - Dep.256/Box 37/8

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Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary
Madame Bovary is the tragic, yet scintillating story of a woman who longed for a life she could never fully achieve. Emma Bovary is a woman who desires the illustrious and romantic world she has only read about in books or observed from afar. As this desire grows, Emma must seek to fulfill it, whatever the cost, in an ultimate quest to become the Madame Bovary of her wildest and most passionate dreams. Telling Emma's story through the eyes of her own daughter, Adrienne Kennedy brings a fresh and exciting approach to this classic novel.

Notes:
adapted from book by Gustave Flaubert

1st Produced:
Signature Theatre In New York City    Feb 2006

Organisations:
-

1st Published:

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Full Length Play, Drama 120 min

Parts:
Male:  8            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Mom, How Did You Meet the Beatles?

Mom, How Did You Meet the Beatles?
about adrienne Kennedy's search for fame and fortune in 1960s London, where she encountered Laurence Olivier, James Baldwin, Ricki Huston, various British writers and, of course, the Beatles.
- nytheatre.com

Notes:
Written by Adrienne And Adam P Kennedy

1st Produced:
Public Theater, NY    2008

Organisations:
LaB Series

1st Published:

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Motherhood

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Movie Star Has To Star In Black And White, A

Synopsis:
a young black writer embarks on a voyage through her life: her parents' marriage, her brother's accident, her romance, then marriage and its subsequent collapse. the voyage takes place within three movies that dominate her mind; Now Voyager, Viva Zapata, and a Place in the Sun. Her voice inhabits three movie stars as she becomes a bit player in her own life.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
New York Shakespeare Festival (New York, NY, United States)    1976

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Wordplays 3". Performing Arts Journal Publications, New York, 1984
Playscripts, Inc - New York   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
35-45 min Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  5            Other:  5 males, 5 females

Further Reference:
-

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Ohio State Murders

Synopsis:
Suzanne has returned to lecture at Ohio State University, her alma mater. Presented in a series of flashbacks that recall her student days in Columbus, the play is a shocking portrayal of a young African-American woman's struggles in the racially charged America of the late 1940s and early 1950s. the narrative structure melds past and present, allowing various repressions to be articulated on stage.

Notes:

1st Produced:
Great Lakes Theater Festival    1992

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1993
Samuel French, NY   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Drama One act

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  4            Other:  6 performers

Further Reference:
-

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Orestes And Electra

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
New York    1980

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "In One act", University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1988   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
One act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Owl Answers, The

Synopsis:
Race, identity, colour and lineage form the backdrop to this piece.

Notes:
music

1st Produced:
Westport, Connecticut    1965

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Cities in Bezique", French, New York, 1969   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
symbolic Drama One act

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Rat's Mass, A

Rat's Mass, A
Comment on the absurdities of the catholic religion in the confusion of today.

Notes:
see entry for Cecil Taylor

1st Produced:
Rome    1966

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "New Black Playwrights", Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 1968   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
theatre of the absurd One act

Parts:
Male:  7            Female:  2            Other:  extras

Further Reference:
-

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She Talks To Beethoven

She Talks To Beethoven
Suzanne's attempts to write about and speak with Beethoven are continuously punctuated by radio broadcasts about her husband who is missing under mysterious circumstances. Mediated throughout by snatches of Ghanaian string music juxtaposed against strains of Beethoven's Fidelio, the Drama exists within a displacement of time and space, fluctuating between Vienna, austria, in 1803 (eurocentric space), and Legon, Ghana, in 1961 (colonized African-American space).

Notes:
the Alexander Plays

1st Produced:
River Arts In Woodstock, New York    Jun 1989

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1994
Samuel French, Inc - New York (2015) >>>    978-0573703959

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
One act experimental 30 min

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Sleep Deprivation Chamber

Synopsis:
Brutal beating of young black man by American police

Notes:
Contains Motherhood 2000. Written by Adrienne And Adam P Kennedy

1st Produced:
New York    1996

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Theatre Communications Group, New York,    -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  9            Female:  3            Other:  doubling, flexible cast

Further Reference:
-

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Sun

Synopsis:
a Poem For Malcolm X Inspired By His Murder showing a man being shattered and whirled in cosmic forms.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
London    1969

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Scripts 1", New York, London, 1971   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Monologue Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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