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Title:Science fiction and the theatre
Author(s):Willingham, Ralph Allen
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Graves, Robert B.
Department / Program:Theatre
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Modern
Abstract:Though science fiction has won widespread acceptance in popular literature and motion pictures, the theatre has produced few science-fiction plays of merit. This study offers two possible reasons: the stigma of pulp literature which the genre has borne since its formative period in the 1930s, and the myth that science fiction cannot be convincingly presented on the stage. The author seeks to encourage better science-fiction playwriting by studying its failures in comparison with the genre's literary advances, and by demonstrating that believable science-fictional events can be presented on stage.
The principal elements of the study are contained in six chapters. These include a general history of science-fiction plays; a survey of attempts to produce such plays; a critical analysis of six of the best science-fiction plays; a critical analysis of six science-fiction comedies; an exploration of theatrical adaptations of science-fiction narratives and why they tend to fail; and a study of the modern theatre's continual distortion of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, a novel generally regarded as the first science-fiction story. Supplemental to the study is a list of approximately three hundred science-fiction dramas, including dates and sites of first performance.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Willingham, Ralph Allen
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9124505
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9124505

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