Adrienne Kennedy's Tragedy Analysis

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The 1960s and 1970s witnessed an unprecedented production of African American arts, which can be mostly seen in theater. It gave rise to black female and male playwrights who played a role in this new era of black recognition (Barrios 611). Adrienne Kennedy was one of those African-American playwrights, who used drama to explore all the hidden and obvious conditions of humans, in general, and blacks, in particular. The significance of her importance to American theater can be seen further by The Signature Theatre 's selection of her as the first woman and the only African-American to have an entire season devoted to her work (Eisler, 82). Other playwrights also honored included Edward Albee and Arthur Miller. Linda Kintz argues in her excellent study The Subject 's Tragedy: Political Poetics, Feminist Theory, and Drama, that "the plays of Adrienne Kennedy are radical experiments with subjectivity and theatrical form; they show how the very notion of the unity of character or of autonomous subjectivity is simply artificial, even phobic, in a culture in which subject positions are always multiple" (7). By formulating her characters to express multiple viewpoints, Kennedy resisted any monolithic definition of blackness propounded by the hegemonic culture, while foregrounding the deconstruction of subjectivity. Herbert Blau, in an article comparing Kennedy and Sam Shepard, describes Kennedy 's stagecraft "black magic" (535), a label which can be extended to her work
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