Best American Short Plays 2012-2013
The Best American Short Plays
edited by William W. Demastes
For more than 70 years, The Best American Short Plays has been the standard of excellence for one-act plays in America. From its inception, it has identified cutting-edge playwrights who have gone on to establish award-winning careers, including Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, and more.
In The Best American Short Plays: 2012-2013 (August 12, Applause Books, $19.99), series editor William W. Demastes has chosen plays that capture the struggle between “hot tempers and cold decrees.” Humans love to think of themselves as rational beings well in control of their lives and surroundings from sunup to sundown, sundown to sunrise. We learn to follow rules of proper behavior and more than happily issue out advice to our friends who just can’t get a handle on themselves. Restraint and order, after all, are the cornerstones of human society and civilization. The problem is that human nature bucks and bridles at every attempt to socialize and civilize. Shakespeare got it right when he penned the observation, “The brain may devise laws for the blood, but a hot temper leaps o’er a cold decree.” In those few words he has managed to capture precisely why it is so difficult to be human; if it were okay simply to let our hot tempers prevail, life would be so much easier. But cold decrees are what prevent us from self-destruction, and so we endure the struggle.
The 20 plays included in The Best American Short Plays: 2012-2013 are: The True Death of Socrates by Frank Higgins; Existence by Murray Schisgal; The Origins of the Drink They Named After Me by Steve Feffer; Rise by Crystal Skillman; Spatial Disorientation by Lisa Soland; Between the Lines by Amber Leanne Marcoon; The Rainbow by James Armstrong; Subtraction by Kevin McFillen; Flare by Edith Freni; Blue, Blue Moon by John Patrick Bray; Kid Gloves by David Rysiecki; The Grim Raper by Daniel Guyton; Hurt by Saviana Stanescu; Cell by Cassandra Medley; Abandoned in Queens by Laura Maria Censabella; Free Will by Billy Aronson; Dark King Kills Unicorn by Reina Hardy; Deer Haunting: A Far Side Cartoon by Andréa J. Onstad; 2nd Anniversary Near Taurus Major by Gene Kato; and The New Models by Rory Leahy.
August 13, 2014
5.5″ x 8.5″
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
William W. Demastes is alumni professor of English at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He has published widely on modern theater and Drama, including two previous editions of The Best American Short Plays, and two volumes of Best Monologues from Best American Short Plays, published by Applause Books, and Spalding Gray’s America, published by Limelight Editions. He lives in Baton Rouge, La.