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Lillian Hellman’s second play, Days to Come, is a family drama set against the backdrop of labor strife in a small Ohio town which threatens to tear apart both town and family. “It’s the story of innocent people on both sides who are drawn into conflict and events far beyond their comprehension,” Hellman said in an interview before Days to Come opened in 1936. “It’s the saga of a man who started something he cannot stop…”
She was “very full of the most miraculous kind of contradictions,” observed Jane Fonda on playing Lillian Hellman (1905-1984). Hellman persistently spoke her mind as one of America’s most celebrated playwrights and controversial icons. Hailed as a “dramatist of extraordinary strength and skill” (John Chapman, The New York Daily News), Hellman pursued questions of truth and deception, integrity and complicity throughout her life and plays. Drawing from melodrama’s conflicts between good and evil, Hellman created characters of textured moral ambiguity, including the indelible Regina Giddens of The Little Foxes.
“There must be no shortage of little-known, finely crafted, funny, thought-provoking plays exploring the fracturing of English society in the early twentieth century, because the Mint Theatre Company keeps coming up with them,”1 wrote the New Yorker of MARY BROOME. Monkhouse’s biting comedy tells the story of a household turned upside down by an upstairs/downstairs liaison between the ne’er do well son and the honest housemaid.
Allan Monkhouse (1858-1936) was a dramatist, novelist, and critic known for his piquant portrayal of middle class life in northern England. He startled audiences with complex characters, who pierced societal niceties as they grappled with the contradictions of a rapidly changing world.
Five years after first introducing New York audiences to the extraordinary British playwright, St. John Hankin, Mint Theater revisited “the forgotten man of Edwardian drama” (Guardian) with THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL, “a coolly enthralling play about a timeless subject: failure.”1
St John Hankin began to contribute humorous essays and dramatic parodies including new “last-acts” for well-known plays to Punch magazine 1898. In 1901 some of his contributions were anthologized as Mr. Punch’s Dramatic Sequels. Hankin also contributed about seventy drama reviews to The London Times before beginning his career as a playwright in 1903 with THE TWO MR. WETHERBY’S. Hankin was actively involved in running the Stage Society, a London theater group that supported plays of literary merit, founded in part, to avoid the Lord Chamberlain’s censorship.
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