The Kentucky Cycle Essay

Robert Schenkkan
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In the following essay, Brustein explores the study of American materialism despite the play's several limitations.

Robert Schenkkan' s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Kentucky Cycle, now stopping at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater in Washington before it goes to Broadway, is in nine acts and two parts, consuming about six hours of playing time. Aside from any values it might have as a work of the imagination, The Kentucky Cycle is yet another sign that American dramatists are beginning to fashion their plays into protracted journeys at the very moment when audiences are apparently losing patience with sitting in the theater at all.

Marathon plays, of course, have been a commonplace of dramatic literature since The Oresteia. One thinks of Marlowe's two-part Tamburlaine, Goethe's two-part Faust, Ibsen's Brand and Peer Gynt, Strindberg's trilogy The Road to Damascus and Shaw's "metabiological Pentateuch" Back to Methuselah, among others, all of which...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 1,499 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Kentucky Cycle Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Kentucky Cycle from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.