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Introduction & Overview of Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein

This Study Guide consists of approximately 54 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Torch Song Trilogy.
This section contains 270 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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Torch Song Trilogy Summary & Study Guide Description

Torch Song Trilogy Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading and a Free Quiz on Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein.


Torch Song Trilogy is a play that straddles genres, existing as both a comedy and a melodrama. Harvey Fierstein's play opened at New York's Richard Allen Center in October, 1981, and moved to the Off-Broadway Actors Playhouse in January of 1982. The play opened on Broadway in June, 1983, at the Little Theatre and continued for a long and successful run, having won several awards, including two Antoinette "Tony" Perry Awards.

The work is semi-autobiographical; Fierstein used his own experience as a homosexual to bring a sense of authenticity to the play. Critics have remarked that the language and situations ring true and not only to homosexual audience members. Fierstein states in a brief author's note to the play that he hopes members of the audience will recognize themselves in the exchanges between lovers and the relationship between mother and child. The play's popularity among a wide range of viewers indicates that the playwright's intentions succeeded.

Torch Song Trilogy began asThe International Stud, a one-act play that was produced Off-Off-Broadway in 1978. This early work was combined with two other one-act plays, Fugue in a Nursery (1979) and Widows and Children First (1979), to create Torch Song Trilogy. Each element of the play focuses on an important passage in the life of its protagonist, Arnold. Although the play is about homosexuals, at its heart it is a play about family, love, and survival. Fierstein's play appeared just as AIDS was recognized as a major medical problem. His reinforcement of the importance of love in all relationships, hetero and gay, served to counter the attacks against homosexuals as promiscuous pleasure seekers.

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This section contains 270 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Torch Song Trilogy Study Guide
Torch Song Trilogy from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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