Clifford Odets Writing Styles in Waiting for Lefty

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Odets specifies that Waiting for Lefty is enacted on "a bare stage." Whether the setting is a union hall, an office, or an apartment, there are no furnishings to help establish the scene The full stage— extending into the audience—represents the strike meeting. For the "flashback" scenes that tell the stories of various individuals, simple lighting effects are used to create small, intimate playing spaces onstage. Such stark, relatively undefined staging is not uncommon, and "minimalist" dramatists often choose it for various aesthetic reasons. In the case of Waiting for Lefty, however, it is clear that Odets's intentions were not merely artistic. As an overtly propagandists work of "proletarian theatre" ("proletariat" meaning the lowest class in a society), his play was meant not only for the formal, professional theatre (with its largely upper- and middle-class audience) but for any group of workers, anywhere, who wished...

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This section contains 603 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Waiting for Lefty Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Waiting for Lefty from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.