The Saint Plays

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Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000 - Drama - 195 pages
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This collection of fifteen plays by Erik Ehn is part of an ongoing cycle of plays loosely based on the lives of saints and biblical characters ranging from John the Baptist to Joan of Arc. Placing the protagonists and their suffering in a modern context, Ehn produces what he calls "contemporary fairy tales for the stage." The subject matter, he explains in the Preface, is "exploded biography," or "the means by which the self is overmastered by acts of the imagination, by acts of faith." An important contribution to current explorations of the poetic and spiritual in the theater, these surprising dramas create their own language, interrogating the limits of empathy and faith.

"The plays grow out of [Ehn's] deep Catholic faith which reveals a specifically Franciscan spiritual energy in its community-based ethos and hallowed desire to infuse contemporary life with a feeling for the divine... Ehn's saint plays partake of the century-long Judeo-Christian tradition of modern writers dramatizing the great themes of faith, evil, spiritual longing and soul states in plays that include saints, angels or biblical characters... His joyful drama sings the praises of the poetic voice and image in portraits of people crafted like beautiful holy cards."--Bonnie Marranca, Plays for the End of the Century

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About the author (2000)

Erik Ehn is an artistic associate at San Francisco's Theatre of Yugen, and he has a longstanding collaborative relationship with the Undermain Theater in Dallas. He is cofounder and coartistic director of the Tenderloin Opera Company, San Francisco. He is a graduate of New Dramatists, and his plays have been produced in San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, New York, San Diego, Chicago, and elsewhere. Another play from his saints cycle, Two Altars, Ten Funerals (All Souls), is included in Plays for the End of the Century, also available from Johns Hopkins.

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