This book details the vital role that was played by the Provincetown Players as a major cultural
institution in Greenwich Village from 1916 to 1922, when American Modernism was conceived and developed. Describing the varied
and often contentious response to modernity among the Players, Murphy reveals the central contribution of the group of poets
around Alfred Kreymborg’s Others magazine, including William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, Mina Loy, and
Djuna Barnes, and such modernist artists as Marguerite and William Zorach, Charles Demuth, and Brör Nordfeldt, to the
Players’ developing modernist aesthetics. The impact of their modernist art and ideas on such central
Provincetown figures as Eugene O’Neill, Susan Glaspell, and Edna St. Vincent Millay and a second generation of artists,
such as and e. e. cummings and Edmund Wilson, who wrote plays for the Provincetown Playhouse, is evident in Murphy’s
close analysis of more than thirty plays.
Among the plays analyzed in detail are Eugene O'Neill,
The Hairy Ape, The Emperor Jones, Bound East for Cardiff, Where the Cross is Made, Thirst, Gold; Susan Glaspell,
The Verge, Trifles, Bernice, The People, Suppressed Desires (with George Cram Cook); Djuna Barnes, An Irish Triangle,
Kurzy of the Sea, Three from the Earth; Edna St. Vincent Millay, Aria da Capo, Two Slatterns and a King; Neith
Boyce, Constancy, Enemies, Winter's Night; e. e. cummings, Him; John Reed, The Eternal Quadrangle,
Freedom: A Prison Play; Wallace Stevens, Three Travelers Watch a Sunrise; Edmund Wilson, The Crime in the
Whistler Room; Mary Carolyn Davies, The Slave with Two Faces; Alfred Kreymborg, Jack's House: A Cubic
Play, Lima Beans, Manikin and Minikin, Vote the New Moon; Louise Bryant, The Game.
More information on the book at the Cambridge University Press Website
Link to this book at Amazon.com
Link to a review of this book by Marcia Noe in the Eugene O'Neill Review.