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Blood on the Stage

Milestone Plays of Crime, Mystery, and Detection

Amnon Kabatchnik

Acts of crime and criminal minds have always fascinated the world's authors. During 1900-1925, world stages were full of plays in which transgression and lawbreaking were the common denominators. In Blood on the Stage: Milestone Plays of Crime, Mystery, and Detection, An Annotated Repertoire, 1900 - 1925, Amnon Kabatchnik examines the key representations of transgression drama produced in the 20th century's first quarter. This volume covers 80 plays written and produced between 1900-1925 that had at least one public performance in the English language, with an emphasis on New York and London performances.

Each of the entries revolves around murder, theft, chicanery, kidnapping, political intrigue, or espionage. Works by Nobel Prize winners Jacinto Benavente, John Galsworthy, and Eugene O'Neill are examined, along with plays by David Belasco, Earl Derr Biggers, George M. Cohan, Arthur Conan Doyle, Elmer Rice, and Mary Roberts Rinehart. The volume includes standards of the genre such as The Bat, The Cat and the Canary, The Last of Mrs. Cheney, Madame X, and The Scarlet Pimpernel. The emphasis is on manuscripts of enduring importance, pioneering contributions, singular innovations, outstanding success, and representative works by prolific playwrights in the genre. The entries are arranged in chronological order, each consisting of plot summary (often including significant dialogue), production and performance data, opinions by critics and scholars, and other features.
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Scarecrow Press
Pages: 432Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2
978-0-8108-6123-7 • Hardback • June 2008 • $150.00 • (£100.00)
Amnon Kabatchnik, now retired, was a Professor of Theatre at SUNY Binghamton, Stanford University, Ohio State University, Florida State University, and Elmira College. He is the author of Sherlock Holmes: A Chronological Encyclopedia of Plays Featuring the Great Detective (2008), and Blood on the Stage: Milestone Plays of Crime, Mystery and Detection, An Annotated Repertoire, 1925-1950 (2009), both published by Scarecrow Press.

Prometheus Bound (480 B.C.) by Aeschylus
The Danaid Tetralogy (463 B.C.) by Aeschylus
Oresteia (458 B.C.) by Aeschylus
Women of Trachis aka The Trachiniae (c. 450 B.C.) by Sophocles
Ajax (c. 444 B.C.) by Sophocles
Antigone (c. 442 B.C.) by Sophocles
Medea (431 B.C.) by Euripides
Oedipus the King (c. 429 B.C.) by Sophocles
Wasps (422 B.C.) by Aristophanes
Women at the Thesmophoria Festival (411 B.C.) by Aristophanes
Electra (c. 409 B.C.) by Sophocles
The Bacchae aka The Bacchantes (405 B.C.) by Euripides
Plutus aka Wealth (388 B.C.) by Aristophanes
The Rope aka Rudens (c. 211 B.C.) by Titus Maccius Plautus
The Haunted House (200 B.C.) by Titus Maccius Plautus
The Pot of Gold (c. 194 B.C.) by Titus Maccius Plautus
Mad Hercules aka Hercules Furens (c. 54 A.D.) by Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Phaedra (c. 60 A.D.) by Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Thyestes (c. 60 A.D.) by Lucius Annaeus Seneca
The Little Clay Cart (Sixth Century A.D.?), attributed to King Shūdraka
The Miracle of Saint Nicholas and the Schoolboys (Twelfth Century) by Anonymous
The Miracle of Saint Nicholas and the Image (Twelfth Century) by Hilarius
Daniel (c. 1140 A.D.) by Hilarius
Abraham and Isaac (between1400-1425 A.D.) by Anonymous
David and Bathsheba (between 1450-1500 A.D.) by Anonymous
The Second Shepherds' Play (mid-Fifteenth Century) by The Wakefield Master
The Killing of Abel (latter half of the Fifteenth Century) by The Wakefield Master
The Mystery of the Redemption aka Ludus Coventriae (1468 A.D.) by Anonymous
Pierre Patelin aka Master Pierre Patelin (c. 1469 A.D.) by Anonymous
Orbecche (1541 A.D.) by Giovanni Battista Giraldi
Herod the Great (between 1554-1576 A.D.) by The Wakefield Master
Gammer Gurton's Needle (c. 1560 A.D.) by "Mr. S., Master of Art"
Gorboduc (1561 A.D.) by Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville
The Life of Cambyses, King of Percia (c. 1561 A.D.) by Thomas Preston
The Three Ladies of London (1581) by Robert Wilson
Tamburlaine the Great (1587) by Christopher Marlowe
The Tragical history of Doctor Faustus (c. 1588) by Christopher Marlowe
The Jew of Malta (c. 1589) by Christopher Marlowe
The Spanish Tragedy (c. 1590) by Thomas Kyd
Edward the Second (c. 1592) by Christopher Marlowe
Arden of Faversham (1592) by Anonymous
The Tragedy of King Richard the Third (c. 1593) by William Shakespeare
Titus Andronicus (c. 1594) by William Shakespeare
The Life and Death of King John (c. 1596) by William Shakespeare
The Downfall of Robert, Earl of Huntington (1598) and The Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington
(1598) by Anthony Munday
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (1599) by William Shakespeare
Antonia and Mellida (1599) and Antonio's Revenge (1600) by John Marston
Hamlet (c. 1600) by William Shakespeare

Appendix A: Lethal Poison
Appendix B: Early Trial Plays
Appendix C: Mourning Becomes Electra by Eugene O’Neill
Appendix D: Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Appendix E: A Yorkshire Tragedy by Anonymous
Appendix F: Cue for Passion by Elmer Rice
About the Author
A veteran stage director, theater professor, and mystery fiction reviewer fills a gap in criminous scholarship with a strong contender for Edgar Award recognition....Dialogue samples, quotations from contemporary reviews, anecdotes, and mentions of well-known cast members further enliven the entertainingly-written entries.
Jon L. Breen; Mystery Scene Magazine, September 2008

This material is astonishingly complete and up to date....The author correctly describes this work as "a labor of love." It is also a fascinating document that deserves a place in any library with a sizable collection on theater.
American Reference Books Annual, August 2008

The author gives thorough criticism for the benefit of theater students on why each work is noteworthy, and why the appeal of this genre endures.
Book News, Inc.

For anyone with a serious interest in the stage and plays of detection, this is a priceless reference.
Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine

The sheer readability of his work exceeds that of many reference books.... Warmly recommended.
Reference and User Services Quarterly

The plays selected by Kabatchnik...provide a wealth of material for lovers of theatre.
Los Angeles Times, August 2008