File puptcrit/puptcrit.0811, message 3


To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
Date: Sat, 01 Nov 2008 12:57:06 GMT
Subject: [Puptcrit] Spoon River Anthology


Last night, I was so tired after yard work, I went to bed early & just woke up.I was trying to remember the title of the work that Susan Reed's dad performed and all I could think of was Edgar Lee Masters' SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY, but my tired brain confused that with the song SPOON RIVER, so I figured after some rest, I'd do a search on the web and make sure before posting the information.. And guess what? Edgar Lee Masters DID write SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY, which was published in 1915.

Each section of the work represents the voice of someone in the town cemetery---a voice of a pioneer for example. Stories of repressed lives, disappointed lives, of struggles and occasional victories. The author was born in Kansas. His father had businss problems (shades of today) and moved to Illinois to Edgar Lee Masters'grandparents farm, in Lewiston near the Spoon River. 

My memory worked better than I gave it credit. But I thought it best to check first.

Masters died in 1950, and his heirs tightly controlled his literary work. Because Susan Reed's dad performed SPOON RIVER for high School student audences he was granted permission for the material. Since then, I am sure it has been staged by several theatre groups , but I have not researched that history. I wonder what it would be like to stage it with puppets, to emphasize the ghostly aspects? 

ALAN COOK


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