Title

Coming Home Again: American Family Drama and the Figure of the Prodigal

Document Type

Book

Publication Date

1997

Department

Theatre Arts

Abstract

This study focuses on the representation of the family in American drama, in particular, on various uses and conventions of the figure of the prodigal husband or son. It considers the lineage and function of this figure from the writings of Augustine, medieval iconography, Renaissance prodigal son plays, and temperance melodramas to such contemporary manifestations as television talk shows, the Recovery Movement, and plays by contemporary writers including Spalding Gray, Ntozake Shange, and Cherrie Moraga.