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Independent Press Award

2024 Distinguished Favorite

Horror on the Stage

Amnon Kabatchnik

There are numerous publications about the horror genre in film and television, but none that provide information about horror on a legitimate stage until now. This book highlights the most terrifying moments in theater history, from classical plays like Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound and Euripides' Medea to the violence of the Grand Guignol company productions in 18th-century France, and present-day productions like Stephen Sondheim's musical Sweeney Todd, Stephen King's Carrie and dark 21st-century plays by Clive Barker and Conor McPherson. The book compiles the history and behind-the-scenes tales surrounding stage productions about monsters, hauntings and horrors both historical and imagined. Included are the nightmarish adaptations of popular writings from Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, H.G. Wells, Henry James, Arthur Conan Doyle, and others, as well as plays starring popular characters like Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Invisible Man, the Phantom of the Opera, and the Woman in Black. More than 500 plays are documented, accompanied by dozens of photographs. Entries include plot synopses, existing production data, and evaluations by critics and scholars.

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