Dr. Kevin Thomas Browne received his Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Colorado and is currently Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Central Arkansas where he teaches Theatre History, Directing, Play Analysis, and Acting. Dr. Browne is a theatre practitioner as well as an educator, and has performed and directed extensively throughout the United States.
2007 0-7734-5494-2 Examines the life and work of Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) and his significant and unique place in the theatrical and political life of Great Britain. A man of middling background, he was simultaneously a leading Whig politician and, because of the success of his two plays, The Rivals (1775) and The School for Scandal (1777), the most dominant figure in the British theatre during the last quarter of the eighteenth century. Theatre historians have tended to view these works as manners comedies which are long on style but appropriately short on substance. Therefore, previous criticism of the plays has concerned itself mainly with questions of genre classification, leading to an under appreciation of Sheridan’s historical context. This book argues that, given the fact that the British theatre was central to the discussion and formation of the nation’s evolving ideology, Sheridan’s dramaturgy, far from being empty of content, offers snapshots of the state of negotiations between the classes over the nature of British identity centering on issues of money, gender, class, morality, and language.