Street Scene

Definition

Theater

  • An expressionist play by Elmer Rice about the futilityof life in a New York slum neighbourhood. It was first performed inNew York in 1929 with a striking set based on a real house at 25 West65th Street. The production earned Rice the Pulitzer Prize for drama.A film of the play was made in 1931, while Kurt Weill produced a musical version in 1947.

    In the play characters from a variety of ethnic backgroundschat and gossip on a hot summer night. The most titillating subjectis the love affair of the Irishwoman Anna Maurrant and the romanceof her daughter, Rose, with the Jewish boy Sam Kaplan. Tension isintroduced with the arrival of Anna's husband, Frank, who discovershis wife with her lover and shoots them both. He is arrested, andRose leaves her boyfriend to live with her brother. Neighbours decideshe is being taken care of by a rich admirer. As events settle down,a new couple arrives to enquire about the now empty apartment.

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