The Drama of Marriage: Gay Playwrights/Straight Unions From Oscar Wilde to the Present

John M. Clum

In studying performances of marriage in modern and contemporary British and American drama, Clum, professor emeritus of Theater Studies and English, highlights the fact that—paradoxically—at a time when theatre was both popular entertainment and high culture, many of the most commercially and artistically successful plays about marriage were written by homosexual men.

Beginning with Oscar Wilde and focusing on some of the most successful British and American playwrights of the past century, including Somerset Maugham, Noël Coward, Terence Rattigan, and Emlyn Williams in England and Clyde Fitch, George Kelly, Tennessee Williams, William Inge, and Edward Albee in the U.S., The Drama of Marriage looks at how the plays they wrote about heterosexual marriage continue to impact contemporary gay playwrights and the depiction of marriage today.