It actually took less than a century for playwriting to get out from under the thumb of Eugène Scribe, the guy who, in the mid–19th century, perfected the well-made-play formula, with its information-laden opening scene in which all the exposition was laid out. Ibsen used it brilliantly, Strindberg trashed it, Maeterlinck airily waved it away as unimportant, and that was that. Playwriting hasn't worked Scribe's way since World War I. Unfortunately, the form he invented imprinted itself so firmly on the popular mind that playwrights still struggle with the problem of where, and how, to lay out... More >>>