The provocative notion of a contemporary cross-cultural exchange within the medium of theatre is here imposed upon a dozen contemporary Anglo-American dramatists: Alan Ayckbourn and Neil Simon, Edward Bond and Sam Shepard, David Mamet and Harold Pinter, Caryl Churchill and Maria Irene Fornes, David Hare and David Rabe, Christopher Hampton and Richard Nelson. In each pairing, Ruby Cohn unites a British with an American playwright, exploring similarities both apparent and embedded - similarities which serve as a springboard for the exposure of a more profound, culturally based difference. A certain transatlantic double focus thus illuminates both the composition and the interpretation of dramatic works in an increasingly globally minded age.
"To say Cohn's coverage is panoramic would be to understate the matter. As Cohn discusses no fewer than twelve playwrights and close to one hundred plays, one can't help being impressed with her graceful manipulation of so much material...In sum, Professor Cohn's facility of language and her insights into both American and English theatrical worlds construct an artistic bridge between America and Britain that will instruct and delight scholars and educators who claim (like Ms. Cohn) contemporary drama as their 'turf.'" Martha Gilman Bower, American Literature "Cohn has certainly done her homework, and applies her findings with the intelligence that characterizes much of her vast body of writing-notably her Beckett criticism." James Frieze, Theatre Studies