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Last Updated: Nov 5, 2014 URL: http://guides.lib.washington.edu/content.php?pid=474017 Print Guide

5th of July Print Page
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Resource Guide

5th of July

Lanford Wilson

 

5th of July was first produced by the Circle Repertory Company in New York City, on April 27, 1978.  It was directed by Marshall W. Mason. 

 

Cast:

 

Kenneth Talley, Jr.                    William Hurt

John Landis                             Jonathan Hogan

Gwen Landis                           Nancy Snyder

Jed                                          Jeff Daniels

June Talley                              Joyce Reehling

Shirley                                     Amy Wright

Aunt Sally                                Helen Stenborg

Weston Hurley                        Danton Stone

 

 

Select Production History

1978    New York Premier at the Circle Repertory.

1980    Revised version produced at the New Apollo Theatre in New York; directed by Marshall W. Mason

 

 

Select Publication History

Wilson, Lanford. (1978). 5th of July.  New York, NY: Hill and Wang.

Wilson, Lanford. (1978). 5th of July.  New York, NY:  Dramatists Play Service.

Wilson, Lanford. (1978). 5th of July.  New York, NY:  Noonday Press.

Wilson, Lanford. (1982). 5th of July.  New York, NY:  Dramatists Play Service.

Wilson, Lanford. (1996). Lanford Wilson v.3Collected works, 1970-1983. Lyme, N.H. : Smith and Kraus.

 

 

Reviews of first production

Elder, R. (1978, 28 Apr 1). 5th of July is staged. The New York Times, p. C3.

Kerr, W. (1978, May 7). Stage view: A play in which the intrinsic connections are missing. The New York Times, p. D5.

 

Select Bibliography

 

Scholarly Articles

 

Schlatter, J. F. (1990). Some kind of a future:  The war for inheritance in the work of three American playwrights of the 1970s. South Central Review, 7(1), 59-75.

 

Abstract: compares Fifth of July, Preston Jones' The Oldest Living Graduate, and Sam Shepard's Curse of the Starving Class and Buried Child with respect to the cultural implications of the 1970s family presented by the plays.

 

Witham, B. (1982). Images of America:  Wilson, Weller and Horovitz. Theatre Journal, 34(2),

223-32.

 

Abstract:  Considers Fifth of July, Michael Weller's Loose Ends, and Israel Horovitz's Alfred Dies with respect to their treatments of Independence Day to dramatize the American temperament of the mid-1970s.

 

Monographs

 

Barnett, G.A. (1987). Lanford Wilson. Boston: Twayne Publishers.

 

Excerpt:  Even though the Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Talley's Folly, Fifth of July seems a better, more important play, probably Wilson's most important full-length work. (p.117)

 

Busby, M. (1987). Lanford Wilson. Boise, Idaho:  Boise State University.

 

Excerpt:  As in other Wilson plays the drama takes place at a significant time in the lives of these characters when all are about to make important decisions. Also, all the main characters have some important but previously hidden information to confront about themselves and their relations with others. The play's dramatic structure leads them to unearth the information. (p.33-34)

 

Ryzuk, M.S. (1989). The Circle Repertory Company:  The first fifteen years. Ames, Iowa:  Iowa State University Press.

 

Excerpt:  More and more the collaborative nature of Mason's directorial work with Wilson's plays was being recognized; the smoothed plot seams from an earlier version, the clarified character relationships, a calming of the plays' overly comic aspects, all lent a more Chekhovian air to the current version and were directly attributed to the freedom of the company atmosphere and to the longstanding working relationship between Wilson and Mason. (p. 150)

 

Williams, P.M. (1993). A  comfortable house:  Lanford Wilson, Marshall W. Mason and the Circle Repertory Theatre. Jefferson, NC:  McFarland & Company, Inc.

 

Excerpt:  The changes made in the revision of the play were not superficial. From the first line, Wilson and Mason moved scenes, added lines, and made cuts. The process of making these changes had evolved over the years of the collaboration; and since Fifth of July was the first play Wilson published in two different versions, it probably represents the watershed of the collaboration in terms of sharing the role of playwright and director for these two men. (p.49)

 

 

List of Published Lanford Wilson Plays

 

No Trespassing, New York, Playwrights Unit, 1965.

Home Free!, in Balm in Gilead and Other Plays, Hill and Wang, 1965; and with The Madness of Lady Bright, Methuen, 1968.

Balm in Gilead, Dramatists Play Service, 1993; in Balm in Gilead and Other Plays, Hill and Wang, 1965; in Collected plays, 1965-1970, Smith and Kraus, 1996.

The Madness of Lady Bright, with Home Free!, Methuen, 1968; in The Rimers of Eldritch and Other Plays, Hill and Wang, 1967.

Ludlow Fair, in Balm in Gilead and Other Plays, Hill and Wang, 1965; in Lanford Wilson:  21 Short Plays, Smith and Kraus, 1993.

The Rimers of Eldritch, in The Rimers of Eldritch and Other Plays, Hill and Wang, 1967.

This is the Rill Speaking, in The Rimers of Eldritch and Other Plays, Hill and Wang, 1967.

Dog Days Ahead, in The Rimers of Eldritch and Other Plays, Hill and Wang, 1967.

The Sand Castle, in The Sand Castle and Three Other Plays, Dramatists Play Service, 1970; in Collected plays, 1965-1970.

Wandering: A Turn, in The Rimers of Eldritch and Other Plays, Hill and Wang, 1967; in Lanford Wilson:  21 Short Plays, Smith and Kraus, 1993.

The Gingham Dog, Hill and Wang, 1969; Dramatists Play Service, 1969; in Collected plays,1965-1970, Smith and Kraus, 1996.

The Great Nebula in Orion, in The Great Nebula in Orion and Three Other Plays, Dramatists Play Service, 1973; in Lanford Wilson:  21 Short Plays, Smith and Kraus, 1993.

Lemon Sky, Hill and Wang, 1970; Dramatists Play Service, 1970; in Collected plays, 1965-1970, Smith and Kraus, 1996.

Serenading Louie, Dramatists Play Service, 1976; Hill and Wang, 1984.

The Sand Castle and Three Other Plays, Dramatists Play Service, 1970.

Sextet (Yes):  A Play for Voices, in The Sand Castle and Three Other Plays, Dramatists Play Service, 1970.

Summer and Smoke, adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play with music by Lee Holby, Bedwin Mills, 1972.

Ikke, Ikke, Nye, Nye, Nye, in The Great Nebula in Orion and Three Other Plays, Dramatists Play Service, 1973.

The Family Continues, in The Great Nebula in Orion and Three Other Plays, Dramatists Play Service, 1973.

The Great Nebula in Orion and Three Other Plays, Dramatists Play Service, 1973.

The Hot l Baltimore, Hill and Wang, 1973; in Collected works, 1970-1983, Smith and Kraus,1996.

The Mound Builders, Hill and Wang, 1976; in in Collected works, 1970-1983, Smith and Kraus,1996.

Brontosaurus, Dramatists Play Service, 1978; in The Best short plays, 1979, Chilton Book Company, 1979.

5th of July, Hill and Wang, 1978; Dramatists Play Service, 1978; Noonday Press, 1978; Dramatists Play Service, 1982; and in Collected works, 1970-1983, Smith and Kraus,1996.

Talley's Folly, Hill and Wang, 1980; Hill and Wang, 1986; in Collected works, 1970-1983, Smith and Kraus, 1996.

Talley and Son, Hill and Wang, 1986; Dramatists Play Service, 1995; in Collected works, 1970-1983, Smith and Kraus, 1996.

Angels Fall, Hill and Wang, 1983.

Thymus Vulgaris, Dramatists Play Service, 1982; in Best Short Plays, 1982, Chilton Book Company, 1982.

Say deKooning, in Hall of North American Forests, Dramatists Play Service, 1988.

A Betrothal, in Hall of North American Forests, Dramatists Play Service, 1988.

Burn This, Hill and Wang, 1988; Hill and Wang, 1988.

Hall of North American Forests, Dramatists Play Service, 1988.

Redwood Curtain, Hill and Wang, 1993.

Book of Days, Grove Press, 2000.

 

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