Through the plays of these masters, Adler discusses the arts of playwriting and script interpretation ("There are two aspects of the theater. One belongs to the author and the other to the actor. The actor thinks it all belongs to the author. . .The curtain goes up and all he knows are the lines. . .It is not enough. . .Script interpretation is your profession").
She looks into aspects of society and class, and into our cultural past, as well as the evolution of the
modern spirit ("The actor learns from Ibsen what is modern in the modern theater. There are no villains, no heroes. Ibsen understands, more than anything, there is more than one truth").
Stella Adler--daughter of Jacob Adler, who was universally acknowledged to be the greatest actor
of the Yiddish theater, and herself a disciple of Stanislavsky--examines the role of the actor and brings to life the plays from which all modern theater derives: Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, The Master Builder, An Enemy of the People, and A Doll's House; Strindberg's Miss Julie and The Father; Chekhov's The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, and Three Sisters ("Masha is the sister who is the mystery. You cannot reach her. You cannot reach the artist. There is no logical way. Keep her in a special pocket of feelings that are complex and different").
Adler discusses the ideas behind these plays and explores the world of the playwrights and the
history--both familial and cultural--that informed their work. She illumines not only the dramatic essence of each play but its subtext as well, continually asking questions that deepen one's understanding of the work and of the human spirit.
Adler's book, brilliantly edited by Barry Paris, puts her famous lectures into print for the first time.
From the Hardcover edition.
When Groucho Marx and Charlie Chaplin were born, variety entertainment had been going on for decades in America, and like Harry Houdini, Milton Berle, Mae West, and countless others, these performers got their start on the vaudeville stage. From 1881 to 1932, vaudeville was at the heart of show business in the States. Its stars were America's first stars in the modern sense, and it utterly dominated American popular culture. Writer and modern-day vaudevillian Trav S.D. chronicles vaudeville's far-reaching impact in No Applause--Just Throw Money. He explores the many ways in which vaudeville's story is the story of show business in America and documents the rich history and cultural legacy of our country's only purely indigenous theatrical form, including its influence on everything from USO shows to Ed Sullivan to The Muppet Show and The Gong Show. More than a quaint historical curiosity, vaudeville is thriving today, and Trav S.D. pulls back the curtain on the vibrant subculture that exists across the United States--a vast grassroots network of fire-eaters, human blockheads, burlesque performers, and bad comics intent on taking vaudeville into its second century.
Childlike in his innocence but grotesque in form, Frankenstein's bewildered creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker. Meeting with cruelty wherever he goes, the friendless Creature, increasingly desperate and vengeful, determines to track down his creator and strike a terrifying deal.
Urgent concerns of scientific responsibility, parental neglect, cognitive development and the nature of good and evil are embedded within this thrilling and deeply disturbing classic gothic tale.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, adapted for the stage by Nick Dear, premiered at the National Theatre, London, in February 2011.
100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write is a book in which chimpanzees, Chekhov, and child care are equally at home. A vibrant, provocative examination of the possibilities of the theater, it is also a map to a very particular artistic sensibility, and an unexpected guide for anyone who has chosen an artist's life.
For more than fifty years, Ernest--or "Ernie" as he's known to his friends--has been one of the most recognized, celebrated stars in Hollywood as well as a respected, talented actor, and a living legend. Stretching from his childhood as the son of Italian immigrants to a spectacular career that is still thriving in his 91st year, from the early days of live TV to the voiceovers for The Simpsons and SpongeBob SquarePants, Ernie tells of the trials and tribulations on his road to fame, the friendships he shared with some of the silver screen's biggest stars, and the glamorous leading ladies he loved.
Acclaimed for his ability to play sensitive and tough-guy roles equally well, he was also famous for squaring off against some of Hollywood's most formidable actresses--including Bette Davis in A Catered Affair and Joan Crawford in Johnny Guitar. Recalling his experiences starring in classic movies such as The Poseidon Adventure, The Wild Bunch, and Escape from New York, he reveals personal insights and irresistible stories about cinema's greatest icons--including Spencer Tracy, James Stewart, Kirk Douglas, Montgomery Clift, Gary Cooper, Janet Leigh, Raquel Welch, Gene Hackman, Rock Hudson, Sammy Davis, Jr., Tony Curtis, Alan Ladd, Glenn Ford, and Burt Lancaster. And with characteristic frankness, he also talks about his off-screen loves and passions.
A must for every film buff, Ernie: An Autobiography is a fascinating memoir--filled with secrets, well-remembered details, and never-before-told stories--of a star who has thrived in the changing world of Hollywood for more than half a century, and endeared himself to legions of fans everywhere.
"(Borgnine's) anecdotes are gleefully self-deprecating. . .he comes off as the kind of guy you'd like to have a beer with." --NY Post
"With astute observations on the Hollywood hierarchy and tales about everyone from Lee Marvin and Steve McQueen to Bette Davis and Kim Novak, (Borgnine) writes with an unassuming, no-nonsense tone. His love of filmmaking and his respect for his fellow actors permeates the pages of this engaging and satisfying memoir." --Publishers Weekly
"Modest and sweet. . .nicely boiled. Borgnine neither lashes out nor pulls punches." --Entertainment Weekly
". . .a satisfying detailed account of a decades-long career that also included memorable roles in durable blockbusters like The Wild Bunch and The Poseidon Adventure. He comes across as an unspoiled, nice guy who enjoyed his success. . .One of the finest unghosted Hollywood autobiographies." --ALA Booklist
"A super read. . .Ernie: The Autobiography by Ernest Borgnine is as nifty as he is." --Cindy Adams, NY Post
Each chapter introduces a concept that is then explored by studying its application to The Glass Menagerie, chosen for both its accessibility and its complexity. Other plays discussed include works by Molière, Shakespeare, Sophocles, and August Wilson. End-of-chapter questions are applicable to any play.
“Fascinating . . . Wasson has taken complete control of his subject.” — Wall Street Journal
The only person ever to win Oscar, Emmy, and Tony awards in the same year, Bob Fosse revolutionized nearly every facet of American entertainment. His signature style would influence generations of performing artists. Yet in spite of Fosse’s innumerable—including Cabaret, Pippin, All That Jazz, and Chicago, one of the longest-running Broadway musicals ever—his offstage life was shadowed by deep wounds and insatiable appetites.
To craft this richly detailed account, best-selling author Sam Wasson has drawn on a wealth of unpublished material and hundreds of sources: friends, enemies, lovers, and collaborators, many of them speaking publicly about Fosse for the first time. With propulsive energy and stylish prose, Fosse is the definitive biography of one of Broadway and Hollywood’s most complex and dynamic icons.
“Spellbinding.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Impeccably researched.” —Vanity Fair
An NPR Best Book of the Year
Until now, readers and students have had to contend with inaccurate, misleading and difficult-to-read English-language versions. Some of the mistranslations have resulted in profound distortions in the way his system has been interpreted and taught. At last, Jean Benedetti has succeeded in translating Stanislavski’s huge manual into a lively, fascinating and accurate text in English. He has remained faithful to the author's original intentions, putting the two books previously known as An Actor Prepares and Building A Character back together into one volume, and in a colloquial and readable style for today's actors.
The result is a major contribution to the theatre, and a service to one of the great innovators of the twentieth century.
The Viewpoints are a set of names given to certain principles of movement through time and space—they constitute a language for talking about what happens on stage. Coupling this with Composition, which is the practice of selecting and arranging the separate components of theatrical language into a cohesive work of art, provides theatre artists with an important new tool for creating and understanding their art form.
Primarily intended for the many theatre artists who, in the last several years, have become intrigued with Viewpoints yet have had no single source to refer to in their investigations. It can also be used by anyone with a general interest in collaboration and the creative process, whether in art, business or daily life.
Anne Bogart is Artistic Director of the SITI Company, which she founded with Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki in 1992. She is the recipient of two OBIE Awards and a Bessie Award, and is an associate professor at Columbia University. Her recent works include Alice’s Adventures; Bobrauschenbergamerica; Small Lives, Big Dreams; Marathon Dancing; and The Baltimore Waltz.
Tina Landau, noted director and playwright, whose original work includes Space (Time magazine 10 Best), Dream True (with composer Ricky Ian Gordon) and Floyd Collins (with composer Adam Guettel), which received the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical, an OBIE Award and seven Drama Desk nominations. She has been an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company since 1997.
Investigating both well-known performers such as Ada Overton Walker and Josephine Baker and lesser-known artists such as Belle Davis and Valaida Snow, Brown weaves the histories of specific singers and dancers together with incisive theoretical insights. She describes the strange phenomenon of blackface performances by women, both black and white, and she considers how black expressive artists navigated racial segregation. Fronting the “picaninny choruses” of African American child performers who toured Britain and the Continent in the early 1900s, and singing and dancing in The Creole Show (1890), Darktown Follies (1913), and Shuffle Along (1921), black women variety-show performers of the early twentieth century paved the way for later generations of African American performers. Brown shows not only how these artists influenced transnational ideas of the modern woman but also how their artistry was an essential element in the development of jazz.
As an educator with extensive experience in professional theatre production, author John Kenrick approaches the subject with a unique appreciation of musicals as both an art form and a business. Using anecdotes, biographical profiles, clear definitions, sample scenes and select illustrations, Kenrick focuses on landmark musicals, and on the extraordinary talents and business innovators who have helped musical theatre evolve from its roots in the dramas of ancient Athens all the way to the latest hits on Broadway and London's West End.
Key improvements to the second edition:
· A new foreword by Oscar Hammerstein III, a critically acclaimed historian and member of a family with deep ties to the musical theatre, is included
· The 28 chapters are reformatted for the typical 14 week, 28 session academic course, as well as for a two semester, once-weekly format, making it easy for educators to plan a syllabus and reading assignments.
· To make the book more interactive, each chapter includes suggested listening and reading lists, designed to help readers step beyond the printed page to experience great musicals and performers for themselves.
A comprehensive guide to musical theatre as an international phenomenon, Musical Theatre: A History is an ideal textbook for university and secondary school students.
National Book Award Finalist
2015 Winner of the Sheridan Morley Prize for Theatre Biography
American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award
A Chicago Tribune 'Best Books of 2014'
USA Today: 10 Books We Loved Reading
Washington Post, 10 Best Books of 2014
The definitive biography of America's greatest playwright from the celebrated drama critic of The New Yorker. John Lahr has produced a theater biography like no other. Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh gives intimate access to the mind of one of the most brilliant dramatists of his century, whose plays reshaped the American theater and the nation's sense of itself. This astute, deeply researched biography sheds a light on Tennessee Williams's warring family, his guilt, his creative triumphs and failures, his sexuality and numerous affairs, his misreported death, even the shenanigans surrounding his estate.
With vivid cameos of the formative influences in Williams's life—his fierce, belittling father Cornelius; his puritanical, domineering mother Edwina; his demented sister Rose, who was lobotomized at the age of thirty-three; his beloved grandfather, the Reverend Walter Dakin—Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh is as much a biography of the man who created A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as it is a trenchant exploration of Williams’s plays and the tortured process of bringing them to stage and screen.
The portrait of Williams himself is unforgettable: a virgin until he was twenty-six, he had serial homosexual affairs thereafter as well as long-time, bruising relationships with Pancho Gonzalez and Frank Merlo. With compassion and verve, Lahr explores how Williams's relationships informed his work and how the resulting success brought turmoil to his personal life.
Lahr captures not just Williams’s tempestuous public persona but also his backstage life, where his agent Audrey Wood and the director Elia Kazan play major roles, and Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, Bette Davis, Maureen Stapleton, Diana Barrymore, and Tallulah Bankhead have scintillating walk-on parts. This is a biography of the highest order: a book about the major American playwright of his time written by the major American drama critic of his time.
With a cultural range that encompasses Shakespeare, Bretcht, and Ibsen, Death of a Salesman and Bad Day at Black Rock, Mamet shows us how to distinguish true drama from its false variants. He considers the impossibly difficult progression between one act and the next and the mysterious function of the soliloquy. The result, in Three Uses of the Knife, is an electrifying treatise on the playwright’s art that is also a strikingly original work of moral and aesthetic philosophy.
Ghost Light is divided into three sections. Part 1, “Philosophy,” describes what dramturgs do, presents a detailed history of dramaturgy, and summarizes many of the critical theories needed to analyze and understand dramatic texts. “Analysis” teaches the two essential skills of a dramaturg: reading and writing. It includes a “12-step program for script analysis” along with suggestions about how to approach various genres and play structures. “Practice,” the third part, delves into the relationships that dramaturgs forge and offers useful advice about collaborating with other artists. It also includes ideas for audience outreach initiatives such as marketing and publicity plans, educational programs, talkbacks, blogs, and program notes and lobby displays, all of which are often the responsibility of the dramaturg.
Ghost Light was written with undergraduate students in mind and is perfectly suited for the classroom (each chapter concludes with a series of practical exercises that can be used as course assignments). However, dramaturgy is a skill that is essential to all theater practitioners, not just professional or aspiring dramaturgs, making Ghost Light a valuable addition to all theater libraries.
Donna Walker-Kuhne is the president of Walker International Communications Group. From 1993 to 2002, she served as the marketing director for the Public Theater in New York, where she originated a range of audience-development activities for children, students and adults throughout New York City. Ms. Walker-Kuhne is an Adjunct Professor in marketing the arts at Fordham University, Brooklyn College and New York University. She was formerly marketing director for Dance Theatre of Harlem. Ms. Walker-Kuhne has given numerous workshops and presentations for arts groups throughout the U.S., including the Arts and Business Council, League of American Theaters and Producers, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for Arts to name a few. She has been nominated for the Ford Foundation’s 2001 Leadership for a Changing World Fellowship.
Reexamining the surviving plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, Graham Ley here discusses acting technique, scenery, the power and range of the chorus, the use of theatrical space, and parody in their plays. In addition to photos of scenes from Greek vases that document theatrical performance, this new edition includes notes on ancient mime and puppetry and how to read Greek playtexts as scripts, as well as an updated bibliography. An ideal companion to The Complete Greek Tragedies, also published by the University of Chicago Press, Ley’s work is a concise and informative introduction to one of the great periods of world drama.
"Anyone faced with Athenian tragedy or comedy for the first time, in or out of the classroom, would do well to start with A Short Introduction to Ancient Greek Theater."—Didaskalia
When Tony Kushner's Angels in America hit Broadway in 1993, it won the Pulitzer Prize, swept the Tonys, launched a score of major careers, and changed the way gay lives were represented in popular culture. Mike Nichols's 2003 HBO adaptation starring Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, and Mary-Louise Parker was itself a tour de force, winning Golden Globes and eleven Emmys, and introducing the play to an even wider public. This generation-defining classic continues to shock, move, and inspire viewers worldwide.
Now, on the 25th anniversary of that Broadway premiere, Isaac Butler and Dan Kois offer the definitive account of Angels in America in the most fitting way possible: through oral history, the vibrant conversation and debate of actors (including Streep, Parker, Nathan Lane, and Jeffrey Wright), directors, producers, crew, and Kushner himself. Their intimate storytelling reveals the on- and offstage turmoil of the play's birth--a hard-won miracle beset by artistic roadblocks, technical disasters, and disputes both legal and creative. And historians and critics help to situate the play in the arc of American culture, from the staunch activism of the AIDS crisis through civil rights triumphs to our current era, whose politics are a dark echo of the Reagan '80s.
Expanded from a popular Slate cover story and built from nearly 250 interviews, The World Only Spins Forward is both a rollicking theater saga and an uplifting testament to one of the great works of American art of the past century, from its gritty San Francisco premiere to its starry, much-anticipated Broadway revival in 2018.
The first comprehensive survey and study of the major techniques developed by and for the American actor over the past 60 years. Each of the 10 disciplines included is described in detail by one of today’s foremost practitioners.
Presented in this volume are:
• Lee Strasberg’s Method by Anna Strasberg, Lee’s former student, widow, and current director of The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute
• Stella Adler Technique by Tom Oppenheim, Stella’s grandson and artistic director of the Stella Adler Institute in New York
• Sanford Meisner Technique by Victoria Hart, director of the Meisner Extension at New York University
• Michael Chekhov Technique and The Mask by Per Brahe, a Danish teacher inspired by Balinese dance and introduced to the Chekhov technique in Russia
• Uta Hagen Technique by Carol Rosenfeld, who taught under Hagen’s tutelage at the Herbert Berghof (HB) Studio
• Physical Acting Inspired by Grotowski by Stephen Wangh, who studied with Jerzy Grotowski himself
• The Viewpoints by Mary Overlie, the creator of Viewpoints theory
• Practical Aesthetics by Robert Bella of the David Mamet-inspired Atlantic Theatre Company school
• Interdisciplinary Training by Fritz Ertl, who teaches at the Playwrights Horizons Theatre School
• Neoclassical Training by Louis Scheeder, director of the Classical Studio of New York University
Arthur Bartow is the artistic director of the Department of Drama at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. A former associate director of Theatre Communications Group, he is the author of the landmark book The Director’s Voice.
Through its four-part structure, the volume introduces readers to important writings by international practitioners and scholars on:
* the contemporary context for documenting performance
* processes of documenting performance
* documenting bodies in motion
* documenting to create
In each, chapters examine the ways performance is documented and the issues arising out of the process of documenting performance. While theorists have argued that performance becomes something else whenever it is documented, the writings reveal how the documents themselves cannot be regarded simply as incomplete remains from live events. The methods for preserving and managing them over time, ensuring easy access of such materials in systematic archives and collections, requires professional attention in its own right. Through the process of documenting performance, artists acquire a different perspective on their own work, audiences can recall specific images and sounds for works they have witnessed in person, and others who did not see the original work can trace the memories of particular events, or use them to gain an understanding of something that would otherwise remain unknown to them and their peers.
In this amazing autobiography, Kazan at seventy-eight brings to the undiluted telling of his story—and revelation of himself—all the passion, vitality, and truth, the almost outrageous honesty, that have made him so formidable a stage director (A Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman, All My Sons, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tea and Sympathy), film director (On the Waterfront, East of Eden, Gentleman’s Agreement, Splendor in the Grass, Baby Doll, The Last Tycoon, A Face in the Crowd), and novelist (the number-one best-seller The Arrangement.)
Kazan gives us his sense of himself as an outsider (a Greek rug merchant’s son born in Turkey, an immigrant’s son raised in New York and educated at Williams College). He takes us into the almost accidental sojourn at the Yale Drama School that triggered his commitment to theatre, and his edgy, exciting apprenticeship with the new and astonishing Group Theatre, as stagehand and stage manager—and as actor (Waiting for Lefty, Golden Boy) . . . his first nervous and then successful attempts at directing for theatre and movies (The Skin of Our Teeth, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) . . . his return to New York to co-found the Actors Studio (and his long and ambivalent relationship with Lee Strasberg) . . . his emergence as premier director on both coasts.
With his director’s eye for the telling scene, Kazan shares the joys and complications of production, his unique insights on acting, directing, and producing. He makes us feel the close presence of the actors, producers, and writers he’s worked with—James Dean, Marlon Brando, Tennessee Williams, Vivien Leigh, Tallulah Bankhead, Sam Spiegel, Darryl Zanuck, Harold Clurman, Arthur Miller, Budd Schulberg, James Baldwin, Clifford Odets, and John Steinbeck among them. He gives us a frank and affectionate portrait of Marilyn Monroe. He talks with startling candor about himself as husband and—in the years where he obsessively sought adventure outside marriage—as lover. For the first time, he discusses his Communist Party years and his wrenching decision in 1952 to be a cooperative witness before HUAC. He writes about his birth as a writer.
The pace and organic drama of his narrative, his grasp of the life and politics of Broadway and Hollywood, the keenness with which he observes the men and women and worlds around him, and, above all, the honest with which he pursues and captures his own essence, make this one of the most fascinating autobiographies of our time.
Davis and Emeljanow thoroughly examine the composition of these theatres' audiences, their behavior, and their attendance patterns by looking at topography, social demography, police reports, playbills, autobiographies and diaries, newspaper accounts, economic and social factors as seen in census returns, maps and transportation data, and the managerial policies of each theatre.
Using the analytical tools of literary analysis, cultural studies, performance theory, and social semiotics, AIDS and American Apocalypticism examines many kinds of discourse, including fiction, drama, performance art, demonstration graphics and brochures, biomedical publications, and journalism and shows that, while initially useful, the effects of apocalyptic rhetoric in the long term are dangerous. Among the important figures in AIDS activism and the arts discussed are David Drake, Tim Miller, Sarah Schulman, and Tony Kushner, as well as the organizations ACT UP and Lesbian Avengers.
Free supplementary materials for this textbook are available at the Reacting to the Past website. Visit https://reacting.barnard.edu/instructor-resources, click on the RTTP Game Library link, and create a free account to download what is available.
Richard Neupert first tracks the precursors to New Wave cinema, showing how they provided blueprints for those who would follow. He then demonstrates that it was a core group of critics-turned-directors from the magazine Cahiers du Cinéma—especially François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, and Jean-Luc Godard—who really revealed that filmmaking was changing forever. Later, their cohorts Eric Rohmer, Jacques Rivette, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, and Pierre Kast continued in their own unique ways to expand the range and depth of the New Wave.
In an exciting new chapter, Neupert explores the subgroup of French film practice known as the Left Bank Group, which included directors such as Alain Resnais and Agnès Varda. With the addition of this new material and an updated conclusion, Neupert presents a comprehensive review of the stunning variety of movies to come out of this important era in filmmaking.
Kabuki, arising in the late seventeenth century, is the theater of the commoner. The successive syllables of Kabuki mean "song – dance – skill." The precursors of Kabuki were the puppet theater and the comic interludes in the stately, aristocratic Noh drama – all fully described by the author. In the modem era the Japanese have broken away from Kabuki, and their stage has shown a realistic trend. Left–wing theater groups arose in the 1920’s, were suppressed by the militarists, and then revived during the occupation.
Appended to the historical chapters are Mr. Bowers's translations of three Kabuki plays: The Monstrous Spider, Gappo and His Daughter Tsuji, and the bombastic Sukeroku.
This book, with its many excellent photographs, is a permanent addition to the West's knowledge of the exotic, exciting theater of Japan and its tradition of great acting.
Special Drama is looked down upon by the middle- and upper-classes as too popular, too vulgar, and too “mixed.” The artists are stigmatized: people insult them in public and landlords refuse to rent to them. Stigma falls most heavily, however, on actresses, who are marked as “public women” by their participation in Special Drama. As Susan Seizer’s sensitive study shows, one of the primary ways the performers deal with such stigma is through humor and linguistic play. Their comedic performances in particular directly address questions of class, culture, and gender deviations—the very issues that so stigmatize them. Seizer draws on extensive interviews with performers, sponsors, audience members, and drama agents as well as on careful readings of live Special Drama performances in considering the complexities of performers’ lives both on stage and off.
Here is the expanded edition of classic outré book, The Grand Guignol, first published in 1988 and now long out of print.
Like the original anthology, it includes an illustrated introduction to the theater of Paris and abroad, a breakdown of its stage tricks, a summary of one hundred plots, extensive photo documentation, André de Lord's essay, "Fear in Literature," and two originally produced Grand Guignol scripts.
The expanded edition also contains additional graphic and textual material including a color insert of Grand Guignol posters; the 1938 autobiographical account of Maxa, the company's leading female performer entitled "I Am the Maddest Woman in the World"; and the controversial playscript Orgy in the Lighthouse.
"Imagine if you took a giant hatpin and stuck it into Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky. Once all the hot air had leaked out of that melodrama about a working-class underdog who wins fame, fortune and love in the boxing ring, you might find something very much like Richard Maxwell’s Boxing 2000. By taking a conventional formula and draining it of all its humid sentimentality and synthetic adrenaline, Mr. Maxwell discovers something new and unexpected. Boxing 2000 is a real knockout: a play that not only challenges theatrical clichés, but your ideas about theatre itself."—Wall Street Journal
""It’s a sensation that’s felt all too rarely these days. Watching Mr. Maxwell’s work makes you think of what it must have been like to stumble upon the baffling but seductive creations of a young Sam Shepard in the early 1960’s in the East Village."—, New York Times
This first volume collects nine of Maxwell’s early works: Boxing 2000, Caveman, House (1999 OBIE Award winner), Showy Lady Slipper and others.
Richard Maxwell is a writer, director and songwriter. He began his acting career with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, where he helped found the Cook County Theater Department, which challenged the principles of traditional acting training. He is artistic director of New York City Players. His plays have been performed in the U.S. at Soho Rep, The Kitchen, P.S. 122, HERE, the Williamstown Theater Festival, Walker Arts Center and the Wexner Center for the Arts; and in Paris, Berlin, Dublin, Brussels, Amsterdam and Vienna.
From artists to spectators, readers, listeners, or audiences, the idea of transformation is one familiar to cultures across the globe. Transformation of the individual is only one part of this aesthetic phenomenon, as contemporary artists are increasingly called upon to have a transformative, sustainable impact on society at large. To this end, Erika Fischer Lichte and Benjamin Wihstutz present a series of fresh perspectives on the discussion of aesthetics, uniting Western theory with that of India, China, Australia, and beyond.
Each chapter of Transformative Aesthetics focuses on a different approach to transformation, from the foundations of aesthetics to contemporary theories, breaking new ground to establish a network of thought that spans theatre, performance, art history, cultural studies, and philosophy.
Method Acting and Its Discontents: On American Psycho-Drama provides a new understanding of a crucial chapter in American theater history. Enelow’s consideration of the broader cultural climate of the late 1950s and early 1960s, specifically the debates within psychology and psychoanalysis, the period’s racial and sexual politics, and the rise of mass media, gives us a nuanced, complex picture of Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio and contemporaneous works of drama. Combining cultural analysis, dramaturgical criticism, and performance theory, Enelow shows how Method acting’s contradictions reveal powerful tensions inside mid-century notions of individual and collective identity.
An essential read for anyone seeking to learn more about world theatre, World Theatre: The Basics provides a clear, accessible roadmap for approaching non-Western theatre.
The moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him." - Henry
George Bernard Shaw famously refused to permit any play of his "to be degraded into an operetta or set to any music except its own." Allowing his beloved Pygmalion to be supplanted by a comic opera was therefore unthinkable; yet Lerner and Loewe transformed it into My Fair Lady (1956), a musical that was to delight audiences and critics alike. By famously reversing Shaw’s original ending, the show even dared to establish a cunningly romantic ending.
Keith Garebian delves into the libretto for a fresh take, and explores biographies of the show’s principal artists to discover how their roles intersected with real life.
Rex Harrison was an alpha male onstage and off, Julie Andrews struggled with her ‘chaste diva’ image, and the direction of the sexually ambiguous Moss Hartcontributed to the musical’s sexual coding.
Carolyn Williams underscores Gilbert and Sullivan's creative and acute understanding of cultural formations. Her unique perspective shows how anxiety drives the troubled mind in the Lord Chancellor's "Nightmare Song" in Iolanthe and is vividly realized in the sexual and economic phrasing of the song's patter lyrics. The modern body appears automated and performative in the "Junction Song" in Thespis, anticipating Charlie Chaplin's factory worker in Modern Times. Williams also illuminates the use of magic in The Sorcerer, the parody of nautical melodrama in H.M.S. Pinafore, the ridicule of Victorian aesthetic and idyllic poetry in Patience, the autoethnography of The Mikado, the role of gender in Trial by Jury, and the theme of illegitimacy in The Pirates of Penzance. With her provocative reinterpretation of these artists and their work, Williams recasts our understanding of creativity in the late nineteenth century.