by Irene Eynat-Confino
Southern Illinois University Press, 1987
eISBN: 978-0-8093-8201-9 | Cloth: 978-0-8093-1372-3
Library of Congress Classification PN2598.C85E9 1987
Dewey Decimal Classification 792.02330924


Eynat-Confino goes beyond the usual consideration of Craig’s purported theories of the actor, scenery, and the scene painter to get at the heart of Craig’s idea of theater.

She draws not only on the research of contemporary Craig scholars but on material hitherto unavailable—his writings and daybooks and the writings of friends. She ties Craig’s encounter with Isadora Duncan to a decisive modification in his notion of movement. To have an instrument more controllable than the actor, he invented the über-­marionette, a giant puppet. Craig also invented the “Scene,” a kinetic stage, the “screens” that brought him worldwide fame were simply an adaptation of this concept.

Eynat-Confino argues that a scenario Craig wrote in 1905, here published for the first time, reveals a theosophical system like that of Blake, a system that was the main force motivating Craig’s artistic quest. In her final chapter, she carefully examines the psychological, aesthetic, and circumstantial factors that kept Craig from completing his work to bring “friendliness—humor—love—ease—peace” to the world.