Drafting for the Theatre
Dennis Dorn and Mark Shanda Southern Illinois University Press, 2011 Library of Congress T357.D67 2011 | Dewey Decimal 792.025
In this newly revised second edition, veteran stage designers and technical directors Dennis Dorn and Mark Shanda introduce industry-standard drafting and designing practices with step-by-step discussions, illustrations, worksheets, and problems to help students develop and refine drafting and other related skills needed for entertainment set production work. By incorporating the foundational principles of both hand- and computer-drafting approaches throughout the entire book, the authors illustrate how to create clear and detailed drawings that advance the production process.
Early chapters focus on the basics of geometric constructions, orthographic techniques, soft-line sketching applications, lettering, and dimensioning. Later chapters discuss real-life applications of production drawing and ancillary skills such as time and material estimation and shop-drawing nomenclature. Two chapters detail a series of design and shop drawings required to mount a specific design project, providing a guided path through both phases of the design/construction process. Most chapters conclude with one or more worksheets or problems that provide readers with an opportunity to test their understanding of the material presented.
The authors' discussion of universal CAD principles throughout the manuscript provides a valuable foundation that can be used in any computer-based design, regardless of the software. Dorn and Shanda treat the computer as another drawing tool, like the pencil or T-square, but one that can help a knowledgeable drafter potentially increase personal productivity and accuracy when compared to traditional hand-drafting techniques.
Drafting for the Theatre, second edition assembles in one book all the principal types of drawings, techniques, and conventional wisdom necessary for the production of scenic drafting, design, and shop drawings. It is richly illustrated with numerous production examples and is fully indexed to assist students and technicians in finding important information. It is structured to support a college-level course in drafting, but will also serve as a handy reference for the working theatre professional.
Making use of invaluable archival material, Feinberg's biographical account is followed by a study of Tabori's experimental theatre work. As did prominent avant-gardists such as Grotowski or Chaikin, Tabori sought to open up new vistas in an otherwise mainstream theatre system. Feinberg pays special attention to Tabori's theatrical innovations, most movingly found in his Holocaust plays. There Feinberg shows the ways in which Tabori's theatre becomes a locus of remembrance (Gedächtnisort) and of unique, engaging memory-work (Erinnerungsarbeit).
For Count Carlo Gozzi (1720-1806), theater was a fabulous world apart, in which human beings, statues, and animals change places by magical transformations. Gozzi's stage becomes a multiscenic home for adventures, loves, enmities, and dazzling visual effects. This collection brings together for the first time modern English translations of five of Gozzi's most famous plays: The Raven, The King Stag, Turandot, The Serpent Woman, and The Green Bird, each annotated by the translators and preceded by the author's preface. Ted Emery's Introduction places Gozzi in his social and historical context, tracing his world view in both the content and the form of his tales.
In the ten works he called fiable or fairy tales, Gozzi intermingled characters from the traditional and improvised commedia dell'arte with exotic figures of his own invention. During Gozzi's lifetime, Goethe and Schiller translated and produced some of his dramas at the Weimar Theatre. In our century, the dramas have reasserted themselves under the direction of Max Reinhardt, Vsevolod Meyerhold, George Devine, and Benno Besson, as well as in operatic adaptations by Puccini and Prokofiev.
The powerful conflicts, the idyllic and fearsome settings, and the startling transformations in these plays offer exceptional opportunities to actors, directors, and designers. The lively translations are faithful to Gozzi's Italian, while being eminently playable for English-speaking audiences today. Two of the translations have already had highly successful stagings by Andrei Serban at the American Repertory Theatre and on tour.
Form and the Art of Theatre
Paul Newell Campbell University of Wisconsin Press, 1984 Library of Congress PN1655.C29 1984 | Dewey Decimal 809.2
This book is an argument for a particular point of view toward theatre, not a summary or survey of dramatic theory and criticism. The argument centers on the concept of form, a concept that is the rock on which all theoretical and critical works are built, or against which they shatter.
Making spirits visible has been a part of the theatrical experience since at least the sixteenth century. Instead of illusions, however, ghostly doubles in theatre are materially real and pervasive.
In Ghosts, Alice Rayner examines theatre as a memorial practice that is haunted by the presence of loss, looking at how aspects of stagecraft turn familiar elements into something uncanny. Citing examples from the works of Shakespeare, Beckett, and Suzan-Lori Parks as well as the films Vertigo, Gaslight, and The Sixth Sense, she begins by describing time as it is employed by theatre with multiple aspects of presence, duration, and passage. Suggesting that objects connect past to present through the sense of touch, she explores how props are suspended backstage between motion and meaning. Her final chapters consider the curtain as theatre’s means for attempting to divide real and imaginary worlds.
If ghosts hover where secrets—secrets of the past, secrets from oneself, secrets of life and death—are kept, then, according to Rayner, “theatre is where ghosts best make their appearances and let communities and individuals know that we live amid secrets hiding in plain sight.”
Alice Rayner is associate professor of drama at Stanford University and author of, most recently, To Act, To Do, To Perform: Drama and the Phenomenology of Action.
The latest volume in the Michigan Modern Dramatists series offers an authoritative but accessible look at Harold Pinter, one of the greatest and most influential postwar British playwrights and author of classic works such as The Birthday Party and The Homecoming. Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005 for his remarkable body of work and plays that "uncover the precipice under everyday prattle and force entry into oppression's closed rooms."
Harold Pinter: The Theatre of Powerfocuses on the playwright's continuously innovative experiments in theatrical form while tracing the recurrence of a consistent set of ethical and epistemological concerns. Exploring important plays from across this prolific writer’s career, author Robert Gordon argues that the motivating force in almost all of Pinter's drama is the ceaseless desire for power, represented in his work as a compulsive drive to achieve or maintain dominance—whether it be the struggle to defend one's own territory from intruders, the father's battle with his sons to assert his patriarchal position in the family, the manipulation of erotic feelings in the gender warfare that motivates sexual relationships, the abuse of brute force by dictatorships and democracies, or simply the masculine obsession to dominate. Gordon demonstrates the adventurousness of Pinter's experimentation with form while at the same time exposing the ethical, epistemological, and aesthetic preoccupations that have persisted with remarkable consistency throughout his career.
Throughout theatrical history, almost every element in stage production has been recycled. Indeed any regular theatergoer is familiar with the experience of a performance that conjures the ghosts of previous productions. The Haunted Stage explores this theatrical déjà vu, and examines how it stimulates the spectator's memory. Relating the dynamics of reception to the interaction between theater and memory, The Haunted Stage uncovers the ways in which the memory of the spectator informs the process of theatrical reception.
Marvin Carlson is Sidney E. Cohn Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature at the City University of New York.
David B. Coplan’s pioneering social history of black South Africa’s urban music, dance, and theatre established itself as a classic soon after its publication in 1985. As the first substantial history of black performing arts in South Africa, In Township Tonight! was championed by a broad range of scholars and treasured by fans of South African music. Now completely revised, expanded, and updated, this new edition takes account of developments over the last thirty years while reflecting on the massive changes in South African politics and society since the end of the apartheid era.
In vivid detail, Coplan comprehensively explores more than three centuries of the diverse history of South Africa’s black popular culture, taking readers from indigenous musical traditions into the world of slave orchestras, pennywhistlers, clergyman-composers, the gumboot dances of mineworkers, and touring minstrelsy and vaudeville acts. This up-to-date edition of a landmark work will be welcomed by scholars of ethnomusicology and African studies, world music fans, and anyone concerned with South Africa and its development.
Claribel Baird reviews the interpretation of classical texts for theatrical performance. Howard Bay interrupted his stage design career of more than 150 Broadway productions to help students. BernardBeckerman asks if there are approaches to the teaching of dramatic literature that particularly suit drama-as-theatre. Robert Benedetti offers suggestions on the teaching of acting. OscarBrockett treats the problems of the theatre teacher and the processes of learning.
AgnesHaaga shows that the essential quality in heading up child drama programs is a sense of joyous delight. Wallace Smith discusses methods for teaching secondary schooltheatre. Jewel Walker offers a rare written statement about his work as a theatre teacher. Carl Weber conveys the principles and methodology of his mentor, Bertolt Brecht, to beginning directors.
Author Noe Montez considers how theatre, as a site of activism, produces memory narratives that change public reception to a government’s transitional justice policies. Drawing on contemporary research in memory studies and transitional justice, Montez examines the Argentine theatre’s responses to the country’s transitional justice policies—truth and reconciliation hearings, trials, amnesties and pardons, and memorial events and spaces—that have taken place in the last decade of the twentieth century and the first two decades of the twenty-first century.
Montez explores how the sociohistorical phenomenon of the Teatroxlaidentidad—an annual showcase staged with the support of Argentina’s Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo—acted as a vehicle for drawing attention to the hundreds of children kidnapped from their families during the dictatorship and looks at why the memory narratives regarding the Malvinas Islands (also known as the Falklands) range from ideological appropriations of the islands, to absurdist commentaries about the failed war that signaled the dictatorship’s end, to the islands’ heavily contested status today.
Memory, Transitional Justice, and Theatre in Postdictatorship Argentina explores the vibrant role of theatrical engagement in postdictatorship Argentina, analyzes plays by artists long neglected in English-language articles and books, and explores the practicalities of staging performances in Latin America.
The idea of staging a nation dates from the Enlightenment, but the full force of the idea emerges only with the rise of mass politics. Comparing English, French, and American attempts to establish national theatres at moments of political crisis—from the challenge of socialism in late nineteenth-century Europe to the struggle to "salvage democracy" in Depression America—Kruger poses a fundamental question: in the formation of nationhood, is the citizen-audience spectator or participant?
The National Stage answers this question by tracing the relation between theatre institution and public sphere in the discourses of national identity in Britain, France, and the United States. Exploring the boundaries between history and theory, text and performance, this book speaks to theatre and social historians as well as those interested in the theoretical range of cultural studies.
Many ingenious theatrical worlds have been created for the fairy world of A Midsummer Night's Dream, from the baroque to the postmodern. This is the quintessential play for understanding the ways in which scenery, costumes, music, lighting, and playing spaces affect our experience of Shakespeare. A Midsummer Night's Dream also proves to be extraordinarily responsive to the cultural winds of each era, easily circulating a variety of sometimes competing social interests.
In his richly detailed, beautifully illustrated history of Shakespeare's most popular play—the first comprehensive study of A Midsummer Night's Dream in the theatre—Gary Jay Williams covers four hundred years of landmark productions in Europe, the United States, and Canada as well as important opera, dance, and film adaptations. Williams shows how the visual and musical vocabularies of production can be read as cultural texts and how these meditative texts determine this play's available meanings from generation to generation. His account, then, is the story of our imaginative and astonishing uses of Shakespeare's play.
Many famous theatre artists have been drawn to this play, and many of their productions have been turning points in theatre history. Williams offers detailed theatrical and cultural analyses of the productions of David Garrick, Ludwig Tieck, Elizabeth Vestris, Charles Kean, Harley Granville-Barker, Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Max Reinhardt, Peter Brook, Liviu Ciulei, and other artists. His engaging, intelligent study will be invaluable to scholars and teachers of Shakespeare and theatre history and to professional directors, designers, critics, and actors.
•The Wedding-play Myth and the Dream in Full Play
•Shakespeare Absolute: Fairies, Gods, and Oranges in Purcell's Fairy Queen
•The Scenic Language of Empire
•These Antique Fables . . . These Fairy Toys”
•The National and Natural Dream
•The Dream of Modernism: The “New Hieroglyphic Language of Scenery” and the Theology of the Text
•The Dream of Modernism: The Sacred and the Secular
•Postmodernism: “The Fierce Vexation of a Dream”
Passionate Amateurstells a new story about modern theater: the story of a romantic attachment to theater’s potential to produce surprising experiences of human community. It begins with one of the first great plays of modern European theater—Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya in Moscow—and then crosses the 20th and 21st centuries to look at how its story plays out in Weimar Republic Berlin, in the Paris of the 1960s, and in a spectrum of contemporary performance in Europe and the United States. This is a work of historical materialist theater scholarship, which combines a materialism grounded in a socialist tradition of cultural studies with some of the insights developed in recent years by theorists of affect, and addresses some fundamental questions about the social function and political potential of theater within modern capitalism. Passionate Amateurs argues that theater in modern capitalism can help us think afresh about notions of work, time, and freedom. Its title concept is a theoretical and historical figure, someone whose work in theater is undertaken within capitalism, but motivated by a love that desires something different. In addition to its theoretical originality, it offers a significant new reading of a major Chekhov play, the most sustained scholarly engagement to date with Benjamin’s “Program for a Proletarian Children’s Theatre,” the first major consideration of Godard’s La chinoise as a “theatrical” work, and the first chapter-length discussion of the work of The Nature Theatre of Oklahoma, an American company rapidly gaining a profile in the European theater scene.
Passionate Amateurscontributes to the development of theater and performance studies in a way that moves beyond debates over the differences between theater and performance in order to tell a powerful, historically grounded story about what theater and performance are for in the modern world.
How, why, and according to whose definitions and requirements does a culture self-consciously create memory and project its fate? In this remarkable book—the first in English to treat Russian history as theatre and cultural performance—Spencer Golub reveals the performative nature of Russian history in the twentieth century and the romantic imprisonment/self-imprisonment of the creative intelligentsia within this scenario.
The topic of the origins of theatre is one of the most controversial in theatre studies, with a long history of heated discussions and strongly held positions. In The Roots of Theatre, Eli Rozik enters the debate in a feisty way, offering not just another challenge to those who place theatre’s origins in ritual and religion but also an alternative theory of roots based on the cultural and psychological conditions that made the advent of theatre possible.
Rozik grounds his study in a comprehensive review and criticism of each of the leading historical and anthropological theories. He believes that the quest for origins is essentially misleading because it does not provide any significant insight for our understanding of theatre. Instead, he argues that theatre, like music or dance, is a sui generis kind of human creativity—a form of thinking and communication whose roots lie in the spontaneous image-making faculty of the human psyche.
Rozik’s broad approach to research lies within the boundaries of structuralism and semiotics, but he also utilizes additional disciplines such as psychoanalysis, neurology, sociology, play and game theory, science of religion, mythology, poetics, philosophy of language, and linguistics. In seeking the roots of theatre, what he ultimately defines is something substantial about the nature of creative thought—a rudimentary system of imagistic thinking and communication that lies in the set of biological, primitive, and infantile phenomena such as daydreaming, imaginative play, children’s drawing, imitation, mockery (caricature, parody), storytelling, and mythmaking.
Theatrical playing, Hamlet famously averred, holds a mirror up to nature. But unlike the reflections in the mirror, the theater’s images are composed of real objects, most notably bodies, that have an independent existence outside the world of reflection. Throughout Western theater history there have been occasions when the reality behind the illusion was placed on display. In recent years theaters in Europe and North America have begun calling attention to the real in their work—presenting performers who did not create characters and who may not even have been actors, but who appeared on stage as themselves; texts created not by dramatic authors but drawn from real life; and real environments sometimes shared by actors and performers and containing real elements accessible to both. These practices, argues Marvin Carlson, constitute a major shift in the practical and phenomenological world of theater, and a turning away from mimesis, which has been at the heart of the theater since Aristotle. Shattering Hamlet's Mirror: Theatre and Reality examines recent and contemporary work by such groups as Rimini Protokoll, Societas Raffaelo Sanzio, the Gob Squad, Nature Theatre of Oklahoma, and Foundry Theatre, while revealing the deep antecedents of today’s theater, placing it in useful historical perspective. While many may consider it a post-postmodern phenomenon, the “theater of the real,” as it turns out, has very deep roots.
Theatre, in some respects, resembles a market. Stories, rituals, ideas, perceptive modes, conversations, rules, techniques, behavior patterns, actions, language, and objects constantly circulate back and forth between theatre and the other cultural institutions that make up everyday life in the twentieth century. These exchanges, which challenge the established concept of theatre in a way that demands to be understood, form the core of Erika Fischer-Lichte's dynamic book.
Each eclectic essay investigates the boundaries that separate theatre from other cultural domains. Every encounter between theatre and other art forms and institutions renegotiates and redefines these boundaries as part of an ongoing process. Drawing on a wealth of fascinating examples, both historical and contemporary, Fischer-Lichte reveals new perspectives in theatre research from quite a number of different approaches. Energetically and excitingly, she theorizes history, theorizes and historicizes performance analysis, and historicizes theory.
Theater, as distinct from other dramatic media, is essentially a relationship between performer, spectator, and the space in which both come together. Space in Performance examines the way theater buildings function to frame the performance event, the organization of audience and practitioner spaces within the building, the nature of the stage and the modes of representation it facilitates, and the relationship between the real space of the theater and the fictional places that are evoked.
The book's theoretical and methodological framework is both semiotic and phenomenological, based in part from the seminal work of Anne Ubersfeld, from direct observation of the rehearsal process, and from documentation and analysis of professional performances. The situation of the academic observer in the rehearsal room has much in common with that of the ethnographer in the field, and contemporary ethnographic practice provides a third theoretical and methodological perspective to this study.
Performance studies is an emerging discipline, and it is still evolving appropriate methodologies. The multi-faceted approach adopted here will engage theater and performance studies specialists, those concerned with modes of representation in contemporary culture, and students of theater, semiotics, architecture, set design, acting and performance theory. It also offers a great deal to theater practitioners as well as to spectators interested in deepening their appreciation of theater art. It is written in a simple, accessible way, and the theory always emerges from descriptions of practice.
"An excellent study that imaginatively summarizes, synthesizes, and intelligently critiques a wide range of previous theory and practice while making an important new contribution to the field of theater studies." --Marvin Carlson, City University of New York
Gay McAuley is Director of the Centre for Performance Studies, University of Sydney.
Speaking in Tongues presents a unique account of how language has been employed in the theatre, not simply as a means of communication but also as a stylistic and formal device, and for a number of cultural and political operations. The use of multiple languages in the contemporary theatre is in part a reflection of a more globalized culture, but it also calls attention to how the mixing of language has always been an important part of the functioning of theatre.
The book begins by investigating various "levels" of language-high and low style, prose and poetry-and the ways in which these have been used historically to mark social positions and relationships. It next considers some of the political and historical implications of dialogue theatre, as well as theatre that literally employs several languages, from classical Greek examples to the postmodern era. Carlson treats with special attention the theatre of the postcolonial world, and especially the triangulation of the local language, the national language, and the colonial language, drawing on examples of theatre in the Caribbean, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Finally, Carlson considers the layering of languages in the theatre, such as the use of supertitles or simultaneous signing.
Speaking in Tongues draws important social and political conclusions about the role of language in cultural power, making a vital contribution to the fields of theatre and performance.
Marvin Carlson is Sidney E. Cohn Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature, CUNY Graduate Center. He is author of Performance: A Critical Introduction; Theories of the Theatre: A Historical and Critical Survey, from the Greeks to the Present; and The Haunted Stage: The Theatre as Memory Machine, among many other books.
Painter, photographer, alchemist—but ultimately, playwright, and outstanding playwright at that—the figure of August Strindberg (1849–1912) towers over late-nineteenth century drama. Strindberg’s electrifying theatrical work resonated with the public in his own lifetime, and continues to impress audiences around the globe today. A restless innovator of various dramatic forms, he served as a source of inspiration for legendary figures like Eugene O’Neill, Samuel Beckett, and Ingmar Bergman, and proved seminal to the development of modern drama as we know it. Though Strindberg’s preface to Miss Julie and his prefatory note to A Dream Play are well known, Strindberg’s frequent commentary on drama and theatre in general are less familiar, as are most of his plays. Strindberg on Drama and Theatre presents the most important of these comments, chronologically assembled and annotated, many of them published for the first time in English. An essential resource for those interested in one of our most modern playwrights, as well as a thrilling read for the dedicated theatre lover, Strindberg on Drama and Theatre provides a fascinating look at one of our most powerful dramatic voices.
From the colonial period to independence and into the twenty-first century, Latin American culture has been mapped as a subordinate “other” to Europe and the United States. This collection reconsiders geographical space and power and the ways in which theatrical and performance histories have been constructed throughout the Americas. Essays bridge political, racial, gender, class, and national divides that have traditionally restricted and distorted our understanding of Latin American theatre and performance. Contributors—scholars and artists from throughout the Americas, including well-known playwrights, directors, and performers—imagine how to reposition the Latina/o Americas in ways that offer agency to its multiple peoples, cultures, and histories. In addition, they explore the ways artists can create new maps and methods for their creative visions.
Building on hemispheric and transnational models, this book demonstrates the capacity of theatre studies to challenge the up-down/North-South approach that dominates scholarship in the United States and presents a strong case for a repositioning of the Latina/o Americas in theatrical histories and practices.
What role did the theatre—both institutionally and literally—play in Russia’s modernization? How did the comparatively harmonious relationship that developed among the state, the nobility, and the theatre in the eighteenth century transform into ideological warfare between the state and the intelligentsia in the nineteenth? How were the identities of the Russian people and the Russian soul configured and altered by actors in St. Petersburg and Moscow? Using the dramatic events of nineteenth-century Russian history as a backdrop, Catherine Schuler answers these questions by revealing the intricate links among national modernization, identity, and theatre.
Schuler draws upon contemporary journals written and published by the educated nobility and the intelligentsia—who represented the intellectual, aesthetic, and cultural groups of the day—as well as upon the laws of the Russian empire and upon theatrical memoirs. With fascinating detail, she spotlights the ideologically charged binaries ascribed to prominent actors—authentic/performed, primitive/civilized, Russian/Western—that mirrored the volatility of national identity from the Napoleonic Wars through the reign of Alexander II.
If the path traveled by Russian artists and audiences from the turn of the nineteenth century to the era of the Great Reforms reveals anything about Russian culture and society, it may be that there is nothing more difficult than being Russian in Russia. By exploring the ways in which theatrical administrators, playwrights, and actors responded to three tsars, two wars, and a major revolt, this carefully crafted book demonstrates the battle for the hearts and minds of the Russian people.
Taking to heart Thomas Heywood’s claim that plays “persuade men to humanity and good life, instruct them in civility and good manners, showing them the fruits of honesty, and the end of villainy,” Mark Bayer’s captivating new study argues that the early modern London theatre was an important community institution whose influence extended far beyond its economic, religious, educational, and entertainment contributions. Bayer concentrates not on the theatres where Shakespeare’s plays were performed but on two important amphitheatres, the Fortune and the Red Bull, that offer a more nuanced picture of the Jacobean playgoing industry. By looking at these playhouses, the plays they staged, their audiences, and the communities they served, he explores the local dimensions of playgoing.
Focusing primarily on plays and theatres from 1599 to 1625, Bayer suggests that playhouses became intimately engaged with those living and working in their surrounding neighborhoods. They contributed to local commerce and charitable endeavors, offered a convivial gathering place where current social and political issues were sifted, and helped to define and articulate the shared values of their audiences. Bayer uses the concept of social capital, inherent in the connections formed among individuals in various communities, to construct a sociology of the theatre from below—from the particular communities it served—rather than from the broader perspectives imposed from above by church and state. By transacting social capital, whether progressive or hostile, the large public amphitheatres created new and unique groups that, over the course of millions of visits to the playhouses in the Jacobean era, contributed to a broad range of social practices integral to the daily lives of playgoers.
In lively and convincing prose that illuminates the significant reciprocal relationships between different playhouses and their playgoers, Bayer shows that theatres could inform and benefit London society and the communities geographically closest to them.
An astonishing variety of theatrical performances may be seen in the eight countries of Southeast Asia—Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. James Brandon spent more than three years observing and interviewing troupe members in these countries. He describes twenty-five of the most important theatrical forms, grouping them according to their origins as folk, court, popular, or Western theatre. He considers the theatre from four perspectives: its origins, its art, its role as a social institution, and its function as a medium of communication and propaganda. Brandon’s wide-ranging and lively discussion points out interesting similarities and differences among the countries, and many of his superb photographs are included here.
In this pioneering volume, Robert Skloot brings together four plays—three of which are published here for the first time—that fearlessly explore the face of modern genocide. The scripts deal with the destruction of four targeted populations: Armenians in Lorne Shirinian’s Exile in the Cradle, Cambodians in Catherine Filloux’s Silence of God, Bosnian Muslims in Kitty Felde’s A Patch of Earth, and Rwandan Tutsis in Erik Ehn’s Maria Kizito. Taken together, these four plays erase the boundaries of theatrical realism to present stories that probe the actions of the perpetrators and the suffering of their victims. A major artistic contribution to the study of the history and effects of genocide, this collection carries on the important journey toward understanding the terror and trauma to which the modern world has so often been witness.
The Theatre of Sabina Berman: The Agony of Ecstasy and Other Plays introduces and makes accessible to an English-speaking audience the work of the contemporary Mexican playwright Sabina Berman. The book contains translations of the four plays that established Berman’ s career: The Agony of Ecstasy, Yankee, Puzzle, and Heresy. An introduction by Adam Versé nyi provides a critical assessment of each play, a discussion of the specific problems of translation involved, and placement of Berman’ s work in the larger Mexican and Latin American context.
It is evident that Sabina Berman’ s theatrical acumen matches the depth of her dramatic design whether it is the sheer variety of techniques from song to staged tableau that appear in The Agony of Ecstasy; the physicalization of what it means to be interrogated and to interrogate in Yankee; the final enigmatic image of a soldier alone on stage, silently aiming his firearm at an undefined threat that potentially emanates from the audience in Puzzle; or the manner in which the family narrates its own “ heretical” actions in Heresy. It is the combination of theatrical technique with universal themes of self-definition that cuts across cultures and ultimately makes these plays translatable.
Resort 76 by Shimon Wincelberg
Will the relentless oppression of the starving workers in a ghetto factory destroy their faith in God? Their love of life? Their ability to resist? If a cat is more valuable than a human being, have hope and goodness been eliminated from the world? A moving and terrifying melodrama.
Throne of Straw by Harold and Edith Lieberman
Through the career of Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, head of the Lodz, Poland Judenrat, we come to understand the horror of “choiceless choice,” of how giving up some to save others was the worst nightmare for those who sought the responsibilities of ghetto leadership. An epic play with music and song.
The Cannibals by George Tabori
The children of murder victims assemble to enact ritually the destruction of their fathers in the presence of two survivors. As the sons become their fathers, the most profound ethical questions of the Holocaust are raised concerning the limits of humanity in a world of absolute evil. A daring tragicomedy.
Who Will Carry the Word? by Charlotte Delbo (translated by Cynthia Haft)
In the austere, degraded setting of a concentration camp, twenty-two French women attempt to keep their sanity and hope as, one by one, they fall victim to the Nazi terror. Will anyone believe the story of the survivors? A poetic drama of resistance and witness.
This second volume of The Theatre of the Holocaust, when combined with the first, represents the most significant and comprehensive international collection of plays on the Holocaust. Since the appearance of Volume 1 in 1982, theatre and Holocaust studies have undergone astonishing transformations. In Volume 2, Skloot presents six plays acknowleding the most recent theatrical forms in our post-modern age.
The Theatre of the Real: Yeats, Beckett, and Sondheim traces the thread of jouissance (the simultaneous experience of radical pleasure and pain) through three major theatre figures of the twentieth century. Gina Masucci MacKenzie’s work engages theatrical text and performance in dialogue with the Lacanian Real, so as to re-envision modern theatre as the cultural site where author, actor, and audience come into direct contact with personal and collective traumas. By showing how a transgressively free subject may be formed through theatrical experience, MacKenzie concludes that modern theatre can liberate the individual from the socially constructed self.
The Theatre of the Real revises views of modern theatre by demonstrating how it can lead to a collaborative effort required for innovative theatrical work. By foregrounding Yeats’s “dancer” plays, the author shows how these intimate pieces contribute to the historical development of musical as well as modern theatre. Beckett’s universal dramas then pave the way for Sondheim’s postmodern cacophonies of idea and spirit as they introduce comic abjection into modernism’s tragic mode. This exciting work from a new author will leave readers with fresh insight to theatrical performance and its necessity in our lives.
Traveler, There Is No Road offers a compelling and complex vision of the decolonial imagination in the United States from 1931 to 1943 and beyond. By examining the ways in which the war of interpretation that accompanied the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) circulated through Spanish and English language theatre and performance in the United States, Lisa Jackson-Schebetta demonstrates that these works offered alternative histories that challenged the racial, gender, and national orthodoxies of modernity and coloniality. Jackson-Schebetta shows how performance in the US used histories of American empires, Islamic legacies, and African and Atlantic trades to fight against not only fascism and imperialism in the 1930s and 1940s, but modernity and coloniality itself.
This book offers a unique perspective on 1930s theatre and performance, encompassing the theatrical work of the Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Spanish diasporas in the United States, as well as the better-known Anglophone communities. Jackson-Schebetta situates well-known figures, such as Langston Hughes and Clifford Odets, alongside lesser-known ones, such as Erasmo Vando, Franca de Armiño, and Manuel Aparicio. The milicianas, female soldiers of the Spanish Republic, stride on stage alongside the male fighters of the Lincoln Brigade. They and many others used the multiple visions of Spain forged during the civil war to foment decolonial practices across the pasts, presents, and futures of the Americas. Traveler conclusively demonstrates that theatre and performance scholars must position US performances within the Americas writ broadly, and in doing so they must recognize the centrality of the hemisphere’s longest-lived colonial power, Spain.
Vasari on Theatre
Thomas A. Pallen Southern Illinois University Press, 1999 Library of Congress PN2096.A1V37213 1999 | Dewey Decimal 792.025092245
In the process of creating the massive work that eventually became Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, painter and scholar Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574) spent much of the mid-sixteenth century traveling throughout Italy, meeting Renaissance artists and writing about their lives and works.
From this imposing source, Thomas A. Pallen has created a compendium of theatrical references augmented by related modern Italian scholarship. Vasari's Lives—daunting because of its sheer magnitude—has remained relatively obscure to English-speaking theatre historians. To introduce the numerous scenographic references of this great work to the English-speaking audience, Pallen provides new translations of all relevant passages, as well as a table of cross-references to the principal editions of Vasari in both English and Italian. And because Vasari often omitted important information, Pallen annotates the text, providing important names, places, and historical background.
Essentially, Pallen divides Vasari's work into four categories: triumphs and pageantry, ingegni for mystery plays and festivals, theatrical scenery, and miscellanea and lacunae. Although triumphs and pageantry were not directly theatrical, they were executed by many of the same artists who worked on theatrical productions and either used or introduced many Renaissance Italian theatrical techniques. The works described here range from tableaux vivants and other forms of street decoration to fireworks displays.
While Vasari did not personally know the work of either Filippo Brunelleschi or Francesco d'Angelo (called Cecca), he discusses their inventions for staging mystery plays and street festivals; indeed, Pallen shows how the work of these two artists paved the way for all later Renaissance scenography.
Pallen then deals with Vasari's references to and descriptions of the theatrical scenery and lighting effects of his time and the artists who created them. In accordance with the schema developed by Elena Povoledo, Pallen leads the reader through the evolution of scenographic thought and practice from the elementary work of Girolamo Genga to the advanced settings created by Vasari himself.
Robert R. Bataille demonstrates convincingly that between 1767 and 1777, Anglo-Irish writer Hugh Kelly made major contributions in three areas of British culture: politics, journalism, and theater. Bataille shows how all three activities were integrated in Kelly’s life, suggesting that such interrelationships often existed in the rough and ready London culture during the early reign of King George III.
When he discovered several newspaper campaigns that Kelly orchestrated as a paid political propagandist for George III and his ministers, Bataille understood in part how important Kelly was to his era. In his capacity as propagandist, Kelly defended Hanoverian colonial policies on the eve of the American Revolution, served as a key opponent of the radical Wilkites, and promoted the acceptance of the 1774 Quebec Bill, which established, among other things, the right of the recently defeated French citizens of Quebec to maintain the French language.
A belletristic journalist, Kelly published theater reviews and essays that played a major role in shaping the taste of his era. He wrote in defense of the controversial sentimental drama, and whenever he could, he promoted the major theatrical figure of the age, David Garrick. Under his editorship, the newspaper Public Ledger became a leading source of theater information. Seeking to raise the status of the profession of journalism, he wrote essays and articles that provided his middle-class readers with an insider’s view of the operations of the journalist.
Assessing Kelly’s contributions to the novel and drama, Bataille argues that this powerful journalist stands in the vanguard in the larger struggle against traditional attitudes supporting male superiority and aristocratic privilege. Kelly wrote in favor of gender equality and middle-class respectability, striving to inculcate what modern scholars refer to as the values of sensibility. Bataille also argues, however, that Kelly knew his audience. Instrumental in the rise of professional writing and popular culture, he understood that he had to observe the needs of his audience, detecting cultural trends and using the skills of the rhetorician.