By Anne Bogart

A thought-provoking exam of the demanding situations of constructing theatre.

content material: reminiscence --
Violence --
Eroticism --
Terror --
Stereotype --
Embarrassment --
Resistance.
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An exam of the demanding situations inherent in making theatre. concentrating on the braveness required to create "art with nice presence", every one bankruptcy tackles one of many seven significant parts pointed out with Read more...

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Additional info for A Director Prepares: Seven Essays on Art and Theatre

Sample text

Our cultural treasure trove is full to bursting. And the journeys will change us, make us better, bigger and more connected. We enjoy a rich, diverse and unique history and to celebrate it is to remember it. To remember it is to use it. To use it is to be true to who we are. A great deal of energy and imagination is demanded. And an interest in remembering and describing where we come from. Robert Edmond Jones wrote this in The Dramatic Imagination: ••• In all these dramas of the past there is a dream—an excitement, a high, rare mood, a conception of greatness.

Is entertainment the bedrock of American theatre and the basis upon which all judgement of theatre originates? If the European humanist tradition perceives art as reflection, do we know it mainly as diversion? The hard-working/hard-playing men who carved out the frontier craved live entertainment, the sleazier the better. Yet a puritanical ambivalence prevailed by marked resistance to theatrical presentations. Plays were denounced as snares of the devil by anti-theatre literature with titles like ‘The Theater, the High Road to Hell’.

Theatre’s progress was 32 ••• MEMORY impeded not only by moral prejudice, but by a rigid belief among the middle classes that stage productions were frivolous and wasteful of precious time. Even music confronted fervent religious resistance. In 1778, with the Colonial forces fighting for life and liberty, the Federal Congress adopted a law prohibiting theatre in any form. Despite this resistance, a tremendous diversity of entertainment appeared in pre-Civil War America. The variety of ethnicities settling the colonies accounts for the heterogeneity: wagon shows, magic-lantern presentations, panoramas, circuses, minstrel shows, show boats or ‘floating theatres’, wild-west shows, melodramas, and travelling Shakespeare companies.

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