By Sidney Homan
This book represents performance criticism based on Sidney Homan's own experience in commercial and university theaters as an actor and director. From that experience he raises issues such as the degree to which the director can and should abide by the playwright's intentions. Using examples from playwrights as diverse as Albee, Wasserstein, and Ionesco, he asks: what are the strategies by which a director can engage the audience? At times he focuses on specific plays: creating a "history" for the minor character Saul Kimmer in Shepard's True West, thinking of the tape-recorder as a "character" in Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape. Other chapters tackle larger issues such as collaborating with the actors in Feiffer's Little Murders and the set designer in Pinter's Old Times. He also talks about creating and then directing an original play, More Letters to an Editor, and performing for such varied audiences as prison inmates and children on a hospital's psychiatric ward. Sidney Homan leads a double life as a scholar/teacher on the University of Florida campus and an actor/director in commercial and university theaters.