Consider the Source

By Peithman, Stephen | Stage Directions, July 2003 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Consider the Source

Peithman, Stephen, Stage Directions

Scholarship and performance theory inform this month's offerings.

The theater community is made up of what Los Angeles Times critic Howard Rosenberg once called "a herd of independent minds." That's nowhere more obvious than in the many approaches to plays and performances reflected in this month's survey of recently published books.

For more than 40 years,Tadashi Suzuki has created and directed such internationally acclaimed productions as Euripides' The Trojan Women.An integral part of his work has been the development and teaching of a rigorous and controversial training system, the Suzuki method (not to be confused with the musical training method of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki). In The Art Of Stillness: The Theater Practice Of Tadashi Suzuki, Paul Allait! reviews and evaluates Suzuld's work and method, including his collaborators, the importance of architecture and environment in his theater and his impact on performance around the world. Written in straightforward, often lively style, The Art Of Stillness sheds new light on an important and uncompromising figure in contemporary world theater. [ISBN 1-4039-6170-0, $18.95, Palgrave Macmillan]

Staging Masculinities: History, Gender, Performance is an intriguing critical history of how changing concepts of masculinity have been represented and explored on Western, in particular English stages. Michael Mangan analyzes a wide variety of plays and performances, ranging from medieval liturgical drama to contemporary West End hits, tracing a complex relationship between theatrical and gender performance. Chapters include "Staging Medieval Masculinities,""Sighing Like a Furnace and Full of Strange Oaths: Lovers and Soldiers in Shakespeare," "The Spectacle of Masculinity in the Restoration Theatre" and "Outlaws and Sentiment: Masculinities in the Eighteenth-Century Theatre." This is a scholarly work, but one that reads well. [ISBN 0-333-72019-9, $24.95, Palgrave Macmillan]

While designed as a textbook, The Twentieth Century Performance Reader provides an encyclopedic introduction to all types of performance-dance, drama, music and opera-through a selection of texts by more than 30 practitioners, critics and theorists. Organized alphabetically rather than chronologically or according to art form, the book invites cross-disciplinary comparisons. Highlights include "Laurie Anderson: The Speed of Change," "Antonin Artaud: Theatre and Cruelty," "Peter Brook: The Deadly Theatre" and "Isadora Duncan: The Dancer of the Future." Each article includes contextual summaries and suggestions for further reading. Editors Michael Huxley and Noel Wilts also provide a helpful chronology of texts plus a bibliography of 20th-century performance. [ISBN 0-415-25287-3, $35.95, Routledge]

As its title suggests, Conversations With Peter Brook, 1970-2000 is a vol unie of interviews with the famous English director, exploring his work and the innovations that helped forge such ground-breaking productions as King Lear, Marat/Sade, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Mahabharata. Since the creation in the 1970s of his International Center for Theater Research in Paris, Brook has focused on teaching and researching as well as directing, and is always looking for new ways of challenging actors and audiences to question both the performance of the piece and the larger truth surrounding it.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Consider the Source


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?