On the Art of the Theatre

On the Art of the Theatre

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On the Art of the Theatre

On the Art of the Theatre

Read FREE!

Excerpt

I think Mr. Craig is the truest revolutionist I have ever known, because he demands a return to the most ancient traditions of which we can dream. Revolution and revelation are not far each from the other, and he gives us both. His torch, destined to set on fire our pseudo-Theatres, our monstrous and barbarous play-houses, has been kindled at the sacred fires of the most ancient arts. He discovered for us that in a rope-dancer there may be more theatrical art than in an up-to-date actor reciting from his memory and depending on his prompter. I am sure all who are working on the stage throughout Europe, creative minds, or stage- managers priding themselves on their being creative minds, cannot be but most grateful to Mr. Craig, and must regard all that is and shall be done in his honour to be done in the vital interest of the very Art of the Theatre.

For more than a hundred years there have been two men working on the stage, spoiling almost all that is to be called Theatrical Art. These two men are the Realist and the Machinist. The Realist offers imitation for life, and the Machinist tricks in place of marvels. So we have lost the truth and the marvel of life--that is, we have lost the main thing possessed by the art. The Art of the Theatre as pure imitation is nothing but an alarming demonstration of the abundance of life and the narrowness of Art.

It is like the ancient example of the child who was trying to empty the sea with a shell, and, as for the wonderful tricks of the machinist, they may be marvellous, but they can never be a marvel. A

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