Magazine article American Theatre

Galileo Connecticut Repertory Theatre

Magazine article American Theatre

Galileo Connecticut Repertory Theatre

Article excerpt

Gary M. English, DIRECTION: Our production of Galileo was conceived to challenge the political myths associated with Brecht's era as well as Galileo's. Brecht is interested in blowing up myths, including our political and economic assumptions about the way things are. To do this, he challenges the historical myth of Galileo as the martyred hero of Science, in part (as Eric Bentley points out) by inventing a Galileo who is a coward. His cowardice, however, also calls into question other myths, such as the good work of the Church and the development of the atomic bomb as an instrument of peace rather than of economic domination. Galileo was written and rewritten many times, in part because Brecht's target shifted from Nazi Germany to the post-World War II dangers of a cold war fueled by atomic weapons. With the situation in Iran and Israel now, one can hardly say that these questions have been settled. On another level, Brecht challenges formal and traditional dramatic structure. By using unconventional imagery and mixing periods and styles, we show how the play is dealing with our era and not just the 17th century.

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Rachel Levey, SET DESIGN: I saw Galileo's world as a series of domes. First there was the dome of the sky: When Galileo looks up, he sees vast expanses of space--his search for truth takes him far beyond the "ceiling" perceived by the society of his time. The opposing dome is that of the cathedral ceiling, which represents the Church's repression of Galileo's search for scientific truth. …

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