The Death of Character: Perspectives on Theater after Modernism

By Elinor Fuchs | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

I AM BEHOLDEN to many generous friends, colleagues, and institutions. I thank the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College for their support and encouragement at an early stage of this project. As drafts of chapters emerged, I have benefited from the readings and comments of Gayle Austin of Georgia State University, Ava Baron and Richard Butsch of Ryder College, Alice Benston, Michael Evenden and James W. Flannery of Emory University, Kathleen Hulley of New York University, James Leverett of the Yale School of Drama, Nina da Vinci Nichols of Rutgers, and Rebecca Schneider in her capacity as editor of TDR. I am grateful also to editors Erika Munk, then of the Village Voice, and James O’Quinn of American Theatre, whose contributions both substantive and stylistic are reflected in the “articles and reviews” section of the book, and to Erika’s attention to two draft chapters that appeared under her later editorship of Theater. I am indebted as well to Rolf Fjelde for our many happy discussions about Ibsen bibliography, and to Herbert Blau for early guidance and valuable advice.

I have learned much from discussions with artists. Elizabeth LeCompte, Richard Foreman, Ruth Maleczech, and Robert Wilson have illuminated my thinking even where interviews with them are not formally reflected in the text. Once-mentors and now collegial friends at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York have given generously of their time and knowledge: Daniel C. Gerould, whose understanding of symbolism and successive avantgardes lies at the root of all my work; Harry Carlson, whose interest in Strindberg deeply informs my own; and Albert Bermel and Marvin Carlson, whose encouragement has meant much to me. My gratitude also to Diane White, producer of the works of Reza Abdoh, for opening her photo archive to me, and to students, long since gone on to other things, who provided research assistance over the years: Ernest Kerns at Harvard; Peter Collins, Daniel Damkoelher, and Wayne Heller at Columbia; and Steven Frank and the indefatigable Melissa Leonard at New York University. I am also grateful to Karla Oeff for her careful reading of the manuscript.

Finally, I thank my two daughters, Claire Oakes Finkelstein and Katherine Eban Finkelstein, college students at the beginning of this project, and now admirable professional women, for their loving support. I thank Dr. John Ryan for his steadiness and affirmation through much of this writing. Above all, I thank David Cole and Susan Letzler Cole, whose passion for ideas often

-ix-

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The Death of Character: Perspectives on Theater after Modernism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Drama and Performance Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I- Modern after Modernism 19
  • 1- The Rise and Fall of the Character Named Character 21
  • 2- Pattern over Character the Modern Mysterium 36
  • 3- Counter-Stagings Ibsen against the Grain 52
  • Part II- Theater after Modernism 67
  • 4- Signaling through the Signs 69
  • 5- Another Version of Pastoral 92
  • 6- When Bad Girls Play Good Theaters 108
  • 7- Theater as Shopping 128
  • 8- Postmodernism and the Scene of Theater 144
  • Reviews and Articles 1979-1993 Reports from an Emerging Culture 159
  • Notes 199
  • Index 218
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