A sober look at experimental theater in the '60's, studying in depth both the theories and works of the Living and Open...

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LUNATICS, LOVERS, POETS

A sober look at experimental theater in the '60's, studying in depth both the theories and works of the Living and Open Theaters, Jerszy Grotowski, and Peter Brook, but also dealing to a lesser degree with Kaprow's happenings, Schechner's Performance Group, the Bread and Puppet Theater, Theater of the Ridiculous, etc. This was the decade when the last crumbs of creativity deserted Broadway, off-Broadway, and the regional theaters for the poverty and vitality of the lower East Side slums; when the playwright often not so much disappeared as became assimilated into a communal group in which acting, directing, and writing fused; an era of government-subsidized productions in which fantastic innovations occurred not only in the content and form of theater (theaters of gesture; theaters of silence) but in the relation of the audience both to the performers and the environment. Since the author's preoccupations are largely theoretical and prescriptive, one third of the book is devoted to historical precedents (Artaud and Jarry, the French Romantics and Symbolists, Stanislavsky, the existentialists), and she tends to slight the importance of theaters such as La Mama, Cafe Cino, and Judson Church where important off-off-Broadway playwrights like Tom Eyen, Roslyn Drexler, and Rochelle Owens consistently produced their works. This is a useful but rather parochial guide to the more austere dramatic experiments of the last decade, nearly all of which are now -- at least in their original form -- defunct.

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 1973

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1973