ENTRANCES: An American Director's Journey by Alan Schneider

ENTRANCES: An American Director's Journey

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KIRKUS REVIEW

With candor and sincerity, the late director takes us through a life in the theater--one led with pride, focus and determination. ""We are each, as someone has said, the sum of all the signatures that life and times have written on us, ""he writes."" I for one cannot complain about my autograph collection."" Schneider directed over 180 productions including Anastasia, The Skin Of Our Teeth, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Tiny Alice, A Delicate Balance, Texas Trilogy, and the American premiere of Waiting For Godot. Considered the ""most favored director""of Albee and Pinter, his work was performed in New York, at the prestigious Arena Stage, in American regional theaters, and in London, Paris and Scotland. He directed for television and did a film--all the while collecting ""signatures"": Saroyan, Wilde, Williams, Chekhov, Shakespeare, O'Neill, Wilder, Odets, Miller, Ionesco, Brecht. His father admonished, ""When are you going to stop getting experience and just get a good job?"" Born in Russian in 1917, his earliest days and his family's struggle to survive and escape are rivetingly recalled here. They arrived at Ellis Island in 1923. He is specific about his happy childhood and serious, careful education. Rich in pertinent details about professional relationships, this lacks insight into his personal life, however; a brief first marriage is short-shrifted; of his second wife, daughter and son, devotion is acknowledged, intimacies not shared. What we do see throughout is a private man with a singular concentration on his career; a 15-year overnight success. His tragic death in a car accident brought an untimely close to a remarkable career. ""The important thing is to try, to search, to venture beyond the conventional and the obvious""; Schneider, with his life, with his work and with this book, has done that.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1985
Publisher: Viking