Ecologies of Theater: Essays at the Century Turning

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"I have always wondered what Gertrude Stein meant when she called a play a landscape. The marvel of her image revealed itself decade by decade as I discovered how essential landscape, field, and geography are in the conceptual vocabulary of American performance, and the extent to which the idea of nature (or the real) was transposed into a description of performance space by avant-garde artists. That this space would also be a spiritual space accounts for the emphasis on mind and perception in American performance whose subject has always been

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First Good [ No Hassle 30 Day Returns ] [ Edition: First ] Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press Pub Date: 4/16/1996 Binding: Hardcover Pages: 312.

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Overview

"I have always wondered what Gertrude Stein meant when she called a play a landscape. The marvel of her image revealed itself decade by decade as I discovered how essential landscape, field, and geography are in the conceptual vocabulary of American performance, and the extent to which the idea of nature (or the real) was transposed into a description of performance space by avant-garde artists. That this space would also be a spiritual space accounts for the emphasis on mind and perception in American performance whose subject has always been vision, or revelation."--from the Introduction

How do geography and climate influence a work? How is narrative embedded in landscape? What is the ecology of an image? In Ecologies of Theater, Bonnie Marranca elaborates a new perspective on performance that links ecology and aesthetics. She writes of dramaturgy as an ecology in the work of Robert Wilson, and the mus/ecology of John Cage; the autobiology of Rachel Rosenthal and spiritual style of Maria Irene Fornes and Meredith Monk; and the landscape histories of Heiner Müller and Isak Dinesen. In more than two dozen essays, Marranca considers theater history and the modernist heritage in the context of landscape, culture, and art.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Explores the ecology of the world created by theater in 25 essays and talks, most previously published in journals, and most written since the publication of Marranca's Theatrewritings in 1984. They cover the play of landscape, natural histories of the drama, private landscapes, and continental drift. Among the artists whose work is discussed are John Cage, Rachel Rosenthal, Meridith Monk, and Isak Dinesen. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801852725
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/1996
  • Series: PAJ Books Series
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.82 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Bonnie Marranca, co-editor of Performing Arts Journal, is the author of Theatrewritings, which received the George Jean Nathan Award, and the editor of American Dreams: The Imagination of Sam Shepard, Interculturalism and Performance, and The Theatre of Images. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Species of Thought: Ecology and the Theater
Ecologies of Theater I: Gertrude Stein, John Cage, Robert Wilson: The Play of Landscape
Presence of Mind 3
The Mus/ecology of John Cage 25
Robert Wilson and the Idea of the Archive: Dramaturgy as an Ecology 34
St. Gertrude 49
Natural Histories of the Drama
A Cosmography of Herself: The Autobiography of Rachel Rosenthal 59
Despoiled Shores: Heiner Muller's Natural History Lessons 71
The State of Grace: Maria Irene Fornes at Sixty-two 80
Performance World, Performance Culture 87
All the Football Field's a Stage 96
New England Still Life: Fornes's Evelyn Brown 101
Self-portrait in Gray 103
PAJ, A Personal History 105
The Controversial 1985-1986 Theater Season: A Politics of Reception 127
Theater and the University at the End of the Twentieth Century 157
Private Landscapes
Garden/Theater 181
A Hudson Valley Life 185
Ecologies of Theater II: Continental Drift
The Century Turning (International Events) 197
Thinking about Interculturalism 207
Meredith Monk's Atlas of Sound: New Opera and the American Performance Tradition 224
The Forest: Robert Wilson and Interculturalism 233
The Culture of Perestroika 242
Berlin Theatertreffen, 1984 254
Isak Dinesen in Three Parts 258
The Virtual Theater of Herbert Blau 277
Acts of Criticism 286
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