Modern Drama

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Overview

What is generally referred to as modern drama was an international development or movement centred in Europe and North America, a movement directed against many of the conventions and institutions of nineteenth-century drama and theatre. Between 1880 and 1960, a number of foundational figures broke with inherited dramatic conventions, instituted new forms of drama, and created different venues for performance. George Bernard Shaw and William Archer in England, Henrik Ibsen in Norway, August Strindberg in Sweden, Maurice Maeterlinck and Alfred Jarry in France, Gerhard Hauptmann in Germany, Luigi Pirandello in Italy, Federico Garcia Lorca in Spain, Eugene O’Neill and Gertrude Stein in the United States, and Anton Chekhov in Russia share, despite their considerable differences, a project of rupturing with the old and a belief in the new. Even though each national drama tradition can boast such a foundational figure, modern drama was at the same time an international movement. New plays quickly circulated through translation and new production techniques through touring companies and extended visits, establishing an international standard for modernism in drama.

The four volumes that make up this new Routledge Major Work span the historical emergence and the continuing impact of modern drama on critical thought. By focusing on the origins of modern drama as well as on the narrative of its development, the collection is uniquely positioned to relate this historical period to current critical traditions. In terms of organization, the Major Work takes stock of the various critical traditions that have developed since the 1960s and that have fundamentally transformed our understanding of modernist drama and theatre even as these traditions have continued to draw on the original impulses of modern dramatists. It is an essential reference work destined to be valued as a vital research resource by all scholars and students of the subject.

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Meet the Author

Martin Puchner is the H. Gordon Garbedian Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and the author of Stage Fright: Modernism, Anti-Theatricality, and Drama (Hopkins, 2002) and Poetry of the Revolution: Marx, Manifestos, and the Avant-Gardes (Princeton, 2006), winner of the 2006 James Russell Lowell Prize for best book, awarded by the Modern Language Association.

His edited books and introductions include Six Plays by Henrik Ibsen (Barnes and Noble, 2003), Lionel Abel's Tragedy and Metatheatre (Holmes and Meier, 2003), The Communist Manifesto and Other Writings (Barnes and Noble, 2005), and Modern Drama: Critical Concepts (Routledge, forthcoming).

He is also co-editor of Against Theatre: Creative Destructions on the Modernist Stage (Palgrave, 2006) and of the forthcoming Norton Anthology of Drama. He is the editor of journal Theatre Survey, published by Cambridge University Press.

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Table of Contents

VOLUME I: HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS AND DECLARATIONS
Editor’s General Introduction
Introduction to Volume I
1. Richard Wagner, ‘The Art-Work of the Future’, in Bernard F. Dukore (ed.), Dramatic Theory and Criticism (Boston: Thomson Heinle, 1974), pp. 777–94 (originally published in Richard Wagner’s Prose Works, Vol. 1, trans. William Ashton Ellis (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd, 1892)).
2. Emile Zola, ‘Naturalism on the Stage’, in Bernard F. Dukore (ed.), Dramatic Theory and Criticism (Boston: Thomson Heinle, 1974), pp. 692–719 (originally published in The Experimental Novel and Other Essays, trans. Belle M. Sherman (New York: The Cassell Publishing Co., 1893)).
3. Oscar Wilde, ‘The Truth of Masks: A Note on Illusion’, in Richard Ellmann (ed.), The Artist as Critic: Critical Writings of Oscar Wilde (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969), pp. 408–32.
4. August Strindberg, ‘Preface to Miss Julie’, Five Plays, trans. Harry G. Carlson (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), pp. 63–75.
5. William Archer, ‘A Doll’s House and the Ibsen Revolution’, in Christopher Innes (ed.), A Sourcebook on Naturalist Theatre (London: Routledge, 2000), pp. 91–6 (originally published in Charles Archer, William Archer (Allen & Unwin, 1894)).
6. George Bernard Shaw, ‘The Problem Play’, in Bernard F. Dukore (ed.), Dramatic Theory and Criticism (Boston: Thomson Heinle, 1974), pp. 630–5 (originally published in E. J. West (ed.), Shaw on Theatre (New York; Hill & Wang, 1958)).
7. Alfred Jarry, ‘Of the Futility of the “Theatrical” in Theatre’, in Michael Huxley and Noel Witts (eds.), The Twentieth-Century Performance Reader, 2nd edn. (London: Routledge, 1996), pp. 209–15 (originally published in R. Shattuck and S. Watson Taylor (eds.), Selected Works of Alfred Jarry, trans. B. Wright (London: Methuen, 1985)).
8. Adolphe Appia, ‘Ideas on a Reform of Our Mise en Scene’, in Richard C. Beacham (ed.), Adolphe Appia: Texts on Theatre (New York: Routledge, 1993), pp. 59–65 (originally published as La Revue des revues, Vol. 1, No. 9, June 1904, pp. 342–9.
9. Maurice Maeterlinck, ‘The Modern Drama’, in Bernard F. Dukore (ed.), Dramatic Theory and Criticism (Boston: Thomson Heinle, 1974), pp. 731–6 (originally published in The Double Garden, trans. Alfred Sutro (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1904)).
10. William Butler Yeats, ‘The Play, the Player, and the Scene’, in W. B. Yeats, Explorations (New York: Macmillan, 1973), pp. 164–80 (originally published in Samhain, 1904).
11. George Bernard Shaw, ‘Shaw on Ibsen’s Philosophy’, in The Quintessence of Ibsenism (London: Dover, 1994), pp. 71–84 (originally published in The Quintessence of Ibsenism (New York: Brentano, 1904)).
12. William Archer, ‘Henrik Ibsen: Philosopher or Poet’, in Vassiliki Kolocotroni et al. (eds.), Modernism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), pp. 145–7.
13. Vsevolod Meyerhold, ‘First Attempts at a Stylized Theatre’, in Michael Huxley and Noel Witts, The Twentieth-Century Performance Reader, 2nd edn. (London: Routledge, 1996), pp. 264–72 (originally published in E. Braun (ed. and trans.), Meyerhold on Theatre (New York: Hill & Wang, 1969)).
14. Edward Gordon Craig, extracts from ‘The Actor and the Uber-Marionette’, in On the Art of the Theatre (New York: Theatre Arts Books, 1956), pp. 54–77, 80–5, 90–4.
15. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, ‘The Variety Theatre’, in Michael Kirby (ed.), Futurist Performance (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1971), pp. 179–86.
16. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Emilio Settimelli, and Bruno Corra, ‘The Futurist Synthetic Theatre’, in Michael Kirby (ed.), Futurist Performance (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1971), pp. 196–202.
17. Guillaume Apollinaire, ‘Preface to The Mammeries of Tiresias’, Three Pre-Surrealist Plays, trans. Maya Slater (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), pp. 153–8.
18. William Butler Yeats, ‘Introduction to Certain Noble Plays of Japan by Pound and Fenollosa’, in Ezra Pound and Ernest Fenollosa, The Classic Noh Theatre of Japan (New York: New Directions, 1959), pp. 151–63 (originally published in Ezra Pound and Ernest Fenollosa, Noh or Accomplishment: A Study of the Classical Stage of Japan (New York: Knopf, 1917)).
19. Ezra Pound, ‘Introduction to Noh Theatre of Japan’, in Ezra Pound and Ernest Fenollosa, The Classic Noh Theatre of Japan (New York: New Directions, 1959), pp. 3–13 (originally published in Ezra Pound and Ernest Fenollosa, Noh or Accomplishment: A Study of the Classical Stage of Japan (New York: Knopf, 1917)).
20. Gilbert Seldes, ‘The Great God Bogus’, in Gilbert Seldes, The 7 Lively Arts (New York: Dover, 2001), pp. 309–20 (originally published in Gilbert Seldes, The 7 Lively Arts (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1924)).
21. Kurt Schwitters, ‘To All the Theatres of the World I Demand the MERZ Stage’, in Vassiliki Kolocotroni et al. (eds.), Modernism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), pp. 285–7 (originally published in Mel Gordon (ed.), Dada Performance, trans. Michael Bullock (1987)).
22. Bertolt Brecht, ‘The Modern Theatre is the Epic Theatre’, in John Willet (ed.), Brecht on Theatre (New York: Hill and Wang, 1957), pp. 33–42.
23. Yurii Olyesha, ‘Notes of a Dramatist’, in Bernard F. Dukore and Daniel C. Gerould, Avant Garde Drama (New York: Bantam Books, 1969), pp. 535–43 (originally published in Yurii Olyesha, Notes of a Dramatist, trans. Daniel C. Gerould and Eleanor S. Gerould (1969)).
24. Antonin Artaud, ‘The Theatre of Cruelty (First Manifesto)’, The Theatre and its Double, trans. Mary Caroline Richards (New York: Grove Press, 1958), pp. 89–100.
25. Antonin Artaud, ‘Metaphysics and the Mise en Scene’, The Theatre and its Double, trans. Mary Caroline Richards (New York: Grove Press, 1958), pp. 33–47.
26. Gertrude Stein, ‘Plays’, Last Operas and Plays (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), pp. xxix–lii (originally published in Gertrude Stein, Lectures in America (New York: Random House, 1935)).
27. Bertolt Brecht, ‘Alienation Effects in Chinese Acting’, in John Willet (ed.), Brecht on Theatre (New York: Hill and Wang, 1957), pp. 91–9.
28. Bertolt Brecht, ‘The Street Scene’, in John Willet (ed.), Brecht on Theatre (New York: Hill and Wang, 1957), pp. 121–9.
29. Eugene Ionesco, ‘Still About the Avant-Garde’, in Notes and Counternotes, trans. Donald Watson (New York: Grove Press, 1964), pp. 53–8.
VOLUME II: THEORIES OF MODERN DRAMA
Introduction to Volume II
Part 1: Early Critics and Theorists

30. Brander Matthews, ‘The Relation of the Drama to Literature’, The Historical Novel and Other Essays (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1914), pp. 217–38.
31. Henri Bergson, ‘Laughter’, in Wylie Sypher (ed.), Comedy (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1956), pp. 61–103.
32. George Lukács, ‘The Sociology of Modern Drama’, trans. Lee Baxandall, Tulane Drama Review IX (Summer 1965), pp. 146–70.
33. Archibald Henderson, ‘Drama in the New Age’, The Changing Drama (New York: Henry Holt, 1914), pp. 3–23.
34. George Pierce Baker, ‘The Dramatist and His Public’, Dramatic Technique (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1919), pp. 509–21.
35. Eric Bentley, ‘The Two Traditions of Modern Drama’, The Playwright as Thinker (New York: Harvest, 1946), pp. 1–22.
36. Francis Ferguson, ‘The Unrealized Idea of a Theater’, The Idea of a Theater (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949), pp. 222–8.
37. T. S. Eliot, ‘Poetry and Drama’, in Barrett H Clark (ed.), European Theories of the Drama (New York: Crown Publishers, 1968), pp. 460–70 (originally published in T. S. Eliot, On Poetry and Poets (New York: Farrar, Straus, & Co., 1951)).
Part 2: General Theory of Modern Drama
38. John Gassner, ‘Forms of Modern Drama’, Comparative Literature, 7, 2, Spring, 1955, pp. 129–43.
39. Martin Esslin, ‘Introduction: The Absurdity of the Absurd’, The Theatre of the Absurd (New York: Anchor Books, 1961), pp. xv–xxvi.
40. Lionel Abel, extracts from ‘Metatheatre’, Tragedy and Metatheatre (New York: Bolmes and Meier, 2003), pp. 151–65, 178–84 (originally published in Metatheatre (New York: Hill and Wang, 1963)).
41. Robert Brustein, ‘The Theatre of Revolt’, The Theatre of Revolt (London: Methuen, 1965), pp. 3–33.
42. Peter Brook, ‘The Rough Theatre’, The Empty Space (New York: Atheneum, 1968), pp. 65–85.
43. Raymond Williams, ‘Introduction’ and ‘Conclusion’, Drama From Ibsen to Brecht (New York: Oxford University Press, 1969), pp. 11–21, 331–47.
44. Peter Szondi, ‘Theory of the Modern Drama, Parts I–II’, Boundary, 2, 11, 3, 1983, pp. 191–230.
45. Una Chaudhuri, ‘Introduction: The Politics of Home and the Poetics of Exile’, Staging Place: The Geography of Modern Drama (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995), pp. 1–16, 18–20.
46. Martin Puchner, ‘Introduction’, Stage Fright: Modernism, Anti-Theatricality, and Drama (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), pp. 1–28.
47. Toril Moi, ‘Ibsen, Theatre, and the Ideology of Modernism’, Theatre Survey, 45, 2, 2004, pp. 247–52.
VOLUME III: ASPECTS OF MODERN THEATER
Introduction to Volume III
Part 3: New Histories

48. Judith L. Stephens, ‘Gender Ideology and Dramatic Conventions in Progressive Era Plays, 1890–1920’, Theatre Journal, 41, 1, 1989, pp. 45–55.
49. J. Ellen Gainor, ‘A Stage of Her Own: Susan Glaspell’s The Verge and Women’s Dramaturgy’, Journal of American Drama and Theatre, 1, 1, 1989, pp. 79–99.
50. Laurence Senelick, ‘The Homosexual as Villain and Victim in Fin-de-Siècle Drama’, Journal of the History of Sexuality, 4, 2, 1993, pp. 201–29.
51. Sandra L. Richards, ‘Writing the Absent Potential: Drama, Performance, and the Canon of African-American Literature’, in Andrew Parker and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (eds.), Performativity and Performance (Routledge, 1995), pp. 64–88.
52. David Krasner, ‘Parody and Double Consciousness in the Language of Early Black Muysical Theatre’, African American Review, 29, 2, 1995, pp. 317–23.
53. Shannon Jackson, ‘Why Modern Plays are Not Culture: Disciplinary Blind Spots’, in Ric Knowles, Joanne Tompkins, and W. B. Worthen (eds.), Modern Drama: Defining the Field (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003), pp. 29–47.
54. Christopher Balme, ‘Selling the Bird: Richard Walton Tully’s The Bird of Paradise and the Dynamics of Theatrical Commodification’, Theatre Journal 57, 2005, pp. 1–20.
55. Elin Diamond, ‘Deploying/Destroying the Primitivist Body in Hurston and Brecht’, in Alan Ackerman and Martin Puchner (eds.), Against Theatre: Creative Destructions on the Modernist Stage (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2006), pp. 112–32.
56. David Savran, ‘The Curse of Legitimacy’, in Alan Ackerman and Martin Puchner (eds.), Against Theatre: Creative Destructions on the Modernist Stage (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2006), pp. 189–205.
57. Julie Stone Peters, ‘Performing Obscene Modernism: Theatrical Censorship and the Making of Modern Drama’, in Alan Ackerman and Martin Puchner (eds.), Against Theatre: Creative Destructions on the Modernist Stage (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2006), pp. 206–30.
Part 4: Actors and Props
58. Eric Bentley, ‘Are Stanislavski and Brecht Commensurable?’, The Tulane Drama Review, 9, 1, 1964, pp. 69–76.
59. Joseph R. Roach, ‘The Paradoxe as a Paradigm: The Structure of a Russian Revolution’, The Player’s Passion: Studies in the Science of Acting (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993), pp. 195–217.
60. Harold B. Segel, ‘Lorca and the Spanish Puppet Tradition’, Pinocchio’s Progeny: Puppets, Marionettes, Automatons, and Robots in Modernist and Avant-Garde Drama (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), pp. 164–72.
61. Harold B. Segel, extracts from ‘Introduction’, Body Ascendant: Modernism and the Physical Imperative (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998), pp. 1–8, 11–13.
62. Felicia McCarren, extracts from ‘Dancing Machines’, Dancing Machines (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003), pp. 15–20, 65–76.
63. Andrew Sofer, extracts from ‘Killing Time: Guns and the Play of Predictability on the Modern Stage’, The Stage Life of Props (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2003), pp. 167–83.
Part 5: Design/Architecture/Image
64. Stanislaw Witkiewicz, ‘The Analogy with Painting’, in Bernard F Dukore, and Daniel C. Gerould, Avant Garde Drama (New York: Bantam Books, 1969), pp. 468–593 (originally published in Introduction to the Theory and Pure Form in the Theatre¸ trans. Daniel C. Gerould and Eleanor S. Gerould (1969)).
65. Frantisek Deak, ‘Symbolist Staging at the Theatre d’Art’, The Drama Review: TDR, 20, 3, 1976, pp. 117–22.
66. Arnold Aronson, ‘Theatres of the Future’, Theatre Journal, 33, 4, 1981, pp. 489–503.
67. Manfredo Tafuri, ‘The Stage as “Virtual City”: From Fuchd to the Totaltheatre’, The Sphere and the Labyrinth: Avant-Gardes and Architecture from Piranesi to the 1970s (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1995), pp. 95–112.
68. Herbert Lindenberger, ‘Anti-Theatricality in Twentieth-Century Opera’, Modern Drama, XLIV, 3, 2001, pp. 300–17.
69. Matthew Wilson Smith, ‘Bayreuth, Disneyland, and the Return to Nature’, in Elinor Fuchs and Una Chaudhuri (eds.), Land/Scape/Theater (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002), pp. 252–79.
70. Peggy Phelan, ‘The Changing Profession: Lessons in Blindness from Samuel Beckett’, PMLA, 119, No. 5, 2004, pp. 1279–88.
71. Kimberly Jannarone, ‘The Theater Before its Double: Artaud Directs in the Alfred Jarry Theatre’, Theatre Survey, 46, 2, 2005, pp. 247–73.
VOLUME IV: RESEARCH METHODS
Introduction to Volume IV
Part 6: Philosophy

72. Walter Benjamin, ‘What is Epic Theater’, Illuminations, trans. H. Zohn. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1968), pp. 147–54.
73. Jean-Paul Sartre, ‘Introduction to The Maids and Deathwatch’, in Jean Genet, The Maids and Deathwatch, trans. Bernard Frechtman (New York: Grove Press, 1954), pp. 7–31.
74. Theodor W. Adorno, ‘Trying to Understand Endgame’, Notes to Literature (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991), pp. 241–75.
75. Roland Barthes, ‘Diderot, Brecht, Eisenstein’, Image, Music, Text, trans. Stephen Heath (New York: Hill and Wang, 1977), pp. 69–78.
76. Bert O. States, ‘The Phenomenological Attitude’, in Janelle G. Reinelt and Joseph R. Roach (eds.), Critical Theory and Performance (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1992), pp. 369–79.
77. Stanton B. Garner, Jr., ‘“Still Living Flesh”: Beckett, Merleau-Ponty, and the Phenomenological Body’, Theatre Journal, 45, 4, 1993, pp. 443–60.
78. Elinor Fuchs, ‘Clown Shows: Anti-Theatricalist Theatricalism in Four Twentieth-Century Plays’, Modern Drama, xliv, 3, 2001, pp. 337–54.
79. Alain Badiou, ‘Theses on Theater’, in Alain Badiou (ed.), Handbook of Inaesthetics, trans. Alberto Toscano (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2005), pp. 72–7.
80. Martin Puchner, ‘The Theater in Modernist Thought’, New Literary History 33, 2002, pp. 521–32.
Part 7: (Post)Structuralism
81. Jindrich Honzl, ‘Dynamics of the Sign in the Theatre’, in George W. Brandt, Modern Theories of Drama (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), pp. 269–78 (originally published in Ladislav Matejka and I. R. Titunik (eds.), Semiotics of Art, trans. Irwin R. Titunik (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1976), pp. 74–93).
82. Frantisek Deak, ‘Structuralism in Theatre: The Prague School Contribution’, The Drama Review: TDR, 20, 4, 1976, pp. 83–94.
83. Jacques Derrida, ‘The Theater of Cruelty and the Closure of Representation’, in Timothy Murray (ed.), Mimesis, Masochism, Mime: The Politics of Theatricality in Contemporary French Thought (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997), pp. 40–62 (originally published in Writing and Difference, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978)).
84. Patrice Pavis, ‘On Brecht’s Notion of Gestus’, Languages of the Stage: Essays in the Semiology of the Theatre (New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications, 1982), pp. 37–49.
85. Judith Butler, ‘Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory’, in Sue-Ellen Case (ed.), Performing Feminisms: Feminist Critical Theory and Theatre (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990), pp. 270–82.
86. Erika Fischer-Lichte, ‘The Avant-Garde and the Semiotics of the Antitextual Gesture’, in James M. Harding (ed. and trans.), Contours of the Theatrical Avant-Garde: Performance and Textuality (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000), pp. 79–95.
87. Josette Féral, ‘Theatricality: The Specificity of Theatrical Language’, SubStance, 98/99, 31, 2 & 3, 2002, pp. 94–108.
88. Janelle Reinelt, ‘The Politics of Discourse: Performativity Meets Theatricality’, SubStance, 21, 2/3, 98/99 (2002), pp. 201–15.
89. Thomas Postlewait and Tracy C. Davis, ‘Theatricality: An Introduction’, in Tracy C. Davis and Thomas Postlewait (eds.), Theatricality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 1–16.
Part 8: Languages
90. Frantisek Deak, ‘Two Manifestos: The Influence of Italian Futurism in Russia’, The Drama Review: TDR, 19, 4, 1975, pp. 88–94.
91. Julia Kristeva, ‘Modern Theater Does Not Take (a) Place’, trans. Alice Jardine and Thomas Gora, SubStance 18, 19, 1977, pp. 277–81.
92. Jon Erickson, ‘The Language of Presence: Sound Poetry and Artaud’, boundary, 2, 14, 1/2, 1985/1986, pp. 279–90.
93. Marvin Carlson, ‘Theater and Dialogism’, in Janelle G. Reinelt and Joseph R. Roach (eds.), Critical Theory and Performance (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992), pp. 313–23.
94. W. B. Worthen, ‘Introduction: Booking the Play’, Print and the Poetics of Modern (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 1–15.
95. Alan Ackerman, ‘The Prompter’s Box: Toward a Close Reading of Modern Drama’, Modern Drama, 49, 1, 2006, pp. 1–11.

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