The Theatre of Images

Overview

The three plays collected in The Theatre of Images challenge the conventional understanding of performance. In Pandering to the Masses: A Misrepresentation, Richard Foreman, a philosopher as well as a playwright, creates a reality on stage that reflects his own reality - focusing on familiar, everyday events with the addition of recorded voice and projected image. A Letter for Queen Victoria, by Robert Wilson, is an opera without singers. Verbal declamations take the place of arias, creating a spectacle without ...
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Overview

The three plays collected in The Theatre of Images challenge the conventional understanding of performance. In Pandering to the Masses: A Misrepresentation, Richard Foreman, a philosopher as well as a playwright, creates a reality on stage that reflects his own reality - focusing on familiar, everyday events with the addition of recorded voice and projected image. A Letter for Queen Victoria, by Robert Wilson, is an opera without singers. Verbal declamations take the place of arias, creating a spectacle without narrative structure through tableaux and gesture. Represented in comic-book form, The Red Horse Animation demonstrates the play's reliance on cinematic techniques in its composition. It is what author Lee Breuer calls "caption literature," a radical alternative drama documenting the conception of dramatic work. With introductory essays by Bonnie Marranca, this reissue of The Theatre of Images brings back to print one of the most influential books on the American avant-garde in the last two decades.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801852435
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Series: PAJ Books Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.97 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author


Bonnie Marranca is co-editor of "Performing Arts Journal", as well as the author of "Ecologies of Theater" and "Theatrewritings", which received the George Jean Nathan Award; the editor of "American Dreams: The Imagination of Samp Shepard" and "The Theatre of Images".
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Table of Contents

Pandering to the Masses: A Misrepresentation by Richard Foreman
A Letter for Queen Victoria by Robert Wilson
The Red Horse Animation by Lee Breuer
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2001

    Still key after all these years

    Let's face it, the theater is really dead. Its general appeal is to 1% of the public, and so it has become a specialist only space. Producers use heartless spectacle (dance troupes, the Lion King, STOMP, Cirque du soleil) to draw the idiot crowds to their huge arenas, while most other theater either plays to what are almost solely gay crowds (in NY, LA, Chicago and San Fran only) or mind numbingly bad imitations of TV everywhere else. The last time the theater mattered as an art form was during the '70s, when the rest of the arts were in slow points, and artists like Wilson, Foreman and Breuer were creating works of depth and vision. Today Foreman is a classicist bore, Wilson repeats himself to useless praise and Breuer is the only one still out dancing desperately to turn on others -- in other words, even they are fixed stars. The theater should always be in transition. When it's comfortable it's awful. When it makes you feel good it's worthless. But Bonnie's book still hangs in there, demonstrating to the four or five hundred of us who still care that vision counts. Let me say it again: I don't want to be dark and slippery. Popular theater is an abomination. Just go to a damn movie. But relevant, exciting theater like these 'plays' can rearrange the way you look at art and life. Work harder -- if you are into theater, please read this book. And if you think you're a theater artist but you don't know these names, then you don't know @#!&*.

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