Download Great Directors at Work: Stanislavsky, Brecht, Kazan, Brook by David Richard Jones PDF

By David Richard Jones

The topic of this ebook is theatre directing in 4 the world over recognized cases. The 4 directors—Konstantin Stanislavsky, Bertolt Brecht, Elia Kazan, and Peter Brook—all have been monarchs of the occupation of their time. with no their paintings, theatre within the 20th century—so known as "the century of the director" —would have a greatly varied form and which means. The 4 males also are one of the dozen or so sleek administrators whose theatrical achievements became tradition phenomena. In histories, theories, hagiographies, and polemics, those administrators are conferred vintage stature, as are the 4 performs on which they labored. Chekhov's The Seagull, Brecht's mom braveness and Her little ones, and Williams's A Streetcar Named hope have lengthy been well-known, within the theatre and within the examine, as masterpieces. they're anthologized, quoted, taught, parodied, learn, and produced continually and globally. The culturally conservative may possibly query the presence of MaratiSade in such august corporation, yet Peter Weiss's play stands each likelihood of figuring in Western repertories, school room examine, and theatrical histories until eventually good into the twenty-first century. of their really alternative ways, those are all classics of that Western drama that is a part of our quick heritage.

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Additional info for Great Directors at Work: Stanislavsky, Brecht, Kazan, Brook

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KONSTANTIN STANISLAVSKY 19 ters, not one of them faceless or undefined, each with at least one moment of passion when those in the audience and on stage are caught up by that character's problem or condition. Today we realize that these features of The Seagull explain much of Chekhov's continuing popularity within the theatre: actors love to act the parts, and they love the ensemble nature of the work. But in 1898, it was the wrong play for Stanislavsky, and it was a revolutionary dramatic structure by any standards then prevailing in Europe.

A third turn was interrupted. This was theatricalizing the play's beat structure. But a glance at Chekhov's play reveals that Stanislavsky was in fact rephrasing the material, giving it a shape different from the author's. Chekhov's characters enter talking, then sit and stay seated until their exit. When they sit, it is in the middle of the first conversational topic, the first beat. Stanislavsky instead organized the characters' movements to emphasize the topic divisions. By removing the couple from the stage a second time, he avoided a doublefocus blur when Konstantin and Sorin entered.

A third kind of truth is more general, less technical. The "spiritual meaning of life" is sometimes an important insight into life, sometimes the kind that can be peddled door 38 KONSTANTIN STANISLAVSKY to door. More frequently, it is the realization that life is spiritual, that we are spiritual, and that reality has a spiritual dimension. A symbolist believing this has a wide open field. A realist faces the task of evoking the spiritual from the material. "25 Such statements served him well, as a warning against excesses of naturalism and formalism, as a buoy in the shifting waters of Soviet art policy, and as a common language with such colleagues as Gordon Craig, Isadora Duncan, and Eleanora Duse.

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