Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, 1976-2000: Extremities of Theatre, 1976-2000


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Herbert Blau

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KRAKEN was developed under the influence of the physical theatre practices of the s and such practitioners as Grotowski, Chaikin, Schechner and others. The company created a series of impressive devised performance works including The Donner Party, Its Crossing, taken from the historical accounts of the ill- fated early American settlers; The Seeds of Atreus, adapted from The Oresteia; and Elsinore, based on Hamlet.

The works explored performance strategies of extreme physical exertion and vocal intensity with dense texts of complex language searching the philosophical issues arising from the source texts. The company ran from —81 and included such actors as Bill Irwin and Julie Taymor. The book was a confrontational call to arms for a new type of American theatre that was politically engaged, intellectually rigorous and aesthetically challenging.

The work served as inspiration for a generation of theatre makers coming of age in the sixties and seventies to rethink and challenge the boundaries of the theatre. Not only did Blau present seminal productions of Waiting for Godot and Endgame, but he also developed extended conversations with the earliest and most influential of Beckettian scholars, including Ruby Cohn and Martin Esslin.

Blau continued to teach throughout his life, marking over sixty years in academia. His impact and influence has proven to be vast with many of the most significant scholars and theorists of several generations having enjoyed his tutelage, advice and friendship. His last academic post was as the Byron W. In seminars Blau would regularly quote from memory many of the lines of Hamm in Endgame or Vladimir in Waiting for Godot.

The International Reception of Samuel Beckett. London: Continuum, By Russell Smith. For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.


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Javascript is not enabled in your browser. Enabling JavaScript in your browser will allow you to experience all the features of our site. Learn how to enable JavaScript on your browser. Blau's struggle to bring a critical intelligence to the American stage goes back half a century, to the quiescent postwar years which he has eloquently described in The Impossible Theater: A Manifesto.

His innovative work in performance began with early productions of now-canonical plays that were hardly known at that time works by Brecht, Beckett, Genet, Pinter, Duerrenmatt, and others. His experience is as distinctive as his versatile habits of mind and conceptual urgency of style. If the impossible takes a little time as the title of one essay states , Blau's struggle now continues in a theoretical vein.

Performance-and his own compelling writing- has moved across other genres and disciplines into fashion, politics, sexuality, and theory. His diversity of thought is demonstrated here in commentaries about the newer modes of performance including conceptual and body art , various American playwrights, Renaissance drama, new music and theater, voice, the senses and the baroque, and the photographic image.

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The Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, - PDF Free Download

As the essays reflect upon each other, a kind of cultural history, with inflections of autobiography, develops-which is what readers of Blau's previous books have come to expect. Herbert Blau is Byron W. Lockwood Professor of the Humanities at the University of Washington. This is a book in which ideology and performance shadow each other, in a theoretical inquiry which ranges widely across historical periods and cultures.

Modern Drama

The author's concerns - which include the social meaning of illusion and the cultural manifestation of power - take the reader from Eleanora Duse to Laurie Anderson; from the puppet theatre of Kleist to Kantor's theatre of the dead; and from the Kutiyattam temple dancers in Kerala to Womanhouse in Los Angeles. This book should be of interest to undergraduates, postgraduates and academics of theatre and cultural studies. Sails of the Herring Fleet traces esteemed director and theorist Herbert Blau's encounters with the work of Samuel Beckett.

Blau directed Beckett's plays when they were still virtually unknown, and for more than four decades has remained one of the leading interpreters of his work. In addition to now-classic essays, the collection includes early program notes and two remarkable interviews -- one from Blau's experience directing Waiting for Godot at San Quentin prison, and one from his last visit with Beckett, just before the playwright's death. Lockwood Professor of the Humanities, University of Washington. Theater and literature educator. Blau, Herbert was born on May 3, in Brooklyn.

Son of Joseph and Yetta Roth Blau.


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  • Butyrylcholinesterase, New York University, Doctor in Arts honorary , California Institute Arts, Colorado, , National. Theater Center, University of Wisconsin -Madison, Visiting scholar Pratt Institute, Visiting professor U. Bosphorus, Turkey, Co-founder, co-director Actor's Workshop San Francisco, Married Beatrice Manley, divorced. Children: Richard, Tara Gwyneth, Jonathan. Married Kathleen Woodward, December 29, Back to Profile.

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    Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, 1976-2000: Extremities of Theatre, 1976-2000 Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, 1976-2000: Extremities of Theatre, 1976-2000
    Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, 1976-2000: Extremities of Theatre, 1976-2000 Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, 1976-2000: Extremities of Theatre, 1976-2000
    Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, 1976-2000: Extremities of Theatre, 1976-2000 Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, 1976-2000: Extremities of Theatre, 1976-2000
    Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, 1976-2000: Extremities of Theatre, 1976-2000 Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, 1976-2000: Extremities of Theatre, 1976-2000
    Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, 1976-2000: Extremities of Theatre, 1976-2000 Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, 1976-2000: Extremities of Theatre, 1976-2000
    Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, 1976-2000: Extremities of Theatre, 1976-2000 Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, 1976-2000: Extremities of Theatre, 1976-2000
    Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, 1976-2000: Extremities of Theatre, 1976-2000 Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, 1976-2000: Extremities of Theatre, 1976-2000
    Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, 1976-2000: Extremities of Theatre, 1976-2000 Dubious Spectacle: Extremities of Theater, 1976-2000: Extremities of Theatre, 1976-2000

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