Lee Strasberg and Richard Schechner, “Working with Live Material”

Category : Theater

Strasberg: At present there is so much confusion, misunderstanding, and downright ignorance-not about the Stanislavski System, but about acting in general-that to begin to deal with this problem really would mean writing three complete books, one of which would be a detailed history of acting, showing the problems of the actor at different periods, another a psychological analysis of acting problems, and the third a description of the Stanislavski System and its relation to these problems.

Source: The Tulane Drama Review, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Autumn, 1964), pp. 117-135

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John Willett, “New York and the Dramatic Workshop 1939-1951”

Category : Arts, Theater

There is a note of Piscator’s, written in 1937, which says, “I can only  work against bourgeois society, I can never work with it or through it.”  Similarly, that summer when he met Gasbarra [Felix Gasbarra, a German  playwright] in Burgundy-their last meeting for some fifteen years-he got very angry and shouted, “But we said we’d never turn bourgeois!”

Source: Performing Arts Journal, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Winter, 1978), pp. 3-16

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Tennessee Williams, “The Catastrophe of Success”

Category : Arts, Theater, Writing

This winter marked the third anniversary of the Chicago opening of “The Glass Menagerie,” an event that terminated one part of my life and began another about as different in all external circumstances as could well be imagined. I was snatched out of virtual oblivion and thrust into sudden prominence, and from the precarious tenancy of furnished rooms about the country I was removed to a suite in a first-class Manhattan hotel. My experience was not unique. Success has often come that abruptly into the lives of Americans. The Cinderella story is our favorite national myth, the cornerstone of the film industry if not of the Democracy itself. I have seen it enacted on the screen so often that I was now inclined to yawn at it, not with disbelief but with an attitude of Who Cares! Anyone with such beautiful teeth and hair as the screen protagonist of such a story was bound to have a good time one way or another, and you could bet your bottom dollar and all the tea in China that one would be caught dead or alive at any meeting involving a social conscience.

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