"A straightforward, tasteful, and articulate account of what it is to bring a play to palpitating life upon a stage" (The New York Times Book Review). In this classic guide to directing, we are taken logically from the choice of the play right through ever aspect of its production to performances and beyond. Harold Clurman, director of such memorable productions as A Member of the Wedding and Uncle Vanya, describes the pleasures and perils of working with such celebrated playwrights and actors as Marlon Brando, Arthur Miller, Julie Harris, and Lillian Hellman. He also presents his own directing notes for ten of his best-known productions.
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(214mm x 139mm x 27mm)
Simon & Schuster Ltd
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
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US Kirkus Review »
"This is the statement of a person who has occupied a central position in the making of theatre," Clurman says in his introduction and it's no idle boast. As a founder of the seminal Group Theatre, as prominent critic, director and teacher, he has as much responsibility for the state of American theater today as anyone. And there's the rub: in the first half of this book Clurman restates every happy cliche, compounds every mistake, and justifies every misconception that has reduced the U.S. theater to its present second-rate status. As an ideologue for Broadway and its farm system, he dissects the art and craft of directing in terms of its cash equivalent - its ultimate commercial success. But when he interrupts his common-sense advice to "intelligent theatre goers" and young directors with frequent references to the bold productions of the Theatre Guild of which he was a member - productions more than thirty years old - it can only be considered a form of aesthetic grave robbing. The second half of the book is almost redeeming; a fascinating selection of notes on directing individual plays by the playwrights themselves, Odets on Rocket To The Moon, O'Neill on A Touch Of The Poet, The Waltz Of The Toreadors by Anouilh. Finally Clurman edits the work scripts of directors for several important productions, e.g., Giraudoux's The Trojan War Will Not Take Place, but all these are presented without annotation, remaining cryptic ciphers to the layman. Except for its value as source material, this doesn't deserve the sound of even one hand clapping. (Kirkus Reviews)
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