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Any of the theorists on this page can be used for the Solo Theatre Piece. There are boxes for some of the theorists that have links to a biography and a primary source, and suggestions for related articles or video in Digital Theatre Plus. The WSA Library does not have copies of most of these primary sources, but you can obtain them with an Inter-Library Loan through your local public library.
Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) was one of the 20th century's most important theoreticians of the drama. He developed the theory of the Theater of Cruelty, which has influenced playwrights from Beckett to Genet, from Albee to Gelber.
A biography of the French dramatist, Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) with analysis of his works, placing them in an historical and biographical context, a literary context, and a critical context. Also includes a sidebar listing several of Artaud's literary and historical contemporaries, and an extensive bibliography. Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of World Literature. Vol. 1. Detroit, MI: Gale, 2009. p106-109.
The Theatre and Its Double by
Publication Date: 1938, p2014.
First published in 1938, The Theatre and Its Double is a collection of essays detailing Antonin Artaud’s radical theories on drama and theatre, which he saw as being stifled by conservatism and lack of experimentation.
Containing the famous manifestos of the ‘Theatre of Cruelty’, the collection analyses the underlying impulses of performance, provides some suggestions on a physical-training method for actors and actresses, and features a long appreciation of the expressive values of Eastern dance drama.
Digital Theatre Plus
DT+ has an overview of Antonin Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty. Exploring its history, theory and practice, and referring to key practitioners who have been instrumental in its development, such as Peter Brook, the article examines how Theatre of Cruelty aims to shock its audiences and evoke emotional responses by abandoning traditional methods of theatre-making. Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance.
The German choreographer Pina Bausch (1940 - 2009) is credited with reviving modern dance in postwar Germany. Her works are noted for their episodic structure, repetition, haunting quality of dances, and absence of sustainable plot. Bausch used all theatrical and dramaturgic means to enforce an idea, and opened the way for a new movement quality on stage, greatly influencing theatre in Europe .
A biography of the German dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch, covering her initial studies in dance in Germany, her studies and performances in the US, and her founding of Tanztheater Wuppertal in 1973, where she created nearly 30 full-length productions. In addition, severalof her works are discussed in detail: Come, Dance With Me, Nelken, ,Palermo, Palermo, Café Muller,, Rite of Spring, Nur Du (Only You), and The Window Washer. From Encyclopedia of World Biography (Vol. 2. 2nd ed.), Publisher: Gale.
What Moves Me - a speech given by Pina Bausch
A speech given by Pina Bausch on the occasion of the Kyoto Prize award ceremony in 2007. Published by courtesy of the Inamori Foundation. Presented on the Pina Bausch Foundation website.
The Pina Bausch Sourcebook: The Making of Tanztheater by
Publication Date: 2012-10-15
Pina Bausch’s work has had tremendous impact across the spectrum of late twentieth-century performance practice, helping to redefine the possibilities of what both dance and theater can be. This edited collection presents a compendium of source material and contextual essays that examine Pina Bausch's history, practice and legacy, and the development of Tanztheater as a new form, with sections including: Dance and theatre roots and connections; Bausch’s developmental process; The creation of Tanztheater Bausch’s reception; and Critical perspectives. Interviews, reviews and major essays chart the evolution of Bausch’s pioneering approach and explore this evocative new mode of performance.
Pina Bausch Foundation website
English language version of the website of the charitable foundation set up in 2009. The site has an extensive biography of Bausch, a filmography listing all the films made of her and about her, and pages on her two of her collaborators at her company, Rolf Borzak and Ronald Kay. Note: the archive of all the material related to Pina Bausch's artistic work is not available online at this time.
Steven Berkoff (b. 1937, East London, UK) is an actor and theatre director as well as a playwright. His reputation was founded on his adaptations from Kafka - The Trial, Metamorphosis, and In the Penal Colony - after which his first original stage play, East, won critical acclaim in 1975 for its originality and eclectic concoction of Elizabethan verse and punk poetry with Cockney slang. Berkoff is best known for his acting on stage and in films, alongside a parallel career as a director and author.
A biography of the British writer, theatre director and actor Steven Berkoff (b.1937, in Stepney, East London.) The article gives biographical details of Berkoff's life, a critical perspective of his work, a bibliography of the works he has written (drama, nonfiction, and short stories) and a list of awards he has received. Presented by British Council Literature.
Free Association: An Autobiography by
Publication Date: 1997-11-01
Ranging freely between his childhood, his teenage years spent going 'up West', a formative year with family in the USA, his early days in theatre, this first collection of autobiographical writings from Steven Berkoff shows how he siphoned off and transformed those experiences for his plays, East and West and how his later experiences informed Greek.
Digital Theatre Plus
In the video, Steven Berkoff's America, the author reads a personal selection of his poetry about growing up in New York, as well as his many experiences of working in the United States. Berkoff’s poetry is funny, moving and not a little indiscreet. “Oh America was for me an utter supreme fantasy”.
Steven Berkoff's website
Information, images, and links from Steven Berkoff: biography, plays, films, news, unpublished work, and other resources. contact ]
Amber Lane Press
Amber Lane Press publishes several works by Steven Berkoff. Their page for Berkoff has a brief biography and detailed descriptions of several of his works.
Cicely Berry (1926-2018) was the Voice Director for the Royal Shakespeare Company for nearly five decades. Berry used unorthodox methods to help performers feel the beats of Shakespeare's rhythms such as tossing chairs and kicking beer cans while reciting To Be or Not to Be, or bouncing up and down on the floor while reading Macbeth.
A brief biography of Cicely Berry, with links to articles, websites and videos of vocal warmups at the National Theatre following her methods. Also included is a list of books on theatre written by Berry. Presented by Catherine Rankin, Theatre teacher and editor of The Black Box website.
The Actor and the Text by
Publication Date: 2000-02-01
These words of Cicely Berry, voice director of the Royal Shakespeare Company for many years, speak to anyone who needs to speak his or her piece - in any arena. The book presents a practical guide to speaking of printed text, for actors and directors, and includes information on how articulation and verbal clarity is brought to bear of specific readings of text.
Augusto Boal (1931-2009), Brazilian theatre director and author, created a unique set of democratically oriented innovations in the basic form of stage drama. He called these innovations the Theatre of the Oppressed.
A Brief Biography of Augusto Boal
A biography of Brazilian Dr. Augusto Boal, tracing the development of his experimentation with new forms of theatre, his writings, international travel, political activism, and awards. Includes an extensive bibliography. Author: Doug Paterson. Presented by Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed.
Theatre of the Oppressed by
Publication Date: 1993-01-01
Explains why the theatre and politics cannot be separated and discusses how theatre's influence on society has changed throughout history.
Digital Theatre Plus
DT+ has several resources related to Augusto Boal. The video 'Interviews with Augusto Boal: from 1971 to 2009' is a collection of interview footage that charts Augusto Boal’s entire career and influence around the world, giving unique insights into the development of his thought and work. The documentary 'Theatre of the Oppressed' explores three of his main methods – Invisible Theatre, Forum Theatre and Legislative Theatre. 'Augusto Boal' is an encyclopedic entry that discusses Boal's history, theory, and practice. He is best known for a set of exercises and their political-philosophical underpinnings dubbed Theatre of the Oppressed, which was acclaimed for its social relevance, collective problem solving, and the opportunity for people struggling with oppression to become proactive in their own liberation.
Augusto Boal, animation and education
The author makes the case of Boal's work around forum theatre, invisible theatre and the theatre of the oppressed as being expressions of socio-cultural animation., and comparable to the informal educational work done at infed.org as informal and community educators. Presented by infed.org, a not-for-profit site provided by the YMCA George Williams College in London.
About the Theater of the Oppressed
An explanation of the origins and development of the Theater of the Oppressed, first established in the early 1970s by Brazilian director and Workers' Party (PT) activist Augusto Boal. Theater of the Oppressed is a participatory theater that fosters democratic and cooperative forms of interaction among participants. Theater is emphasized not as a spectacle but rather as a language accessible to all. Presented by TOPLAB - Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory.
The German author Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) is probably the greatest German playwright of the first half of the 20th century. His works were often considered controversial because of his revolutionary dramatic theory and his political beliefs.
A biography of the German playwright, Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) with analysis of his works, placing them in an historical and biographical context, a literary context, and a critical context. Also includes a sidebar listing several of Artaud's literary and historical contemporaries, and an extensive bibliography. Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of World Literature. Vol. 1. Detroit, MI: Gale, 2009. p202-205.
Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic by
Publication Date: 1964-01-01
"This volume offers a major selection of Bertolt Brecht's groundbreaking critical writing. Here, arranged in chronological order, are essays from 1918 to 1956, in which Brecht explores his definition of the Epic Theatre and his theory of alienation-effects in directing, acting, and writing, and discusses, among other works, The Threepenny Opera, Mahagonny, Mother Courage, Puntila, and Galileo. Also included is "A Short Organum for the Theatre," Brecht's most complete exposition of his revolutionary philosophy of drama." - Publisher
Digital Theatre Plus
DT+ has several items related to this theorist. The article, 'Bertolt Brecht' is an extensive biography of the theorist from the Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance, covering his history, aims, and practice, and giving suggestions for further reading. Other articles cover topics related to Brecht's work: epic theatre, political theatre, applied theatre and realism.
Edward Gordan Craig
Edward Gordon Craig (1872-1966) was an important actor, designer, director, and theoretician of the early 20th century European stage.
Edward Gordon Craig
A biography of English actor, director, scenic designer, and theorist Edward Gordon Craig, covering his career as a modernist theatre practitioner. Includes suggestions for further reading of Craig's works, and a list of additional sources. Encyclopedia of World Biography. Vol. 4. 2nd ed. Detroit, MI: Gale, 2004. p288-289.
On the Art of the Theatre by
Publication Date: 2008-10-24
The author, a twentieth-century actor, director, designer, and theorist, presents his views on theater, discussing the role of the actor, the role of the playwright, the work of William Shakespeare, open-air theaters, symbolism, and other related topics.
Index to the Story of My Days by
Publication Date: 1981-07-23
Edward Gordon Craig (1872–1966) was the most brilliant and influential stage designer of the 20th century. He set out to revolutionize the theatre by creating a new art, the art of the theatre.He formulated the principles on which a modern approach to stage design would be based. In his writings and engravings he transformed stage scenery from painted back-cloth into an abstract three-dimensional world of form and light.In this reissue of Craig's memoirs, the introductory essay by Peter Holland assesses the importance of Craig's career in the history of stage design.
Digital Theatre Plus
DT+ has two articles from the Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance related to this theorist. 'Edward Gordon Craig' is a biography of Craig covering his life, theory, and practice, with suggestions for further reading. 'Modernism' is an examination of Modernist theatre from the late 19th century to the early 20th century in Europe,
Edward Gordon Craig: British Actor and Director
A biography of Edward Gordon Craig, in full Edward Henry Gordon Craig, (1872-1966), English actor, theatre director-designer, producer, and theorist who influenced the development of the theatre in the 20th century. Authors: Denis Bablet, and the Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Edward Gordon Craig Presentation
A twelve-slide presentation on the life, career, ideas and practices, influences, and contemporary and modern impact of Edward Gordon Craig. The slides are accompanied by a detailed script. Published November 12, 2007 on SlideShare.
Italian playwright Dario Fo (1926-2016) was known for his satirical and often controversial works. He was awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature.
A biography of Italian playwright Dario Fo, covering his career writing and directing plays in Europe and elsewhere, and his receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1997. Encyclopedia of World Biography. Vol. 18. 2nd ed. Detroit, MI: Gale, 2004. p140-143.
The Tricks of The Trade by
Publication Date: 1991
Throughout the 1980s, Dario Fo, Italy's best known and most provocative satirical playwright, and his wife Franca Rame, the celebrated actress and feminist, conducted a series of performance-seminars around the world on the subject of acting. Fo and Rame revealed to audiences the many facets of the actor's art - his or her 'Tricks of the Trade'. Using mime, masks, pieces of text, dance, action and snatches from songs, Fo and Franca Rame consolidated many months of their lecture demonstrations into a 'Six Day' workshop, a staged demonstration that was also a Fo-on-Fo one-man show.
Jacques Lecoq (1921-1999) was an actor, director and extremely influential theatre teacher. He started a theatre school in Paris in 1956 that continues to operate today as L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq. Lecoq is famous for creating an approach that uses movement analysis, improvisation and collective creation to teach theatre.
Links to resources related to the work of Jacques Lecoq: books, websites, students of Lecoq, the pedagogy of Lecoq, Lecoq's focuses in his work and teaching, and a quote from him explaining his technique. From the Black Box website, edited by Catherine Rankin.
The Moving Body: Teaching Creative Theatre by
Publication Date: 2002-01-11
Translation of: Le corps poetique.;Includes bibliographical references and filmography (page xii). Groundbreaking contemporary mime and theater instructor Jacques Lecoq introduces his philosophy of performance, covering movement, gesture, masks, improvisation, melodrama, commedia dell'arte, bouffons, clowns, and tragedy.
Theatre of Movement and Gesture by
Publication Date: 2006-10-16
Published in France in 1987, this is the book in which Lecoq first set out his philosophy of human movement, and the way it takes expressive form in a wide range of different performance traditions. He traces the history of pantomime, sets out his definition of the components of the art of mime, and discusses the explosion of physical theatre in the second half of the twentieth century.
Digital Theatre Plus
Digital Theatre Plus has a written resource: A Concise Introduction to Jacques Lecoq, by Rick Kemp, of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The article includes biographical material, as well as discussions of his aims, theory, and practice, as well as suggestions for further reading and links to key productions on Digital Theatre Plus.
Robert Lepage (born 1957) is a Canadian director, playwright, actor and film director. He founded the multidisciplinary production company, Ex Machina, in 1994.
A biography of Robert Lepage, discussing his training and his career in theatre, film, opera, and the production of rock shows, exhibits, circus and architectural projections. Also includes a list of international awards he has received. Presented by the website of his multidisciplinary production company, Ex Machina.
Connecting Flights by
Publication Date: 1999-04-01
Contains interviews in which Canadian actor, playwright, and director Robert Lepage offers his thoughts on the theater and a variety of related topics, including nationalism, memory, inspiration, and culture.
Kristin Linklater (1936-2020) was a Scottish vocal coach, acting teacher, actor, theatre director, and author. After retiring from Columbia University as professor emerita she returned to Scotland where she founded a retreat-style, residential, voice centre in the Orkney Islands.
Who Is Kristin Linklater?
A short biography of the voice production teacher and actress, hosted on the website of the residential voice retreat centre she founded in her native Orkney.
Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language by
Publication Date: 2006-10-01
Emphasizing the use of imagery and imagination in developing the art of the voice, this book incorporates exercises developed over the past three decades that have stood the test of repetition, reliably producing results when practiced conscientiously and with understanding.
The logical progression of exercises is designed for professional actors, student actors, teachers of acting, teachers of voice and speech, and anyone interested in vocal expression.
Freeing Shakespeare's Voice by
Publication Date: 1993-01-01
oice teacher, actor and director Kristin Linklater goes beyond the techniques developed in her classic text, Freeing the Natural Voice, to a passionate, practical exploration of Shakespeare, providing readers with the tools to increase understanding and make Shakespeare’s words their own.
Patsy Rodenburg (1953- ) is a British voice coach, author, and theatre director. She is the Head of Voice at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and has also worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal National Theatre.
A brief biography of the voice coach and actor from her official website. Covers her academic training and the work she has done with both actors and corporate leaders, and explains her methodology.
The Right to Speak: Working with the Voice by
Publication Date: 1993-06-14
Voice teacher Patsy Rodenburg teaches readers how to meet any speaking challenge with total self-assurance. Rodenburg has trained thousands of actors, singers, media personalities, lawyers, politicians, business people, teachers and students in the art of using their voice fully and expressively without fear. She has taught them how to breathe, how to support their breath, how to stretch their voice to meet any vocal effort and how to have total confidence in whatever they say--"the right to speak."
The Actor Speaks: Voice and the Performer by
Publication Date: 2002-08-17
In this book Rodenburg takes actors and actresses, both professional and beginners, through a complete voice workshop. She touches on every aspect of performance work that involves the voice and sorts through the kinds of vexing problems every performer faces onstage: breath and relaxation; vocal range and power; communication with other actors; singing and acting simultaneously; working on different sized stages and in both large and small auditoriums; approaching the vocal demands of different kinds of scripts. This is the final word on the actor's voice and it's destined to become the classic work on the subject for some time to come.
Speaking Shakespeare by
Publication Date: 2004-07-16
In this book Rodenburg tackles one of the most difficult acting jobs: speaking Shakespeare's words both as they were meant to be spoken and in an understandable and dramatic way. Rodenburg calls this "a simple manual to start the journey into the heart of Shakespeare," and that is what she gives us. She uses dramatic resonance, breathing, and placement to show how an actor can bring Hamlet, Rosalind, Puck and other characters to life.
A working life: The voice coach
The article is a look into a work day of voice coach Patsy Rodenburg. Includes additional sections on Curriculum Vitae and Overtime (non-work-related pastimes and interest.) 'From actors to execs, Patsy Rodenburg's mantra of psychology and Shakespeare helps them to master the power of speech.' April 11, 2011. Mark Tran, for The Guardian.
Leading with Presence, with Patsy Rodenburg
Patsy Rodenburg has transformed the way voice and acting are taught all over the world. She has also been a major influencer in penal reform. She has staged Shakespeare in maximum-security prisons and worked with the criminally insane for over 30 years. In this interview Aga Bajer, a culture strategist, talks to Rodenburg about hugely important topics such as presence, leadership, power, fairness, redemption and women's voices. Episode 17 in the series.
Tadashi Suzuki (1939- ) is a Japanese experimental director, writer, and acting coach. He is the founder and director of the Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT) based in Toga Village, located in the mountains of Toyama prefecture in Japan. In 1992, with Anne Bogart, he co-founded the Saratoga International Theatre Institute in Saratoga Springs, New York. He is the organizer of Japan’s first international theatre festival (Toga Festival) and the creator of the Suzuki Method of Actor Training.
A profile of Tadashi Suzuki on the website of the theatre company he founded, Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT). A chronology is given of Suzuki's professional work, as well as a list of hi international productions. The SCOT website also has an extensive section on Suzuki's philosophy of theatre, in which he elaborates his Fundamental Theory and Technique of Acting.
Culture Is the Body: The Theatre Writings of Tadashi Suzuki by
Publication Date: 2015-08-04
This volume collects all of Suzuki's writings over the last forty years and includes his essays 'On Directing' and 'On Acting,' which updates his techniques on actor training; 'Culture is the Body,' a reworking of 'Grammar of the Feet'; and his creative process behind his productions of 'The Trojan Women' and 'King Lear.' Other essays explore the structure of a theatre group, the creation and use of theatrical space, and the overcoming of cultural and national barriers in the interest of creating work that is truly universal. The book closes with an interview with Suzuki.
Tadashi Suzuki and the Thalia Prize
Tadashi Suzuki received the Thalia Prize from the International Association of Theatre Critics (AICT-IATC) on April 16, 2021. The article is about the Thalia Prize, and the international conference international conference on the work of Mr. Suzuki, that took place along with the (online) award ceremony. " His actor-training methods, which focus on the language of the body on stage, are widely taught and continue to grow in influence." By Margareta Sörenson, for Critical Stages/Scènes critiques, The IATC journal/Revue de l'AICT – June/Juin 2021: Issue No 23.
For the Future of Theatre, by Tadashi Suzuki
Tadashi Suzuki's acceptance speech for the Thalia Prize from the International Association of Theatre Critics on April 16, 2021. He chronicles the history of SCOT (his theatre in Toga, Japan) then moves on to explain his philosophy of theatre, actors, and the future of the medium. "Τhe essence of theatre lies in the presence of the actors."
The Invisible Body and the Suzuki Method of Actor Training
The author explains Tadashi Suzuki's acting method, and its focus on the actor's body, and its development of the “invisible body”. June 13, 2013. By Nelson Chia, originally for Drama Box's ezine. Article is posted on the website of the Nine Years Theatre company, a Mandarin theatre company in Singapore, and artistic partners with the SITI company in New York.
Suzuki Method of Actor Training
A brief summary of Tadashi Suzuki's method of training actors, along with a link to a documentary on Suzuki's company in Japan showing theatrical work. The documentary, Suzuki's Creative Trajectory in Toga, includes segments of works created by Suzuki over the past 45 years: “The Trojan Women”, “Cyrano de Bergerac”, “Dionysus”, “King Lear”, “Ivanov”, “Greetings from the Edge of the Earth”, and the Suzuki Method of Actor Training. We hope you will enjoy having a look at Suzuki’s artistic works in Toga.
American theatre director and designer Robert Wilson (born 1941) has collaborated with contemporary composers in the creation of musical theater pieces Wilson's interest, like that of Gertrude Stein, is in the use of components of syntax and sound to create a new form of language.
Robert M.(Byrd Hoffman) Wilson
An evaluation of Wilson's artistic and theatrical work, with additional sections giving personal information, a list of his works 1966 - present), published works by Wilson, and a list of additional publications for future reading. Robert M.(Byrd Hoffman) Wilson. Contemporary Artists, Gale, 2001. Biography In Context.
Robert Wilson and His Collaborators by
Publication Date: 1989-02-01
Robert Wilson is considered by many to be among the greatest theatre-makers of the twentieth century. Laurence Shyer creates a rich portrait of this American visionary by weaving together his own extensive knowledge of the artist's life and work with material gleaned from interviews with scores of people who have collaborated with Wilson through the years.
Digital Theatre Plus
DT+ has two resources related to this theorist. (1) In 'Robert Wilson' from the Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance, the author outlines the history, aims and methods of American theatre director Robert Wilson, exploring how Wilson’s various collaborations have achieved international success, and how his experimental approach has placed him as one of the most innovative and influential theatre artists of the late 20th century. (2) In a video interview, 'A Mighty Big If: Robert Wilson' the theorist talks with Richard Strange, offering insight into his signature use of light, investigations into the structure of a simple movement, and the classical rigor of his scenic and furniture design.
Robert Wilson official website
Official website of Robert Wilson, offering information on Wilson's achievements in both the performing arts - in theatre and opera - and the visual arts, as well as a biography.