The New Movement in the Theatre

Cover of book The New Movement in the Theatre
Categories: Fiction » Drama

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or at its best to the emotions and intellect, the outward decorative appeal to the senses being entirely subordinated. The older drama is comparable to that sort of painting in which sub- ' J£dinterest or idea-interest dominates; the aesthetic drama is comparable to fKe" Japanese color-print and the paintings of Whistler, where there is'a purely sensuous appeal of beautiful arrangement of line and mass and color. rThe new drama is a thing of physical beauty, compounded of decorative movement, color and light In its purest form it has the effect of a gorgeous fluctuating pattern, entrancing the eye and beguiling the mind and emotions to a dreamy forgetfulness. It is the art of the theatre that is most purely aesthetic; it is conventional, imaginative, impressionistic. Of the two great developments in the modern theatre, one?the intensive social drama, the drama of thought?took root and flowered in the work of one man, Henrik Ibsen; but the other, the aesthetic drama, had first its prophet and then its practitioners. Only by studying together the principles of Gordon Craig and the practice of Max Reinhardt can one learn the best that there is in the aesthetic theatre. (For Craig is primarily the creator and seer, Rein- hardt the practitioner/Craig the thinker, Reinhardt the doer. / Gordon Craig's first diagnosis of the theatre's (trouble was that there were no true artists of thetheatre, no men who understood every detail of creation from the playwriting to the costuming and lighting?and consequently there was no unity of structure in the average production, and no harmony of effect, jjn order to avoid the usual scattered effect, he argued, there must be one all-seeing and all- powerful director. This artist must conceive the production as a whole, and conceiv...

The New Movement in the Theatre
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