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Environmental Theater

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  22 ratings  ·  4 reviews
"There is an actual, living relationship between the spaces of the body and the spaces the body moves through; human living tissue does not abruptly stop at the skin, exercises with space are built on the assumption that human beings and space are both alive." Here are the exercises which began as radical departures from standard actor training etiquette and which stand no ...more
Paperback, 339 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Applause Theatre & Cinema Book Publishers (first published 1973)
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Fluffy Singler
This has many many good suggestions and ways not only of directing, but of BEING in the theatre and making change through your actions as a director. I fear that much of this ethos has been lost, even tossed out as antiquated 60's techniques, but I find it very (re)fresh(ing) and I have my theatre students read it and consider what might apply to them. I have read various parts of it over the past 10 years and as I was directing a college production, I had my assistant directors read this book.
Although I am not a big fan of environmental theatre, Schnechner does an excellent job of explaining it in this book. I only read the opening couple of sections, but the way that Schechner talks about using space as part of a theatrical performance is really insightful. I especially like the idea that space, along with the actors, the text, props, and audiences must all exist in what he calls transactional relationships. In other words, the environmental theatre experience isn't one in which the ...more
In live performance, every element can play a part from the instant the patrons arrive (the box office staff, the path from the box office to the performance space, the way the seating is arranged, and on and on and on). And in a performance space, everything can be used (the floor, the ceiling, the air between, the space behind the audience, the audience themselves). This book gives examples and inspiration.

One great takeaway is the need for the audience to be "initiated" into a space if the pi
Sep 30, 2008 Zak rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: theatre
Schechner is a madman; he stands on the narrow line between the illegal and the mundane, the spiritually demonic and redemptive, the disturbing level of calm that comes only after acceptance of the greatest discomfort. His theories of theatre - "Theatre is sex and violence" - only pave the way to exercises of twisted brillance: he brings the audience in and folds real choice into a theatrical performance. Real meets ritual in the pages of this man's book. I have a great deal of respect for him.. ...more
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