Bakhtin and Theatre
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Bakhtin and Theatre : Dialogues with Stanislavski, Meyerhold and Grotowski

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What did Bakhtin think about the theatre? That it was outdated? That is 'stopped being a serious genre' after Shakespeare? Could a thinker to whose work ideas of theatricality, visuality, and embodied activity were so central really have nothing to say about theatrical practice? Bakhtin and Theatre is the first book to explore the relation between Bakhtin's ideas and the theatre practice of his time. In that time, Stanislavsky co-founded the Moscow Art Theatre in 1898 and continued to develop his ideas about theatre until his death in 1938. Stanislavsky's pupil Meyerhold embraced the Russian Revolution and created some stunningly revolutionary productions in the 1920s, breaking with the realism of his former teacher. Less than twenty years after Stanislavsky's death and Meyerhold's assassination, a young student called Grotowski was studying in Moscow, soon to break the mould with his Poor Theatre. All three directors challenged the prevailing notion of theatre, drawing on, disagreeing with and challenging each other's ideas. Bakhtin's early writings about action, character and authorship provide a revealing framework for understanding this dialogue between these three masters of Twentieth Century theatre.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 264 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 12.7mm | 356g
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • ROUTLEDGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1138891452
  • 9781138891456

About Dick McCaw

Dick McCaw is Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at Royal Holloway, University of London.show more

Review quote

"At last, a landmark book that stitches Bakhtin unapologetically into the performing arts. Bakhtin loved novels best-but this spectacular study shows how keen and creative his thought can be when theatre is its site." - Caryl Emerson, Princeton University, USA "A lucid and stimulating book that does what Bakhtin himself failed to do: bring his theoretical positions into dialogue with the theatre practice of his contemporaries." - Franc Chamberlain, University of Huddersfield, UKshow more

Table of contents

Preface Introduction Methodology: questions, double-faced images and dialogue Themes: Time and Space, Body and Image Character and Author, Body and Image Realism and Revolution Art and Life How This Book Works Part I Chapter 1 -Bakhtin and Theatre Introduction i. Early Manuscripts ii. The Writings of the Bakhtin Circle iii. Dostoevsky iv Dialogue in the Novel and in Theatre v Time, Space and the Chronotope in the Novel and in Theatre vi. Carnival and Theatre vii Last Thoughts and Reflections Bakhtin and Theatre - Some Conclusions Part II Introduction to Part II Texts and Contexts Bakhtin and Stanislavsky as Thinkers Concepts in Bakhtin's Early Philosophy Phenomenology, Event Act and Action Answerability I and Other Chapter 2 - Time and Space in Novel and Theatre Acting from the Centre Experiencing not Thinking Given and Created Given Circumstances Value, Sense, Meaning Acts and Tasks Time and Timing in Performance Theatrical Space Conclusion Chapter 3 - Psychophysical Acting Introduction Bakhtin's Body Face to Face I and other in Space To Know the Body, To Value the Body The Value of the Human Body in History Stanislavsky's Resistant Body Internal and External Images Bakhtin, Stanislavsky and Psychology Creativity and the subconscious Chapter 4 - The Actor, Author and Hero I and other become Author and Hero Being, Playing and Imaging Creating the Image of the Character Who Authors the Character - Writer, Director or Actor? Stanislavsky, the Playwright and the Play Working with the Play Script The Director The 'Double Life' in Bakhtin and Stanislavsky's Theory Conclusion: Image and Human Being Chapter 5 - Meyerhold's Revolution in Theatre Introduction i. Meyerhold and Stanislavsky ii. A Dialogue about Symbolism iii A Dialogue about Physical Action 'a plasticity which does not correspond to the words' The actor's work on a role iv Training the Actor's Body 'The actor's art is the creation of plastic forms in space' 'the route to image and feeling must begin with motion' 'an actor whose natural abilities have been developed by systematic training' Training, Training, Training v A Dialogue About the Traditions of Popular Theatre vi The Grotesque vii Commedia, The Mask and the Emploi viii A Theatre without footlights Chapter 6 Outline of a Career Grotowski, Stanislavsky, Meyerhold and Bakhtin Methodology Grotowski's dialogues with the public Grotowski's dialogue with actors The Development of Grotowski's Actor Training In search of a method The way toward a Poor Theatre Overview of Grotowski's Theatre of Productions (1959 - 1969) Staging the Dialogue between Actor and Audience Confronting and not illustrating the play Character The Actor's Score - in search of true signs The Actor's Body Holiday, Carnival, Meeting - Beyond Theatre From Acting to Action From Theatre to Meeting Summary Conclusionshow more