The Wooster Group Work Book
Edited by Andrew Quick
Routledge – 2007 – 288 pages
The Wooster Group has consistently challenged audiences and critics alike with their extraordinary performance works, many of which are now recognised as ‘classics’ of the contemporary stage.
The Wooster Group Work Book accesses, often for the first time, the company’s rehearsal methods and source materials, as well as the creative thinking and reflections of director Elizabeth LeCompte and her main artistic collaborators. Focusing on six performance pieces, Frank Dell’s the Temptation of St. Antony (1987), Brace Up! (1990), Fish Story (1994), House/Lights (1999) and To You, the Birdie! (Phèdre) (2002), this new volume gathers together an astonishing range of archival material to produce a vivid and personal account of how the company makes its work.
This book’s intricate layering of journal extracts, actors’ notes, stage designs, drawings, performance texts, rehearsal transcriptions, stage-managers’ logs and stunning photographs traces a unique documentary path across the practice of the Wooster Group, one that will be an indispensable resource for all those with an interest in contemporary performance and its impact on contemporary culture.
Highly accessible to the student, scholar, theatre-goer and practitioner, and including three contextualizing essays by Andrew Quick, this book offers a series of remarkable insights into the working practices of one of the world’s leading performance companies.
'[The Wooster Group is] America’s most inspired company.' – Ben Brantley, New York Times
'An essential gift for fans of the avant-garde.' – Time Out New York
1. Introduction 2. Frank Dell’s The Temptation of St. Antony 3. Geinin 4. Brace Up! 5. Fish Story 6. House/Lights 7. To You, The Birdie! (Phèdre) 8. On Pragmatics: Process in the Work of The Wooster Group 9. The Living Archive: Documenting The Wooster Group 10. The Wooster Group. Bibliography. Index
Andrew Quick is a Senior Lecturer in Theater Studies at Lancaster University. He is co-editor of On Memory (2000), Time and Value (1998) and Shattered Anatomies (1997). He is also a founder member of Leeds-based performance company, imitating the dog, where he writes and directs.