On the Art of the Theatre
Edited by Franc Chamberlain
Routledge – 2008 – 160 pages
Series: Routledge Theatre Classics
First published in 1911, On the Art of the Theatre remains one of the seminal texts of theatre theory and practice.
Actor, director, designer and pioneering theorist, Edward Gordon Craig was one of twentieth century theatre’s great modernisers. Here, he is eloquent and entertaining in expounding his views on the theatre; a crucial and prescient contribution that retains its relevance almost a century later.
This reissue contains a wealth of new features:
Controversial and original, On the Art of the Theatre stands as one of the most influential books on theatre of the twentieth century.
'We cannot create anything worth seeing or hearing if, like a tame cat, we must first ask others what they think is the best thing to do, and the safest.' – Edward Gordon Craig, 1924
'one of the most influential books of the past century… a great introduction to the notion of 'visual and physical theatre'… Essential reading!' - Total Theatre
Prefaces. Introduction. God Save the King. The Artists of the Theatre of the Future. The Actor and the Uber-Marionette. Some Evil Tendencies of the Modern Theatre. Plays and Playwrights. The Theatre in Russia, Germany, and England. The Art of the Theatre (1st Dialogue). The Art of the Theatre (2nd Dialogue). The Ghosts in the Tragedies of Shakespeare. Shakespeare's Plays. Realism and the Actor. Open-Air Theatres. Symbolism. The Exquisite and the Precious
Edward Gordon Craig (1872-1966) was the son of an actor and an architect, and his celebrated career was a synthesis of the two professions. Aside from a prolific career in theatrical writing and direction, he is best known for his pioneering work in set design, not least the feted 1912 production of Hamlet, with Konstantin Stanislavski’s Moscow Arts Theatre.
Franc Chamberlain is Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at University College Cork and Visiting Professor in Performance Studies and Creative Practice at the University of Northampton. He is author of Michael Chekhov (Routledge, 2003), co-editor of Jacques Lecoq and the British Theatre (Routledge, 2002), and editor of the Routledge Performance Practitioners series.