The Playgoer: Brustein on Mnouchkine

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Friday, September 02, 2005

Brustein on Mnouchkine

Here is a delayed review from Robert Brustein of Le Dernier Caravanserail in The New Republic (free online registration).

As summer slips away, it's worth reflecting on what was probably the event, theatrically, here in New York, like it or not. Brustein and Feingold remain the two major "dissents" I've read (there were plenty of other critics who didn't like it, but not as worth reading.) But even in reading their accounts, one is struck by how ambitious and provocative the piece was. The questions both raise--about whether this is activism posing as theatre, about the amorphous "devised" (i.e. no playwright) composition--get at the very hot button issues in today's theatre aesthetics.

For my take again, see this. (And for more about Mnouchkine, see Charles McNulty's profile here.) My thumbs-up/thumbs-down take on this is still mixed. But I will certainly remember it vividly and think about it often.

2 comments:

John Branch said...

Though I haven't read it yet, I'm glad you nosed out Robert Brustein's review and posted a link. For some time, his book The Theatre of Revolt was practically a Bible of mine.

On the ongoing subject of collective creation, I just noticed on the TCG Bookstore page that one of the new and notable titles is an anthology titled Ensemble Works, containing plays developed by about nine different American groups.

John Branch said...

Brustein's review is a breathtaking piece of work. Thanks again for alerting us to it.