Cleaning Augean Stables: Examing Drama's Stratagies
After one of the great creative periods of western drama in the late nineteenth and the twentieth century with their experimental brashness and their intellectual reach (once celebrated by critic Eric Bentley in his seminal The Playwright as Thinker) western drama in our time has by and large folded its hands and taken up residence in the cliche marketplace, shriveling its ambition, narrowing its strategies, settling for the intellectually bland, and justifying its sluggishness by worn-out critical pieties. Cleaning Augean Stables: Examining Drama's Strategies addresses that failure in four ways:
It critiques those critical pieties, counters their irrelevance and argues their diminishing value for our time.
It reviews the dramatic strategies of great periods of western drama, strategies that expanded the reach and power of dramatic statement.
It quotes and analyses remarkably effective strategies of more recent writers in theatre and film who, whether within or entirely outside conventional formats, produced brilliantly original models for contemporary dramatic writing, models inspiring emulation.
Overall, it explains multiple and wide-ranging strategies - open, not precept-driven or marketplace-driven - to once again - as theatre famously did - offer moving and compelling voices to its cultures - most deeply meaningful dialogues.
Justine is a sexually graphic saga taken from the novel by the Marquis de Sade. Swellfoot’s Tears is a scatological XX century retelling of the myth of Oedipus. Dracula: Sabbat is a black mass in honor of the famous vampire. The Dybbuk is a mystical retelling of the classic Jewish folk myth.
The Greek Myths
A cycle of eleven episodes told in Story Theatre form--a narrator telling and life-sized puppets performing simultaneously--the play tells the story of Greek mythology from the first moments of Creation through its version of the story of the Flood, the reign of Zeus, and the trials, tribulations and joys during Zeus's long and continuing reign. It brings to life some of the most memorable episodes and characters in that saga: the Titans, the Cyclops, Zeus himself, Echo and Narcissus, Cupid and Psyche, Theseus, Orpheus and Euridice, and many, many more.