Off-Broadway/Off-West End

American Influence on the Alternative Theatre Movement in Britain 1956–1980

David Weinberg

ibidem Press

Off-Broadway/Off-West End

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Pub Date: September 2017

ISBN: 9783838210827

274 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $45.00

Pub Date: September 2017

ISBN: 9783838270326

274 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $30.99

Off-Broadway/Off-West End

American Influence on the Alternative Theatre Movement in Britain 1956–1980

David Weinberg

ibidem Press

David Weinberg argues that American experimental theater practice was a key factor in the development of the alternative theater movement in Britain during the period 1956–1980. He covers the activities of the experimental theater groups associated with Jim Haynes, Charles Marowitz, Nancy Meckler, and Ed Berman, four expatriate American theater practitioners living in Britain. In addition, he also examines important American-based groups—Living Theatre (1947), Open Theatre (1964), La MaMa (1960), and Bread and Puppet (1965)—which performed in Britain and which made an impact during the same period, as well as a wide range of indigenous British groups—Pip Simmons (1968), Foco Novo (1972–1989), Joint Stock (1974–1989), institutions—RSC (1961), Royal Court (1956)—and individuals such as Max Stafford-Clark, Thelma Holt, John Arden, Ann Jellicoe, and the Portable playwrights (1968–1972), which in one way or another were influenced by American exemplars. Weinberg's study is essential reading for everyone seeking a more comprehensive and dynamic understanding of the forces which shaped the alternative theatrer movement in Britain.
Off-Broadway/Off-West End offers a fascinating insight into the evolution of British theater during a twenty-five year period in the second half of the twentieth century. As well as charting the impact of key expats like Jim Haynes, Charles Marowitz, Nancy Meckler, and Ed Berman on the ecology of theater-making across both the alternative and commercial sectors, it also demonstrates the wide-ranging influence of key US companies who visited Britain during these years. More than a study of how a particular generation of artists came to shape key movements and developments, this is a mode of understanding the unexpected configurations of encounters and intersections that shape theatrical landscapes. Its treatment of new writing initiatives, production strategies, and understandings of the relationship between actor and performer, scripting and improvisation, and place and space provide new ways of thinking through the relationship between theatre, history, and memory. The result is an informative, original, and persuasively argued treatment of the special relationship that brilliantly unsettles established histories of British theater in the postwar years. Maria M. Delgado, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

About the Author

David Weinberg holds a Ph.D. in drama from Kingston University, London. He received an MA (with Merit) from King's College London and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and a BFA in Theatre and Writing from the California Institute of the Arts. In London's West End he has directed projects at the Arts Theatre, St James Theatre, Trafalgar Studios, the Leicester Square Theatre, and the Soho Theatre as well as Off-West End at the Young Vic Theatre, King's Head Theatre, Rose Playhouse, Baron's Court Theatre, Etcetera Theatre, RADA, and a festival hosted by the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon. Weinberg is the first American to direct at the historic Rose Playhouse where the plays of Shakespeare were originally performed.