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The Empty Space: A Book About the Theatre: Deadly, Holy, Rough, Immediate Paperback – December 1, 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
Interestingly when Brook was writing (1968) there were many cynical critics who complained that the theatre was dying in the wake of television and film. Brook confronts the issue that theatre attendance was reacing all time lows. Today, over thirty years later, it is daunting to consider that there are even more distractions (the internet, home video, etc.) and attendance is even lower still. Yet despite these imposing knives thrusting into the communal body that is the Theatre, the world's oldest art form manages to forge ahead, survive and, the rare cases, thrive all the while maintaining its cultural importance.
Brook believes the theatre is unique is that it requires a community of artists and audiences alike to exist. That very sense of humanity and awe is what allows it to flourish in many instances.
Brook's writing is admittedly erudite and sometimes pretentious. And perhaps when one takes the positions that he does, such lofty language and posings may indeed be impossible. I hate to say it, but Brook's book may be hard going for the theatre lay person- God knows I'm aware of how elitist that sounds, but I think it is true. Because of his thick verbage, it may take a couple of stabs for the reader to unlock Brook's fevered soapboxing. But the journey is well worth the price.
This is a book of theatre theory and therefore it may appear quite barren of practical solutions.Read more ›
Yes: This work is of great value to any theatre artist.
BUT!!! This book is rather dense, and those who are unfamiliar with major movements and theories in the last century of theater may find themselves a bit lost when Brook begins to talk about Artaud and the "Holy Theater" or Brecht and "Rough Theater."
Brook's ideas, through his sometimes dense writing, are meant to inspire and invigorate. This is not a manual or even a reference to create good theatre, as a major argument of Brook's is that good theater is far to complex and ever-changing to be explained by any book/manual/dogma/etc.
Read this book and know that it will not help you to create good theatre- if anything, it will raise the bar for "good" theatre so much higher that one's task becomes infinitely more difficult. This is the agony and the ecstasy of reading Peter Brook.
a genius director. His view of NYC theatre being deadly
is, in my experience working off off B'way theater, is spot on.
NYC theatre is dead and getting deader since all the
young actors and directors are being trained by studios who are
living in the past. NYC theatre is at the same dead level
as it was in the 30s, 40s and 50s when The Theatre of the
Absurd playwrights- Beckett, Genet, Pinter, Onesco, Albee
and is described by Andre Gregory and Wally Shawn in their
classic film My Dinner With Andre, that NYC theatre is controlled
by a conspiracy of commercial interests based on money which
keeps the audience bored and asleep because if you are asleep
you can't say no!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the greatest, most subtle theater books of all time. Beautifully written, filled with humor and insight from one of 20th century's most important directors.Published 15 months ago by paul golub
I read this book when I was doing my theater training. It is one of the primary books that formed my thinking and understanding
of what theater can and should be. Read more
great choice by the ETW wing of NYU
great for upcoming aspiring actors looking into different styles
thank you for the suggestion
Peter Brook's powerful work is the greatest book written about the theater in recent time. The reading is packed with insights and strong assertions. It cannot be overlooked. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Richard J. Albert
A must for plywrights/script writers. Peter Brook was a genious and his work raised the stakes for writers actors Directors and producers.working in the Theatre. Read morePublished on May 5, 2014 by D.M.E. Daly
This book retains it magic and insight generations after being published. There are few books in the theatre theory/crit section that are just as useful, informative, insightful... Read morePublished on June 22, 2013 by Benjamin Herman