Download Performing Age in Modern Drama by Valerie Barnes Lipscomb PDF

By Valerie Barnes Lipscomb

This e-book is the 1st to envision age around the smooth and modern dramatic canon, from Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams to Paula Vogel and Doug Wright. every age around the existence path are interpreted as functionality and performative either on web page and on degree, together with specialist productions and senior-theatre groups.

The universal admonition "act your age" offers the springboard for this research, which rests at the premise that age is performative in nature, and that problems with age and function crystallize within the theatre.

Dramatic conventions comprise characters who swap a long time from one second to the following, brazenly demonstrating on level the reiterated activities that create a performative phantasm of good age. furthermore, administrators frequently solid actors in those performs opposed to their chronological a long time. Lipscomb contends that whereas the performs replicate various attitudes towards appearing age, as a complete they display a eager for an ageless self, a wish to current a constant, unified identification. The works reflect triumphing social perceptions of the getting older method in addition to the stress among chronological age, physiological age, and cultural buildings of age.

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Moreover, Williams goes to great pains to show the span of time, the haziness of ten years of memory, in other aspects of the stage directions, from mime and music to scrim and slide projections. Why, then, overlook the body of the actor? B. LIPSCOMB One might argue that the lack of attention paid to the portrayal of age indicates that the body is not at all central to these plays. However, critics such as Robert Siegel address the importance of the body in Williams’s plays as part of a mind/body or spirit/flesh binary: “When Amanda confronts Tom for wanting to leave his job at the warehouse in The Glass Menagerie, Tom defends his need for adventure by claiming that man is by instinct a lover, a hunter, a fighter, and Amanda’s rebuke is that instinct belongs to animals, that Christians desire the mind and spirit, and that surely Tom’s aims are higher than pigs and monkeys” (12).

Given that, I think it’s a perfect part for him. And if he has to be one of the two ages, CLASSICS OF MODERN DRAMA: THE SENSE OF ESSENTIAL SELF 41 why not the younger age? A guy in his 40s like Phil can become 60 and not destroy himself. But very few 60 year old men, even actors, can get through a production pretending to be 40 half the time and survive. It’s not an easy play to get through physically, by the way. It’s grueling. You have to be in fantastic shape. Nichols’s attitude toward casting the part is typical of directors, as long as the actor in question is too young for the part.

Martin includes three New York newspaper reviews of the initial production, none of which even mentions the memory element of the script. This more realistic version of the play became the “acting edition,” which is produced more often, as many productions continue to play the script as realistically as possible.  Parker explains that the acting edition of the play also differs in wording from the “reading edition” that Williams preferred, the latter exhibiting “a certain self-conscious, overelaborate ‘poeticizing’ quality in Tom’s framework speeches” (66).

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