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February 27, 2008


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Isaac, this line of discussion is probably not gonna rock the theatrosphere with unending comments here, but it got me, so I thought I'd just chime with one recent discovery of mine.

You mention that most thought on this score is largely 19th century, which reminded me of something I came across in my past 3 years researching the birth of Off Off Broadway (mid-20th century). Stop me if you know this, but I understand that Joe Chaikin, Van Itallie, Sam Shepard and several others of that movement were taken with Erving Goffman's book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, published in 1959.

It's a heady read and maybe a bit dated now, but very much explores some aspects related to your discussion about the Self and its performance outside theaters (i.e. real life). I gather that Joe used some observations in the book to come up with early exercises that he used on his Open Theater company; so there's no telling how much of that has synthesized into some of the contemporary, post-method acting of today.


I posted a response and discussion-opener at my blog.

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