The Open Door: Thoughts on Acting and Theatre

Peter Brook, Author Pantheon Books $21 (147p) ISBN 978-0-679-42806-0
Director of some of 20th-century England's most sensational Shakespearean productions, now head of the innovative International Centre for Theatre Creation in Paris, Brook is an enormously influential and important stage director and teacher. Unfortunately, this skimpy volume, composed in part of transcribed speeches about his philosophy of theater, offers nothing that will be new to readers of The Empty Space. Those unfamiliar with that previous and much superior book may enjoy Brook's ardent descriptions here of an ideal theater that blends form and content--``the meeting place between the great questions of humanity--life, death--and the craftlike dimension, which is very practical, as in pottery''--but even they may sense that the author is relying primarily on grandiose abstractions in a work that seems more a rehash of old ideas than an exploration of new frontiers. The final chapter, ``There Are No Secrets,'' at least has the virtue of being specific, as Brook discusses the evolution of his recent production of The Tempest . ( Oct. )
Reviewed on: 08/30/1993
Release date: 09/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 160 pages - 978-1-4000-7787-8
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