ON BUILDING A THEATER

2002 John Clancy When the event of theater begins, does the place of the event become a theater?  We believe, reflexively and grandly, that all the world is a stage and the adventurous directors among us see performance sites everywhere.  Brook, traveling the world, carried only a carpet, unrolling it to create a stage.  But did the desert become a theater?  There is a critical difference...

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ESSAY COMMISSIONED BY GLASGOW HERALD

2004 John Clancy In 1997 I co-founded the New York International Fringe Festival.  In our second year, The New York Times was calling us an institution and in our third year we had one of our shows, a musical with the unlikely title of Urinetown, transfer to Broadway where it won three Tonys.  The following year, 2000, I directed a show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and we were fortunate...

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ON REHEARSAL

© 2002 John Clancy A broad but truthful dividing line between all theatre people separates those who would prefer to always be in rehearsal and those who would prefer to always be on stage. I’m a rehearsal man. It’s sort of like preferring to be on a journey rather than at the destination. I find that all destinations, no matter how glittering or exotic, inevitably disappoint while the most...

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ON METATHEATRICS

JOHN CLANCY ©2002 There is a fashionable school of American theatre that can be called Metatheatrics. It is the youngest child of the unhappy marriage of grad school theory and real world naiveté and it is at best an interesting diversion and at worst a malicious waste of everyone’s time. Its most characteristic feature is the confusion or removal of the traditionally...

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MAKING SHAKESPEARE DULL

John Clancy ©2002 When I think of Shakespeare, I think of Gulliver in Lilliputia: a giant tied down and held fast by hundreds of tiny ropes. We are the Lilliputians when we approach Shakespeare, busily fastening our slim theories, inspirations and critical interpretations to the great bulk in a foolish and futile attempt to hold the Titan still. Another metaphor: a ship so covered in barnacles...

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