Making Total Theater in America

Helene P. Foley

in Reimagining Greek Tragedy on the American Stage

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780520272446
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780520953659 | DOI:
Making Total Theater in America

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Chapter 2 explores pioneering American attempts to realize Greek tragedy as “total theater,” involving words, dance, music, and visual choreography. It moves from examining early American modern dance that responded to Greek drama to the incorporation of innovative choreography, music and stagecraft in productions. It focuses on the dance and choreography of Isadora Duncan, Margaret Gage, Martha Graham, and Helen Tamiris and the productions of theater artists such as Andrei Serban and Elizabeth Swados (Fragments of a Greek Trilogy and Agamemnon), Harry Partch (Oedipus and Revelation in the Courtyard Park), Lee Breuer and Bob Telson (Gospel at Colonus), Will Power (The Seven), Peter Mills and Cara Reichel (The Rockae), and Robert Wilson (Alcestis).

Keywords: total theater; Isadora Duncan; Martha Graham; Harry Partch; Robert Wilson; tragic choreography

Chapter.  19385 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical Literature

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