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Library Exhibits at the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library: What Is Avant-Garde Theatre?

What is avant-garde theatre? on display at the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library in Fall 2018

what is avant-garde theatre?

avant garde definitions

exhibition checklist

Art movements: Futurism

f. 1909: Italian artistic movement led by the poet F. T. Marinetti that rejected artistic and cultural traditions of the past in favour of a technologically oriented future and celebrated absurdity, speed, machines, youth, and violence.




NX 600 .F8 T55 1977

Art movements: Surrealism

f. 1924: European (mainly French and Spanish) movement in art and literature in the 1920s and 30s launched by André Breton’s “Manifeste du Surréalisme” that sought “imaginative liberation” by breaking boundaries between rationality and irrationality.




NX 600 .S9 D8413 1963

European influences: Gertrude Stein

1874–1946: American writer who lived in Paris from 1903 and applied principles of fragmentation and simultaneity to theatre in her 77 experimental “plays” and “operas” composed between 1913 and 1946.


stein opera

Four Saints in Three Acts: An Opera by Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein

M 1503 .T484 F6 1948

European influences: Jerzy Grotowski

1933–99: Polish director and theorist who studied in Cracow, the Moscow State Institute of Theatre Arts (GITIS), and China, and ran an experimental Laboratory Theatre in Wrocław that toured internationally in the 1960s.



Grotowski by Raymonde Temkine

PN 2859 .P66 G7813


Grotowski and His Laboratory

PN 2859 .P66 G7613 1986

Asian influences: Tadashi Suzuki

b. 1939: Japanese director who was a leading figure in the 1960s avant-garde theatre in Japan and later became an internationally influential director for his method of training actors.



The Way of Acting: The Theatre Writings of Tadashi Suzuki

PN 2924 .S9713 1986

Ensembles: the Wooster Group

f. 1980: American experimental performance ensemble and artists’ collective that was founded by Elizabeth LeCompte and Spalding Gray as an off-shoot of the New York-based Performance Group of the 1970s.


wooster group

The Wooster Group Work Book

PN 2277 .N52 W687 2007


wooster group 2


The Wooster Group, 1975-1985: Breaking the Rules

PN 2277 .N52 W667 1986

Solo performers: Peter Brook

b. 1925: English director and filmmaker who has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre, known for his experimental work and innovative productions of Shakespeare and the classics.


peter brook

Peter Brook: A Biography by Michael Kustow

PN 2598 .B69 K87 2005

Solo performers: Robert Wilson

b. 1941: American director, designer, playwright, performer, and visual artist who is known for his very visual, very long works and collaborations with avant-garde musicians and other artists.



Robert Wilson & His Collaborators

PN 2287 .W494 S49 1989


Theatre of Visions: Robert Wilson

PN 2287 .W494 B7

Solo performers: Eve Ensler

b. 1953: American playwright, performer, and activist who is best known as the author of “The Vagina Monologues,” a feminist play that has been published in 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries.


vagina monologues

The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler

PS 3555 .N75 V3 2001

Puppets and objects: Oskar Schlemmer

1888–1943: German artist, director, choreographer, and designer who directed the theatre department of the Bauhaus 1923-29 and is the creator of the “Triadic Ballet,” whose actors disappeared under masks and costumes.



Oskar Schlemmer, Triadische Ballett

PN 2091 .S8 S330 1988

Art movements: Dada

f. 1915: European movement in literature and the visual arts that stressed satire, the absurd, and the importance of the unconscious, creating irreverent art events designed to ridicule civilization and shock a complacent public.



The Dada Almanac

NX 600 .D3 D27613 1993


European influences: Konstantin Stanislavsky

1863–1938: Russian actor, director, and theoretician who co-founded the Moscow Art Theatre (1898) and whose theories later formed a basis for the development of method acting.


my life in art

My Life in Art by Konstantin Stanislavsky

PN 2728 .S78 A320


on the art of the stage

Stanislavsky on the Art of the Stage

PN 2065 .S65350 1977

European influences: Tadeusz Kantor

1915–1990: Polish director, designer, visual artist, and theorist who founded an underground experimental theatre called the Independent Theatre during the Nazi occupation of Poland in the Second World War.




Further On, Nothing: Tadeusz Kantor's Theatre

PN 2859 .P66 K3665 2009

Asian influences: Hijikata Tatsumi

1928–1986: Japanese dancer and choreographer who was one of the originators of Butoh, an expressionist contemporary dance form which originated in Japan in the late 1950s.



Hijikata Tatsumi and Ohno Kazuo

GV 1783.2 .B87 F735 2006

Ensembles: the Bauhaus

f. 1919: German art school founded by Walter Gropius, originally in Weimar, then active in Dessau (1925–32), Berlin (1932-33), and Chicago that aimed to combine great craftsmanship with modern art and offered a theatre workshop by Oskar Schlemmer.



The Theater of the Bauhaus

N 332 .D4 B83


The Theatre of the Bauhaus

PN 2096 .S26 T75 2011

Ensembles: SITI Company

f. 1992: U.S.-based training ground and laboratory for developing new work co-founded by Anne Bogard and Suzuki Tadashi. Several Saratoga International Theatre Institute (SITI) projects started at Actors Theatre of Louisville.



Charles Mee, Anne Bogart and the SITI Company

PN 2277 .N5 C86 2006

Solo performers: Spalding Gray

1941–2004: American actor and monologist who is known for his intense, experimental, and autobiographical monologue programs based on moments and stories in his personal life.


life interrupted

Life Interrupted: The Unfinished Monologue by Spalding Gray

PS 3557 .R333 L54 2005


Journals of Spalding Gray

The Journals of Spalding Gray

PS 3557 .R333 Z46 2011

Solo performers: Anna Deavere Smith

b. 1950: American actor and playwright who developed a documentary theatre in the 1970s that used journalism and oral history to portray real-life communities in solo performance pieces using the voices of dozens of character sketches.


anna deavere smith

Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and Other Identities by Anna Deavere Smith

PS 3569 .M465 F56 1993

Solo performers: Whoopi Goldberg

b. 1955: American actor, comedian, playwright, and producer who performed ground-breaking one-woman shows on Broadway, a monologist presenting full-evening multi-character shows.


whoopi goldberg monologue

Extreme Exposure chapter 23 -- Whoopi Goldberg

PN 2287 .T28 B58 1995

Puppets and objects: Julie Taymor

b. 1952: American director and designer whose eclectic and experimental career has spanned theatre, opera, happenings, and Broadway musicals who studied mask and puppet theatre in Java and Bali in the mid-1970s.


julie taymor

Julie Taymor, Playing with Fire: Theater, Opera, Film

PN 2287 .T28 B58 1995