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From King Lear to the Tragedy of Carmen, from Marat/Sade to the epic Mahabharata, Peter Brook has reinvented modern theatre, not once but again and again. In The Open Door the visionary director and theorist offers a lucid, comprehensive exposition of the philosophy that underlies his work.
It is a philosophy of paradoxes: We come to the theatre to find life, but that life must be different from the life we find outside. Actors have to prepare painstakingly yet be willing to sacrifice the results of their preparation. The director’s most reliable tool may be his capacity to be bored. Brook illustrates these principles with anecdotes that span his entire career and that demonstrate his familiarity with Shakespeare, Chekhov, and the indigenous theatres of India and Iran. The result is an unparalleled look at what happens both onstage and behind the scenes, fresh in its insights and elegant in its prose.
About the Author
Peter Brook was born in London and received his M.A. at Oxford, where he founded the Oxford University Film Society. He has been a director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and currently heads the International Centre of Theatre Research, in Paris.
He has directed over fifty productions, among them Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Tempest, and King Lear in Stratford-upon-Avon; Ring Around the Moon, Oedipus, A View from the Bridge, and Hamlet in London; The Visit, Marat/Sade, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Tragedy of Carmen in New York; Seargeant Musgrave’s Dance, The Conference of the Birds, Timon of Athens, The Mahabharata, The Cherry Orchard, and The Tempest. Among the films he has directed are Lord of the Flies, King Lear, and Meetings with Remarkable Men. His operas include The Marriage of Figaro and Boris Godunov at Covent Garden, and Faust and Eug?ne Onegin at the Metropolitan Opera. His books include The Empty Space (1968) and The Shifting Point (1987).
“One of the great artistic explorers of our time. . . . An extraordinary artist." –Andre Gregory
"Peter Brook continues to astonish, not in an ordinary, fashionable way, but in an ancient, insistent way that always forces one inward." –Ken Burns
“One of the twentiethth century's few true theater innovators.” –Clive Barnes