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Millennial Stages

Millennial Stages: Essays and Reviews 2001-2005

Robert Brustein
Copyright Date: 2006
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    Millennial Stages
    Book Description:

    A major figure in the world of theater as critic, playwright, scholar, teacher, director, actor, and producer, Robert Brustein offers a unique perspective on the American stage and its artists. In this wise, witty, and wide-ranging collection of recent writings, Brustein examines crucial issues relating to theater in the post-9/11 years, analyzing specific plays, emerging and established performers, and theatrical production throughout the world. Brustein relates our theater to our society in a manner that reminds us why the performing arts matter.Millennial Stagesrecords Brustein's thinking on the important issues "roiling the national soul" at the start of the twenty-first century. His opening section explores the connections between theater and society, theater and politics, and theater and religion, and it is followed by reviews of such landmark productions asThe ProducersandSpamalot,Long Day's Journey into NightandKing Lear. In his final section, Brustein reflects on people and places of importance in the world of theater today, including Marlon Brando and Arthur Miller and Australia and South Africa.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-13536-7
    Subjects: Performing Arts

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xiii-xviii)

    In an ominous coincidence, the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon took place around the beginning of the second millennium, a time traditionally associated with apocalypse. In a slightly less apocalyptic synchronism, September 11th also coincides with the beginning of every new theatre season. Rather than acknowledge the fears and fevers of our time, not to mention the terror that now enshrouds our lives, the commercial stage has been conscientiously devoted to manufacturing escapism and obscurantism, through witless entertainments and irrelevant revivals. In September 2005 alone, with the war in Iraq in its third year and...

  5. Part One Positions and Polemics
    (pp. 1-42)

    I was hoping to do a review today of the late summer London theatre season, but like everyone else in America following the events of September 11th, I had to change my plans. Writing drama criticism seems like very trivial labor after you’ve been watching the herculean efforts of police, firemen, and city workers to retrieve the remains of victims buried under the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. How does one continue to evaluate plays in the face of all that heroism and all that rubble? It’s being said that among the many things destroyed forever by the Muslim...

  6. Part Two Plays and Productions
    (pp. 43-170)

    Theater has many objectives. It can be a source of instruction and amusement. It can serve as a catalyst for painful emotions. It can operate as a criticism of life and society. It can create a link between the individual and the world. It can build a temporary community among strangers. And, not least, it can provide great roles for strong actors. This season has begun with two examples of this last objective, which illustrates most of the previous ones: Al Pacino’s Arturo Ui and Fiona Shaw’s Medea.

    Pacino first played the role of Arturo Ui about thirty years ago...

  7. Part Three People and Places
    (pp. 171-266)

    Under the general editorship of James Atlas, Lipper/Viking has been publishing brief Penguin Lives of such major figures as Mozart, Proust, Joyce, Melville, Simone Weill, and (in a particularly informative study by R. W. B. Lewis) Dante Aligheri. Now comes a book by Patricia Bosworth on the subject of Marlon Brando.

    Its inclusion in this series may be an occasion for raised eyebrows. It certainly lifted mine and not just because the book reads like a celebrity bio by a Brando groupie (Bosworth, a cultural reporter who has previously rhapsodized over Montgomery Clift, almost loses her breath when she describes,...

  8. Index
    (pp. 267-282)