Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
Fifth Avenue at 42 nd Street
New York, NY 10018-2788
The Wertheim Study presents on
Thursday, May 16, 2013
1:15 pm in the South Court Auditorium
The Theatre of Naturalism :Disappearing Act
The impact of naturalism, a literary approach invented by Zola and especially significant in the field of the novel through his American “disciples” Crane, Norris, and Dreiser, is well acknowledged and recognized.
Not so well recognized, but equally important, is naturalistic theatre: this was a style that also originated with Zola, but its progeny was more international and its significance more radical and insurrectionary than in the less “spectacular” genre of fiction.
The Theatre of Naturalism : Disappearing Act establishes the incipiently revolutionary context (between the Paris Communist Commune, crushed in 1871, and the successful Bolshevik insurrection of October 1917) - more or less foregrounded or in the background of works by Zola, Strindberg, Ibsen, Hauptmann, Synge, Shaw, and Tolstoy, focused especially on issues of class struggle and class war, as well as the prospects and possibilities of challenging the hegemony of the ruling orders. Especially in regard to later theatre, for instance the “hyper-naturalism” of The Brig (Living Theatre) of Kenneth Brown, and of plays by Arnold Wesker and David Storey—Philip Beitchman frequently invokes themes culled from recent French theory, particularly Derrida’s deconstruction and Baudrillard’s ideas about simulation. The The Theatre of Naturalism will open up new perspectives for anyone interested in theory or theatre, whether scholars or the wider theatre-loving performing public.
The New York Public Library offers three study centers in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building: the Frederick Lewis Allen Memorial Room, the Wertheim Study, and the Shoichi Noma Reading Room. All are for qualified scholars needing intensive and long-term use of the collections of the Library. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org Elevator access is at 42 nd Street. All programs are free and subject to change or cancellation.