American influence on the alternative theatre movement in Britain 1956-1980

Weinberg, David (2015) American influence on the alternative theatre movement in Britain 1956-1980. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .

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Abstract

This thesis argues that American experimental theatre practice was one key factor in the development of an important phase in the history of the alternative theatre movement in Britain during the period 1956-1980. The data for this thesis has been collected through interviews, archival work and a review of existing literature on post-war British theatre including the alternative theatre movement. The theoretical superstructure and modes of analysis build upon key concepts and theories in the work of Elizabeth Burns (1972) and Baz Kershaw (1992, 1999). The main historical developments or phenomena referred to are the activities of the experimental theatre groups associated with Jim Haynes, Charles Marowitz, Nancy Meckler and Ed Berman, four expatriate American theatre practitioners living in Britain during the time period 1956 1980. In addition this thesis examines important American based groups, Living Theatre (1947), Open Theatre (1964), La MaMa (1960) and Bread and Puppet (1965), which performed in Britain and which made an impact during the same period. The study also examines a wide range of indigenous British groups, Pip Simmons (1968), Foco Novo (1972-1989), Joint Stock (1974- 1989), as well as institutions, RSC (1961), Royal Court (1956) and individuals such as Max Stafford-Clark, Thelma Holt, John Arden, Anne Jellicoe and the Portable playwrights (1968- 1972) which in one way or another were influenced by American exemplars. It is important to state clearly that this study does not claim that American experimental theatre and performance practices were the only influence on this important phase in the history of alternative theatre in Britain. This study simply claims that prevailing themes as well as American experimental theatre groups and performance practices had a key impact which has not been properly acknowledged or examined by scholars. Such an examination will contribute to a more comprehensive and dynamic understanding of the forces which shaped the alternative theatre movement in Britain.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Physical Location: This item is held in stock at Kingston University library.
Research Area: Drama, dance and performing arts
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (until 2017) > School of Performance and Screen Studies
Depositing User: Niki Wilson
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2015 15:25
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2018 10:16
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/32208

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