Wednesday, October 24, 2012


"Theatre if it is real is big. In comprehension of humanity it stretches to the far horizon -- In understanding, deep as the human heart--”

Concern is my motivation, passionate concern for youth, for humanity --
Concern is the root of drama. Shaw, Shakespeare, Chekhov -- all the greats --
Concern must motivate the actor, the director, the dramatist.”

“The study of acting begins with life -- humanity.  Emphasize the need for study, for reading, for study of all the humanities courses.

Craft is important, but it is not studied for mastery of craft alone. Its purpose is to shape, form, communicate substance. The material of drama is the astonishment of living.”

All quotes by Alvina Krause

These quotes are from today’s post on where David Downs is posting AK’s correspondence with him after he began teaching acting at NU.  They are very typical of her and central to whatever you want to call her “method.”  It’s a great irony -- or maybe a symmetry -- that these idealistic notions were defeated for a while in the theatre department, but have circled around to be re-expressed in new ways in the Department of Performance Studies, which I take to be what the Interp dept. evolved into.  

This is their formal statement:

"The Department of Performance Studies lives at the sprawling intersection of personal narrative, literature, culture, technology, and performance theory. By thinking critically about cultural performance, students and faculty in the department bend—and sometimes break—long-standing concepts of what performance really is.

"We value the study of performance, documenting, analyzing and theorizing on cultural rituals, public identities and political positions. And we value the practice of performance, examining and enacting literary texts to create live interpretations of novels, poetry, and other written sources."
In fact, this is where my own work is now, but I’m not sticking to writing.  I want to know how to create that “space between,” that liminality that kindles new ideas and confirms old ideas through the senses.
We arrive someplace we’ve been searching for a long time and discover that we were there all along.  Yeah, I know.  Others have said the same.
Prairie Mary
(Mary Strachan Scriver, Speech '61)

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