Theatre for a New Audience's Open Books is a program of public lectures featuring the critical and scholarly voices behind some of the best books newly published in the theater field. In this final offering of the series, curator Jonathan Kalb discusses why marathons are the slow food of theatrical art, the precious antidotes to the maddening and corrosive "hurry sickness" of the media age, with its ubiquitous pressure to abbreviate, compress and trivialize absolutely everything. And he discusses why even the best theater marathons aren't for everyone, but everyone could learn something from them about why theater endures and is still, despite everything, necessary and irreplaceable.
Kalb will read from his award-winning book, Great Lengths: Seven Works of Marathon Theatre. Question and answer and book signing will follow.
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About the Author: Jonathan Kalb is a theater critic and scholar whose work has appeared in Village Voice, The New York Times and many other publications. He is Professor in the Department of Theater at Hunter College, City University of New York, and author of Beckett in Performance, The Theater of Heiner Müller and two volumes of collected criticism.
Jonathan Kalb was chosen as the 2012 recipient of The George Freedley Award for his latest book Great Lengths: Seven Works of Marathon Theater (University of Michigan Press). This award is given by the Theatre Library Association to an English-language book of outstanding scholarship that explores an aspect of live theater or performance. Kalb was also awarded the prestigious George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism - the highest award one can receive in the field of theatrical criticism - for the same work. This is the second time Kalb has received this honor (the first for his book Beckett in Performance). He is one of only three authors in this field to have won this award more than once.
About the Book: We know that size matters in many areas of human endeavor, but what about works of the imagination? Why do some dramatic creations extend to five hours or more, and how does their extreme length help them accomplish extraordinarily ambitious aims?
In his award-winning book Great Lengths, theater critic and scholar Jonathan Kalb addresses these and other questions through a close look at seven internationally prominent theater productions, including Tony Kushner's Angels in America, Robert Wilson's Einstein on the Beach, the Royal Shakespeare Company's Nicholas Nickleby, and the "durational works" of the British experimental company Forced Entertainment. This is a book about extreme length, monumental scope, and intensive immersion in the theater in general, written by a passionate spectator reflecting on selected pinnacles of his theatergoing over thirty years.
"...Kalb's fine-tuned prose, his dryly witty but earnest voice and his ability to make deep connections across centuries and continents make Great Lengths a steady and exciting read. It also functions as a marvelous history of Western drama that summarizes a number of theoretical constructs from Aristotle's prescriptive Poetics to Lehman's concept of 'post-dramatic' theater." —American Theatre
"Jonathan Kalb takes us on a tour of monumental theater events, which flaunt the rules of economy, Aristotelian and otherwise. Kalb captures these unwieldy marathon productions by skillfully mixing personal experience and scholarly analysis. I read this engaging book in a single sitting—and came away ready to join the first theater marathon I could find." —Martin Puchner, Harvard University
Location: Street: The Drama Book Shop, Inc Additional: 250 West 40th Street City: New York, Province: New York Postal Code: 10018-1511 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)