ARNOLD ARONSON QUOTES

theatre historian

Whereas Absurdism in Europe seemed a logical, almost inevitable response to the irrationality of war, the analogous elements that surfaced in American drama seemed more a response to a materialist society run amok. The American-style Absurdism seemed to spring full-blown out of television advertisements and situation comedies, which had become new myth-making machines.

ARNOLD ARONSON, The Cambridge History of American Theatre

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Tags: absurdism


If modern design moved the stage picture away from the specific, tangible, illusionistic world of Romanticism and Realism into a generalized, theatrical, and poetic realm in which the pictorial image functioned as an extension of the playwright's themes and structures (a metanarrative), then postmodern design is a dissonant reminder that no single point of view can predominate, even within a single image.

ARNOLD ARONSON, "Postmodern Design", Looking Into the Abyss

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Postmodernism shifts the basis of the work of art from the object to the transaction between the spectator and the object and further deconstructs this by negating the presence of a representative objective viewer.

ARNOLD ARONSON, "Postmodern Design", Looking Into the Abyss

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Tags: postmodern theatre


Theater--here is another truism--is a temporal art; it occurs in time.... A theatrical setting changes every minute through the movement of actors, the shifts in light, and often the physical transformations of the setting itself.... Thus, if I were to show you a photograph of a stage setting and attempt to analyze it .... I would be forced to interpret multiple sign systems that are often at odds with each other. Although the photograph could be considered a document of reality, the object being documented--the stage set--is a three-dimensional space now rendered into a two-dimensional image and captured in a moment of time. That moment may reveal something about the set, but it is one fractional slice of the theatrical production that is made up of an infinite number of such temporal slices.

ARNOLD ARONSON, Looking Into the Abyss

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Tags: theatre