Environmental Theatre

  • Theodore Shank
Part of the Macmillan Modern Dramatists book series (MD)


Shortly before sunset spectators on an isolated Pacific beach near San Francisco saw on a distant cliff a giant figure in the form of a young woman standing motionless facing the ocean. After a time she stretched out her arms as if trying to reach something that was beyond the horizon. A squad of military men on a concrete bunker chanted English words in the style of Indonesian music. The words began to appear on white placards placed in long rows on the beach. The words were a letter to the young woman on the cliff written by her dead boyfriend, a sailor overseas during the Second World War.


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  1. 1.
    Some of the information in this section is from my correspondence and conversations with Richard Schechner beginning about 1967.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    ‘6 Axioms for Environmental Theatre’, The Drama Review (T39), XII 3 (Spring 1968) 41–64.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    ‘An Interview with Grotowski’ by Richard Schechner, The Drama Review (T41), XIII, 1 (Fall 1968) 34.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Richard Schechner (ed.), Dionysus in 69; The Performance Group (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1970).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    ‘External Order, Internal Intimacy; an Interview with Jerzy Grotowski’, by Marc Fumaroli, The Drama Review (T45), XIV, 1 (Fall 1969) 173;Google Scholar
  6. and Margaret Croyden, ‘Notes from the Temple: A Grotowski Seminar’, The Drama Review (T45), XIV, 1 (Fall 1969) 181.Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    Richard Schechner, Essays on Performance Theory, 1970–1976 (New York: Drama Book Specialists, 1977) pp. 29–30. Also a letter to Theodore Shank from Richard Schechner, New York, 17 April 1971. See also Schechner’s adaptation, Makbeth; After Shakespeare (Schulenburg, Texas: I.E. Clark, 1978).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 7.
    Letter to Theodore Shank from Richard Schechner, New York, 17 April 1971.Google Scholar
  9. 8.
    John Lahr, ‘On-Stage’, The Village Voice (New York), 31 December 1970, p. 50.Google Scholar
  10. 9.
    Francoise Kourilsky, ‘Dada and Circus’, The Drama Review (T61, March 1974) pp. 104–9.Google Scholar
  11. 10.
    Unless otherwise noted, information attributed to Peter Schumann is from letters or conversations with him beginning in 1969.Google Scholar
  12. 11.
    Peter Schumann, ‘With the Bread & Puppet Theatre: An Interview’, by Helen Brown and Jane Seitz, The Drama Review (T38), XII, 2 (Winter 1968) 63, 66.Google Scholar
  13. 12.
    Peter Schumann, quoted in Florence Falk, ‘Bread and Puppet: Domestic Resurrection Circus’, Performing Arts Journal, II, 1 (Spring 1977) 22.Google Scholar
  14. 13.
    Information about Snake Theater is from my conversations with Laura Farabough and Christopher Hardman beginning in 1974, and from Hardman’s presentation for the Experimental Panel I organized for the American Theatre Critics Association, 24 May 1980, in San Francisco.Google Scholar

Bibliography 4. Environmental Theatre Richard Schechner the Performance Group

  1. Schechner, Richard, Environmental Theatre (New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1973) 339 pages.Google Scholar
  2. —, Essays on Performance Theory. 1970–1976 (New York: Drama Books Specialists, 1977) 212 pages.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. —, Makbeth: After Shakespeare (Schulenburg, Texas 78956: I.E. Clark, 1978) 53 pages.Google Scholar
  4. — and The Performance Group, Dionysus in 69 (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1970).Google Scholar

Bibliography 4. Environmental Theatre The Bread and Puppet Theatre

  1. Falk, Florence, ‘Bread and Puppet: Domestic Resurrection CircusPerforming Arts Journal, II, 1 (Spring 1977), 19–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Schumann, Peter, ‘With the Bread & Puppet Theatre; An Interview’, by Helen Brown and Jane Seitz, The Drama Review (T38), XII, 2 (Winter 1968), 62–73.Google Scholar
  3. — and others, Several articles in The Drama Review (T47), XIV, 3 (September 1970), 35–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Shank, Theodore. ‘The Bread and Puppet’s Anti-Bicentennial: A Monument for Ishi’, Theatre Quarterly (London), V, 19 (September–November 1975) 73–88. With 28 photos by the author.Google Scholar
  5. Towsen, John, ‘The Bread and Puppet Theatre: The Stations of the CrossThe Drama Review (T55), XVI, 3 (September 1972) 57–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Bibliography 4. Environmental Theatre Snake Theater

  1. Weiner, Bernard, ‘Theater in Sausalito: Snake’s Masks and Puppets’, Theater (Yale School of Drama), X, 1 (Fall 1978), 84–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Wren, Scott Christopher, ‘Snake Theater Here and Now’, New Performance (San Francisco), I, 4 (1979).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Theodore Shank 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theodore Shank
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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