ERIC Number: ED201001
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Tiffany Diamonds and Classical Music as Influences on the Performance of "Don Juan in Hell".
This paper analyzes Paul Gregory's 1951 production of "Don Juan in Hell," now considered to be a seminal work in the development of professional and educational readers theatre. The paper contends that the production, which presented a nondramatic work without the usual emphasis on design and spectacle, forced a reexamination of the role of the audience, modern theatrical values, and the nature of theatre itself. The evolution of the production is then traced from its conception to its performance by the "First Drama Quartette" (Charles Boyer, Charles Laughton, Agnes Moorehead, and Cedric Hardwicke), generally thought of as the first modern professional readers theatre company. The paper argues that by linking the classical presentational mode of preference with an analogy of classical music performance, Gregory managed to capture the essence of contemporary readers theatre. It then discusses the performance in terms of two parallel metaphors that guided its style of production: the classical simplicity of a Tiffany window display of diamonds and the solemn concentration of classical musicians. (MKM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Don Juan in Hell
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Speech Communication Association (San Jose, CA, February 14-17, 1981).