ERIC Number: ED243158
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Robert Wilson's Invitation to Insanity.
Stephens, Judith L.
The plays of stage director Robert Wilson are devices presenting alternative modes of perception to theatre audiences accustomed to verbal/aural structures of experience. Uniting his interests in the arts and therapy, his plays create a theatrical event promoting empathy with the perceptions of the mentally or physically handicapped and establishing them as valid artistic sources by incorporating the characteristics of deafness, autism, and mental instability. His "school" includes men and women, artists, children and elderly, and the mentally and physically handicapped, all of various races and cultures. His kind of theatre has proved therapeutic for both his actors and his audiences. Some have seen his work as an invitation to insanity, but the outcome for most of his audiences seems to be a heightened awareness of self and of others who were perhaps previously seen as totally distinct and unrelated to that sense of "self." Thus, one of Robert Wilson's major accomplishments is having created, through the use of such techniques as simultaneous stage activity, the absence or sparse use of sound, and manipulation of time, a theatre of images that offer the possibility of experiencing alternative modes of perception. By including those who have been limited to marginal participation in society as valid artistic sources and performers, the theatre may ultimately unleash a common reservoir of feeling and expression between such artists and their audiences. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Response; Directors (Theater); Wilson (Robert)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (69th, Washington, DC, November 10-13, 1983).