Category: Robert Brustein (3)
Robert Brustein visited the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University at the beginning of our 2009/10 season to address the uphill battle that artists face, here in the United States. As Peak Performances programming takes a short pause, we thought it would be an opportune time to revisit Brustein’s “The Four Horsemen of the Cultural Apocalypse.”
In his talk, Brustein mentioned: community standards, DH Lawrence, James Joyce’s Ulysses, Shakespeare’s “many-headed multitude,” Rudy Giuliani, “The Language Police,” free expression, Phillip Roth, the Brooklyn Museum, taste, Democracy in America, Pac-Man Mouth, and Barak Obama’s dancer’s walk and oratory style.
We made a recording of Brustein’s lecture and include a link below. The third file includes a post-talk Q+A moderated by Jedediah Wheeler, Executive Director at Peak Performances. Check it out! Share it with your students! Share it with your teacher!
We had a great time gearing up for his appearance at MSU and had a lot of engaging discussions about his work, here at Insite HQ.
Hope that you enjoy Robert Brustein and “The Four Horsemen of the Cultural Apocalypse” as much as we did!
Sara Wintz was Communications Assistant in the Office of Arts & Cultural Programming at Montclair State University during the 2009/10 Peak Performances season. Her writing has appeared on Ceptuetics and in The Poetry Project Newsletter. She recently reviewed Liz Waldner’s performance text, Play, for HTML Giant.
Few have shaped the American theatrical landscape more drastically than critic, producer, academic, and former artistic director Robert Brustein. Brustein is truly a Man of the Theater, a rare epithet to bestow on the splintered profession that the theater has become today. A rare public appearance as part of the Peak Performances 09/10 season will no doubt be studded with his trademark intellectual and cultural provocation. A talk entitled “The Four Horsemen of the Cultural Apocalypse” suggests no less than the fractious and provocative rhetoric for which Brustein is known, both as a critic and formerly as an artistic director. Read more »
In his essay “On Cultural Power,” taken from remarks made at a 1997 debate with black playwright August Wilson, Robert Brustein states his belief in theater as a springboard for political action and the importance of inclusion when it comes to audiences’ experience:”We have had some sour experience in the twentieth century regarding efforts to regulate or improve human nature through the agency of a political system:
Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Iran under the Ayatollah, to name a few … “’All revolutions,’ as Eugene Ionesco wrote, ‘burn the libraries of Alexandria.’ Today in American we see a similar development in what is called political correctness—which in its overzealous crusade to purge our language of offensive terms sometimes seems to be leading to what one critic has called ‘freedom from speech.’ Read more »