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Some thoughts on Playwriting Part 2: Thornton Wilder, 1941

July 10, 2013

-–from Wilder’s essay “Some thoughts on Playwriting” published in “The Intent of the Artist” edited by Augusto Centeno, Princeton University Press 1941–

II. THE THEATRE IS AN ART ADDRESSED TO A GROUP-MIND
“Paining, sculpture, and the literature of the book are certainly solitary experiences; and it is likely that more people would agree that the audience seated shoulder to shoulder in a concert hall is not an essential element in musical enjoyment.

“But a play presupposes a crowd. The reasons for that go deeper than (1) the economic necessity for the support of the play and (2) the fact that the temperament of actors is proverbially dependent on group attention.

“It rests on the fact that (1) the pretense, the fiction, on the stage would fall to pieces and absurdity without the support accorded to it by a crowd, and (2) the excitement induced by pretending a fragment of life is such that it partakes of ritual and festival, and requires a throng. . . . The theatre partakes of the nature of a festival. Life imitated is life raised to a higher power.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 12, 2013 7:46 pm

    Hv 2 think about this. Thnks 4 sharing.

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