Railway Travel in Modern Theatre: Transforming the Space and Time of the Stage
Railway travel has had a significant influence on modern theatre’s sense of space and time. Early in the 20th century, breakthroughs—ranging from F.T. Marinetti’s futurist manifestos to epic theatre’s use of the treadmill—explored the mechanical rhythms and perceptual effects of railway travel to investigate history, technology, and motion. After World War II, some playwrights and auteur directors, from Armand Gatti to Robert Wilson to Amiri Baraka, looked to locomotion not as a radically new space and time but as a reminder of obsolescence, complicity in the Holocaust, and its role in uprooting people from their communities. By analyzing theatrical representations of railway travel, this book argues that modern theatre’s perceptual, historical and social productions of space and time were stretched by theatre’s attempts to stage the locomotive.
railway travel, railroads in literature, modern theatre, drama, 20th century, history and criticism, stage-setting, scenery
Arts and Humanities | Theatre and Performance Studies
Table of Contents
Theatre and locomotion -- Upholstered realism and the great futurist railroad -- The upholstered realism of Henrik Ibsen -- F.T. Marinetti's "Great futurist railroad" -- Loco motion : railway perception, relativity and the stage -- Stanisław Witkie wicz's The crazy locomotive -- Staging relativity : Robert Wilson's Einstein on the beach -- History, the railroad and political theatre -- The locomotive technology of epic theatre : Erwin Piscator's Adventures of the good soldier Schwejk -- Locomotion after Auschwitz : Armand Gatti's Seven possibilities for train 713 departing from Auschwitz -- Locomotive social space on the American stage -- The American train of thought : Thornton Wilder's Pullman car Hiawatha -- In the flying underbelly of the city : Amiri Baraka's Dutchman.
Original Publication Information
Gillette, K. (2014). Railway travel in modern theatre: Transforming the space and time of the stage. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.