Mysticism in the Theater : What’s Needed Right Now book cover
1st Edition

Mysticism in the Theater
What’s Needed Right Now

ISBN 9781032034348
Published February 4, 2022 by Routledge
242 Pages

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Book Description

Mysticism in the Theater introduces theater makers to the power and possibility of using historical mystical ideas to influence all aspects of a production. Historical mysticism represents ideas developed by recognized spiritual thinkers in all religions and time periods: individuals who stilled their ego, and perceived the unity of all, hidden within the apparent multiplicity of existence.

This unique manner of spiritual inlay allows theatrical presentations to find the height of artistic expression: art at the intersection of our historical moment and the eternal. This study introduces theater makers to the history of mystical inspiration within performance work and develops strategies for inserting mystical ideas into their productions. The book ties this model into theatre’s history, as mystical ideas and quotes have been inserted into productions from Greek theatre through Shakespeare and into the present day.

This book explores how teachings and ideas of specific historical mystical thinkers might influence all aspects of contemporary theatrical productions including writing, directing, acting, stagecraft/set design, lighting design, costume design, sound design, and choreography.

Table of Contents



Chapter One: Mysticism: The Human Religion

Chapter Two: History of Mysticism in Theatre

Chapter Three: Mysticism in Theatre: What’s Needed Now

Chapter Four: Praxis: Mystical Theatre in Action


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Tom Block is the author of six books, a playwright, 25+ year exhibiting visual artist and Founding Producer of New York City’s International Human Rights Art Festival. His plays have been produced more than two dozen times in New York City.