1st Edition

Richard Foreman
An American (Partly) in Paris

ISBN 9781138102842
Published November 9, 2017 by Routledge
238 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

USD $44.95

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Book Description

Richard Foreman has been writing, directing and designing avant-garde theatre in New York since he first founded his Ontological-Hysteric company there in 1968. In all that time, few directors have taken up the challenge of staging his problematic, rewarding texts, and Foreman's work remains under-explored by other practitioners.

Richard Foreman: An American (Partly) in Paris argues that Foreman can productively be viewed as a (partly) European artist, whose thinking and theatre-making have been radically shaped by contact with Europe. Through a detailed account of his European productions, interviews with Foreman himself, a set of practical strategies for staging the plays and the full text of Foreman's previously unpublished play Georges Bataille’s Bathrobe (1983), Neal Swettenham introduces the director’s work to a new generation of readers and theatre-makers.

Table of Contents



1 An American in Paris

Classical Therapy sous l’influence de...ou Thérapie

Livre des Splendeurs

2 O. H. Theatre

Place + Target

Café Amérique

Faustus ou La fête électrique

Die Fledermaus

3 An awkward ugly American

La Robe de Chambre de Georges Bataille

Birth of the Poet

Ma Vie, Ma Mort

Africanus Instructus

Love and Science

Don Giovanni

4 On the road

Permanent Brain Damage

Pearls For Pigs

Hotel Fuck

Bad Boy Nietzsche!

Now That Communism Is Dead My Life Feels Empty!

Panic! (How to Be Happy!)

The Bridge Project


5 Foreman’s unbalancing acts

What is drama for?

The manifestos

Postdramatic theatre

Staging the texts

6 Cracking the code

Directorial strategies

The actor’s task


A critical question

7 Staging and Subjectivity

In the rehearsal room

The inevitability of failure

Film is evil…

…Radio is good


Scenography revisited

Wake up!

Todo Con Nada


Georges Bataille’s Bathrobe (La Robe de Chambre de Georges Bataille)


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Neal Swettenham is a former head of drama and visiting lecturer at Loughborough University, UK, and founded the Richard Foreman Research Archive housed there.