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Beyond the Mask

Gordon Craig, Movement, and the Actor

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Irene Eynat-Confino


NLEB (Other formats: Hardcover)
256 pages, 6 x 9, 13 illustrations


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About the Book

Eynat-Confino goes beyond the usual consideration of Craig’s purported theories of the actor, scenery, and the scene painter to get at the heart of Craig’s idea of theater.

She draws not only on the research of contemporary Craig scholars but on material hitherto unavailable—his writings and daybooks and the writings of friends. She ties Craig’s encounter with Isadora Duncan to a decisive modification in his notion of movement. To have an instrument more controllable than the actor, he invented the über-­marionette, a giant puppet. Craig also invented the “Scene,” a kinetic stage, the “screens” that brought him worldwide fame were simply an adaptation of this concept.

Eynat-Confino argues that a scenario Craig wrote in 1905, here published for the first time, reveals a theosophical system like that of Blake, a system that was the main force motivating Craig’s artistic quest. In her final chapter, she carefully examines the psychological, aesthetic, and circumstantial factors that kept Craig from completing his work to bring “friendliness—humor—love—ease—peace” to the world.


Irene Eynat-Confino is a free-lance writer, researcher, and theater consultant in Herzelia, Israel. She is now working on the meaning of the fantastic in modern Western theater.