Directorial Perspectives: The Image, the Platform, the Tightrope

  • Teemu Paavolainen
Part of the Performance Philosophy book series (PPH)


Thread 3 assumes the pro-theatrical perspective of the modernist theatre director. As perhaps the default connotation of theatricality within the theatre, the ‘theatricalism’ of the avant-gardes is dissected into three fairly distinct models of directorial theatricality: the Image—deep or shallow, as for Richard Wagner and Georg Fuchs; the Platform—of skill or tension, as for Vsevolod Meyerhold and Bertolt Brecht; and the Tightrope—this is Peter Brook’s metaphor for a kind of theatrical immediacy that navigates between the ‘holy’ and ‘rough’ aspirations of the other two models. What marks each of the three models as specifically theatrical is how the very density or sparsity of their textures ostensibly deviates from some historically specific performative norm—be it operatic convention, stage naturalism, capitalist society, or literary or ‘deadly’ theatre. By length the chapter focuses on Brook most extensively, not only as a perceptive commentator, but also as someone harshly ridiculed for his theatricalist essentialism.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teemu Paavolainen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TampereTampereFinland

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