Book Cover for "Theater Voices: conversations on the stage"
by Steve Capra

Three generations of theater genius speak in

Theater Voices: conversations on the stage
by Steve Capra

Theater Voices: Discussion

Let us know what you think of Theater Voices. Comments? Questions?
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Welcome the Theater Voices discussion!
Your responses to the book are important! Share your thoughts on it - your questions, your objections, your recommendations. What has your experience in the theatre taught you?
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6:40 PM
Mr. Capra:
I've just finished the interview with Sheridan Morley. I'm sorry to see he thinks so little of the playwright that he says we've moved to "a director's theater", and that we can't bring ourselves to write about politics. As long as the play is scripted and the director doesn't mess about too much, it's the playwright who's in control. And there are lots of new plays about politics - as there were in the nineties - but just try to get them produced...
- Thomas West, Manchester
10:34 AM
Hello - This is an interesting book, but I disagree with something that Zerka Moreno says in it. She says that it's "madness" for an audience to feel emotion for characters on stage, who "are not real people". But Synge's Pegeen is as real to me as anyone I've ever met, because I see myself in her.
signed, Mary Christino, actress, Los Angeles CA
12:29 AM
I'm enjoying this book, but I can't believe Mr. Dolgachev's comments! He complains that Americans just go to the theater to laugh. One of the greatest things about American theater is the way the audiences are so active - they want to be involved, not to just sit there passively. And did he see any off-off-Broadway shows? He would have found that in New York the time of the avant-garde theater is "today". And did he see any Albee plays, any McNally or any Vogel, before he said that "American theater hasn't been born yet"? What's he basing that on?
Rehana Fader, Canal Theater, New York City
6:14 PM
To Mr. Capra:

I just got a copy of Theater Voices. The book is splendid. I'm not using hyperbole. It looks great, and what's more, what's inside is REAL.

I'm heartily recommending it to anyone I know who is even remotely interested in theater. Just this morning I quoted Julie Harris, Edward Albee, and Nicholas Barter to an actress friend who is preparing a workshop for an upcoming theater conference. She, like any sensitive person, is doubting her "competency" to present new ideas and techniques to other actors. I read her the parts about Barter's always starting at square one every time, and about Harris's "surviving" any theatrical experience, and Albee's bent towards emotional terror. My friend laughed and said she was grateful for my pep talk. I told her it was YOUR efforts that made the words of the masters available. She's now going to get the book.

Thank you from a Boston writer!
10:36 PM
In your book, Eddie Izzard tells us that when we're acting we're truthful, but when we're doing comedy we're only funny. As a stand-up, I can tell you if we're not being truthful, then we're not being funny.
- Sam Smyth, Toronto
1:32 AM
Mr. Capra:
I see that Mr. Barter, like Mr. Morley, blames the playwright (as well as the director and the actor) for the supposed decline in the theater. He seems to think that our generation wasn't up the the challenge of the theater in the 1980's. But there were important,socially aware plays written all through the Tory years. Producers were afraid to produce them; they assumed the audiences were afraid to see them.
Thomas West, Manchester
2:03 PM
Dear Steve,

I very much appreciate your fine book as well as your persistence and courage in working so hard on it. I have found that one of the main threads of the interviews is the fear of many theater people these days that drama as we know it may not survive in the future
and hope that fear will never actually come out that way.

- Zerka Moreno
9:23 PM
Dear Zerka:

The credit goes to you and the 26 others who were so accommodating to talk with me - and so articulate!

- Steve Capra
9:48 PM
Hi - I like the book, but some of your subjects' comments are way off the mark! When Crisp says that he wouldn't see Hamlet twice because he knows how it ends! That's not what theater's about - theater's about experiencing it as it happens. Shakespeare's audience knew how the plays ended before they saw them. And when Gray calls the theater antiquated! It's not - there are new forms all the time! Our grandparents wouldn't believe their eyes if they saw some of the new stuff.
Carol Ann Q.
10:35 AM
The only way to produce important work is to keep working on it until it's ready and then letting people see it - not until then. Harold Prince would have us open a show according to some arbitrary timetable. He calls it "indulgence" to wait until it's ready (p. 59). It's not ready until it's ready.
- E.E. Sorolov, Dallas, Texas
10:15 AM
Dear Theater Voices,
As the producer of a series of play development workshops, I disagree with Martin Sherman's comments on the workshop process. Our playwrights benefit a lot from seeing their work alive on stage and from audience feedback. Usually, the scripts aren't ready for a full production until they've been through this process. Mr. Sherman may not need this work, but the overwhelming bulk of playwrights do. Until the workshop, they only see the play inside their heads - and that's sometimes very diferent from the way the audience sees it. Besides, many scripts would never see stage light if it weren't for workshops.
- Marcia Cunningham, London

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01/01/2005 - 01/31/2005  

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