Synopses & Reviews
Rediscovering Mordecai Gorelik explores the life and work of the pioneering scene designer whose career spanned decades in American theatre. Anne Fletcherand#8217;s insightful volume draws intriguing parallels and contrasts between Gorelikand#8217;s productions and the theatrical movements of the twentieth century, exposing the indelible mark he left on the stage. Through in-depth analysis of his letters, diaries, designs, and theoretical works, Fletcher examines the ways in which Gorelikand#8217;s productions can be used as a mirror to reflect the shifting dramatic landscapes of his times.
Fletcher places Gorelik against the colorful historical backdrops that surrounded himand#151;including the avant-garde movement of the 1920s, World War II, the Cold War, and absurdismand#151;using the designerand#8217;s career as a window into the theatre during these eras. Within these cultural contexts, Gorelik sought to blaze his own unconventional path through the realms of theatre and theory. Fletcher traces Gorelikand#8217;s tenures with such companies as the Provincetown Players, the Theatre Guild, and the Theatre Union, as well as his relationships with icons such as Bertolt Brecht, revealing how his interactions with others influenced his progressive designs and thus set the stage for major dramatic innovations. In particular, Fletcher explores Gorelikand#8217;s use of scenic metaphor: the employment of stage design techniques to subtly enhance the tone or mood of a production. Fletcher also details the designerand#8217;s written contributions to criticism and theory, including the influential volume New Theatres for Old, as well as other articles and publications.
In addition to thorough examinations of several of Gorelikand#8217;s most famous projects, Rediscovering Mordecai Gorelik contains explications of productions by such legends as John Howard Lawson, Clifford Odets, and Arthur Miller. Also included are numerous full-color and black-and-white illustrations of Gorelikand#8217;s work, most of which have never been available to the public until now. More than simply a portrait of one man, this indispensable volume is a cultural history of American theatre as seen through the career of a visionary designer and theoretician.
About the Author
Anne Fletcher is an associate professor of theatre at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Her recent work has appeared in Brecht, Broadway and United States Theatre,and Interrogating America through Theatre and Performance.and#160;