Serpent

ISBN-10: 0822210126

ISBN-13: 9780822210122

Edition: N/A

Authors: Jean-Claude Van Itallie

List price: $9.00
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Description:

THE STORY: The Boston Herald Traveler comments: While most of the work is choreographed movement, pantomime, human sounds and music made by bells, horns, whistles, tambourines and other hand-held instruments, there is an accompanying text from the Bible and a number of speeches with contemporary sentiments. From the beginning, man searches for happiness, for self-realization and union with other men, seems to be the underlying theme. He is thwarted by violence, both from within himself and from other men. Eve is tempted by the serpent in the Garden of Eden, yields, eats the forbidden apple, tempts Adam to eat, too—and man's eternal battle begins between self-gratification and obedience to external authority...There is a ritual enactment of the discovery of sexual love played by the group against the intoned recital of how the descendants of Adam begat the family of man that leaves little to the imagination. It is a passionate celebration of love. Passion gives way to maternal tenderness and the celebrants grow into doddering senility. They sink slowly to the floor and collapse into sleep. A hum starts and becomes a group song. 'We were sailing along on moonlight bay...,' they sing, rising and moving into the aisles and up the stairs. They're smiling and their looks of love embrace the audience. They finish singing and stand there. The ceremony is completed. THE SERPENT is a fascinating experience.
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Book details

List price: $9.00
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/1/1971
Binding: Paperback
Size: 5.25" wide x 7.50" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.132
Language: English

Van Itallie was born in Brussels and grew up in Great Neck, New York, which, he says, "left me with a horror of the American suburbs." After graduating from Harvard University, he got involved with the Open Theatre group under the direction of Joe Chaikin, producing as a result some of the most stunning and innovative experimental theater work of the 1960s, especially America Hurrah, a 1965 trilogy consisting of Interview, TV, and Motel, and The Serpent, a 1968 ritualistic and largely mimed theatrical piece that grew out of improvisations on Genesis and juxtaposes biblical events with current ones. Van Itallie's plays of the 1970s, which include A Fable and Bag Lady, have been more traditional in form and simpler in scope, and he has also adapted several of Chekhov's (see Vol. 2) plays. In 1983 he returned to the mode of The Serpent in The Tibetan Book of the Dead, but with notably less success.

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