Pinter's Odd Man Out: Staging and Filming Old Times

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9780838752388: Pinter's Odd Man Out: Staging and Filming Old Times
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Pinter's Odd Man Out records Sidney Homan's experience directing the playwright's Old Times for both stage and television. His most commercially successful play, and surely one of his best, no other work of Pinter's has generated more critical and scholarly commentary - or more varied, sometimes conflicting readings.
In the two opening chapters Homan surveys the theatrical and critical history of the play before describing the "generic" world of Pinter that provides the context of Old Times: secluded rooms, their occupants, and the visitor who, in seeking entrance, challenges the room's exclusive yet deceptive serenity; the outside and the threat it poses; the subtext pressing on the dialogue; the power of the past and perception; the "presence" of the play itself; characters who function as artists; the issue of gender; mother and father figures; and the silence of Pinter's pauses.
Homan then describes his company's preparations for the performance, ranging from the director's concept, the set, props, costumes, lighting, and music to blocking and the rehearsal period. After his own account of the stage production and the ways in which the audience "taught" the performers through their reactions to and discoveries about the play, Homan turns to his actors (Stephanie Dugan, Thomas Pender, and Sandra Langsner) who, in their own words, describe how they wrestled with the characters of Kate, Deeley, and Anna from rehearsals to performance.
A chapter on "The Camera as Guest" records the experience of filming the stage play. Here the focus is on the technological and aesthetic differences between the media of television and the stage, and what effect such differences had on the filmed version of Old Times. To what degree does the camera allow the director to assert more control? What changes in blocking, set, and lighting were required?
In an appendix Homan looks at Carol Reed's 1950s film Odd Man Out, which figures prominently in Old Times, and which may have been a source (in a highly flexible use of that term) for the play.
On the surface, Pinter's Odd Man Out concentrates on a single play. In reality, it is about the ways in which people in the theatre approach a production, the process they go through from rehearsals to opening night, and the complex interaction among playwright, director, actors, and audience. It also raises the issue of what happens when a work intended for the stage is translated to another medium, such as television. If the book at times suggests that the worlds of the scholar and the theatre professional are different, indeed incompatible in some ways, it also shows how the two professions can learn from each other.

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Homan, Sidney, Dugan, Stephanie, Langsne
Published by Bucknell Univ Pr (1993)
ISBN 10: 0838752381 ISBN 13: 9780838752388
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Sidney Homan, Stephanie Dugan, Sandra Langsner, Thomas Pender
Published by Bucknell Univ Pr (1993)
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Sidney Homan; Stephanie Dugan; Sandra Langsner; Thomas Pender
Published by Bucknell Univ Pr (1993)
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