We are pleased to announce the publication of Richard Foreman’s The Manifestos and Essays. This volume collects all of the avant-garde theatre pioneer’s writings on the subject of “What is art?” from his early manifestos through his recent transition to the use of film, and provides a fascinating window into this singular artist’s mind and creative process.
“Richard Foreman is as daring, uncompromising and entertaining in his prose as he is in his theatre productions. He’s the Renaissance man of the avant-garde American theatre.”
— Robert Brustein
The included manifestos articulate Richard Foreman’s strategies and his aim to identify what the experience of art can and should be, citing the thinkers he admires. The essays delve into the more personal, explaining the central relationship between his writing for the stage and the staging of his writing, expounding his distinct directorial style of showing “the mind at work, moment-by-moment.” Clues to why Foreman has called it “paradise”—that elusive reality, the truth of art—can be found in these foundational texts.
The more recent interviews included in this collection cover the broader range of influences on his work, including psychoanalytic theory. Concluding the volume is a selection of the notes that he kept while working on his recently released film Once Every Day.
“The art experience shouldn’t ADD to our baggage, that store of images that weighs us down and limits our clear view to the horizons. The art experience should rather (simply) ELIMINATE what keeps us moored to hypnotizing aspects of reality.”
Richard Foreman has been leading the theatrical avant-garde in the United States and throughout the world since 1968, when he founded his Ontological-Hysteric Theater in NYC. He has written, directed and designed more than fifty of his own plays both in New York and abroad. He has received numerous Obie awards, a Lifetime Achievement in the Theater Award from the National Endowment for the Arts and a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, among other notable citations. In 2004 he was elected Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France.