What’s Happening Richard Schechner?:
A Look at Schechner’s Ideas of the “New” Theatre
Richard Schechner envisions a “new theatre” in three of his major essays, “Happenings” (1966), “Six Axioms for Environmental Theatre” (1968), and “Negotiations with the Environment” (1968). He does not spend time discussing his famed “not not themselves” ideology of the performer or ritual ecstasy; instead he discusses a new genealogical hybrid termed the “new theatre” by Allan Kaprow. Schechner uses the traditional theatre
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new theatre, then, more spiritual than the traditional theatre? That is not for me to decide but for those involved. Certainly, the new theatre fosters new involvements and new ideas—variations on space, time, and focus. Yet, we cannot judge which is better for they are two very different art forms. The theatre world is enhanced and enriched by new developments like the “new” theatre. Hopefully, both will be around for a very long time.