Towards a holy commercial theatre: Betty Buckley, history, performance, and theory

dc.creatorError, Darise Helen Artsen_US
dc.description.abstractBetty Buckley is unique in that she has established herself as a genuine Broadway star, with her reputation and celebrity status resting on the foundation of her stage work, in an environment which is not particularly conducive to that feat. She did not rest there, however, as Playbill On-Line's Associate Editor Andrew Gans points out: "In an era where theatre performers are rarely known outside of the New York area, Buckley has managed to become one of the few performers who work primarily in the theatre to become well-known and respected around the world." Buckley has accomplished this through hard work and discipline, but also through a distinctive acting technique and philosophy which combines very traditional and nontraditional Western theatrical thought with Eastern philosophy and spirituality. With this technique and philosophy, Buckley has managed to transcend the seemingly indelible line which separates academic theatre—the theatre of theorizing and perpetual experimentation—and commercial theatre. Borrowing from the terminology of Jerzy Grotowski and Peter Brook, Betty Buckley is a kind of "Holy" actor, and Buckley's is a rare "Holy" theatre in which theory is utterly practical, and the practice is commercially viable. This dissertation is the first in-depth, scholarly analysis of Buckley's performance theory. Chapter I provides a brief biography which focuses on Buckley's substantial, diverse body of work. Chapter II provides a short survey of critical observations about her work from Buckley's fellow actors, from her Triumph of Love director Michael Mayer, and from newspaper and magazine critics, with some commentary from Buckley herself Chapter III addresses Buckley's performance technique and theory in depth and detail: the Western sources—those with whom she actually studied and those she researched on her own, the Eastern sources—meditation, Siddha Yoga, and Eastern philosophy, and a discourse of how all of these seemingly diverse elements coalesce into a cohesive, practical approach to theatre and acting. Chapter IV draws parallels between Buckley's philosophies and practices and the "Holy," and Chapter V concludes.
dc.publisherTexas Tech Universityen_US
dc.subjectPerformance arten_US
dc.subjectBuckley, Betty -- Criticism and interpretationen_US
dc.titleTowards a holy commercial theatre: Betty Buckley, history, performance, and theory
dc.typeDissertation Arts Arts Tech University


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