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This collection of his plays through the mid 1990's includes a valiant introduction and, to its credit, something that UNBALANCING ACTS lacks: a facsimile of one of Foreman's unusual play texts without production stage directions or line attributions. (Foreman, you see, doesn't start out with characters, per se, and distributes the lines during his rehearsal process.)
Your correspondent is among those who feel Richard Foreman's work is highly visionary and way ahead of our time. It is also wonderfully funny and has the power to make you feel creative yourself.
But really, it is time to publish more photographs of these productions, as Foreman's talents as a scenic designer are getting overlooked!
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No one is creating theatre like Richard Foreman, whose associative (and sometimes dissociative) writing process contrives to capture a truthful portrait of his own perception at work. In rehearsal, Foreman creates an environment rebelling against any mimetic presentation of everyday reality, which is a kind of shared dream. He uses every theatrical element at his disposal to surprise and dazzle the spectator, and bring awareness to our radical impulses before our intellects "understand" them (and change them into something else).
Although his project sounds very cerebral, his theatre is very much about the senses, and his art grabs you on a gut level.
The book includes several plays, though it might have been helpful to include a script without the production stage directions to help understand the way he generates a script. (A later book, MY HEAD WAS A SLEDGEHAMMER, does include this and it helps a great deal.) Also, more photographs and illustrations would support his essay on visual design and use of space.
This artist is way ahead of his time, using theatre to address the process of perception itself rather than narrative thinking. The importance of this book, addressing this work to a general reader, may not be appreciated for quite some time.
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