Actor and Ubermarrionette

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  • Topic: Sesame Street, Jim Henson, The Muppet Show
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  • Published : November 19, 2012
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The Actor and the Uber-Marionette
Edward Gordan Craig did not think of acting as an art-form; he considers it incorrect to speak as though actors are artists. He started out as an actor, but became more interested in art and he ended his acting career for theatrical design. He asserted that the director was the true artist of the theatre and viewed actors of little importance and even declared that they were very replaceable. Throughout his career in theatre production, he was viewed as extremely difficult to work with and he refused to produce anything that he did not have complete artistic control over. His ideals about the theatre and how it should be run were written in his most famous and rather controversial essay, “The Actor and the Uber-Marionette.” In this article, he seems to suggest that the stage has no place for actors and they should be banished and be replaced by super-marionettes. His analysis of the human actor compared to that of the marionette seems to be inferior. He believed that art can only come by creation; he believed what actors were doing was imitation. He believed that true artists capture the spirit of things and the actor was only mere pretending to capture the true essence of art. It is obvious in his language that Gordan Craig was very passionate of the theatre and he saw the commercialization of the stage as the destruction of theatre. He seems to think to think that actors were the root cause of the degradation of the art of the theatre , but he seem to have an underlying intention to urge actors to reform their acting and create for themselves a new form of acting.

Gordan Craig believed that “Art arrives only by design.” (Craig, p.55) This means that acting was not considered art by this definition because he saw actors as only being able to imitate and impersonate. He believed that the only way to make art was through creation and “Therefore in order to make any work of art it is clear we may only work in those materials...
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