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editorial PAJ 12 puts us back on a single issue course after the appearance of our special double issue on "The American Imagination" last Spring. The overwhelming response to that issue, not only in terms of the design change, but in the selection and shape of the material, affirms our own feeling that there is a great demand for discourse on the performing arts to situate itself in a broad aesthetic/historical perspective. We believe that PAJ is in a new phase of its development and direction. In forthcoming issues we expect to publish more "conceptual" pieces, to lean more toward issues (aesthetic and political) and, in general, to set articles and interviews in an expansive world frame. Though we have no further plans for another theme issue in the immediate future, we do expect to have special in-depth sections on what we perceive as important, provocative, controversial, and unexplored areas of interest in the theatre world. Our first move in this direction is the special focus on "The California Sensibility " in the current issue. For several years California has been the home of a growing number of artists whose achievements, for the most part, have received very little attention in the media as a phenomenon. Is there a "California sensibility?" If so, what is its topography? By choosing to look at recent dramatic and performance events produced there we intend, not to isolate California aesthetically, but to understand how artists on the West Coast relate to their landscape, and how that in turn affects their technique, choice of materials, subject matter, and politics. 7 The pieces on recent German theatre and film extend this reflection on art as an expression of culture in an historical frame. Zadek's interpretations of Shakespeare, particularly The Merchant of Venice, are dialectically positioned in relation to German theatrical tradition. Hans-JUrgen Syberberg's controversial seven hour film Our Hitler, which quotes German history and myth as its structure of experience, is the starting point for this interview whose premise equates art and politics. Heiner Muller, one of East Germany 's most radical writers, is represented here with his transposition of Shakespearean tragedy in a new political context-that of the DDR today-which he calls The Ham/etmachine. Both politics and the human-being-as-machine are thematically interwoven in the work of director Tadeusz Kantor, one of Poland's leading stage directors , also a visual artist. His scenography represents what many have come to signify as the post-war Polish grotesque style in theatre. The personal report on theatre in contemporary China looks back over a century of theatre there, bringing our knowledge up to date with discussions and photographs covering recent Ch.inese productions. Galileo, produced again after almost a generation's absence from the stage, has new meaning for Chinese audiences today. If the Chinese project themselves in history in a positive way, so does Meredith Monk whose Recent Ruins re-visions history in the framework of a cosmic consciousness. The essay on Monk unites ideas on culture, technology, and theatre in a reflection on the imagery of the work as an attitude toward history. Recent world events have forced an anguished evaluation of the possibilities for future life in the world as we know it. The performing arts will evolve to the degree that artists are able to devise new strategies to cope with the shape of consciousness in the world today. One of the reasons PAJ exists is to try to trace that shape. Editors forthcoming Herbert Blau on Theatre I Spalding Gray on Working with Children / Special French Section on Directors Antoine Vitez and Daniel Mesguich I Interview with Yuri Liubomov / Glasgow Citizen's Company / Dialogue: Women in the Arts / Text: The Hunting Party by Thomas Bernhard I and more 8 ...


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