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editorial In this issue, Richard Schechner concludes his two-part essay, "The Decline and Fall of the (American) Avant-Garde," in a more positive frame of mind than he began. Schechner's controversial article was, not surprisingly , much talked about and argued over for its very personal view of avantgarde theatre and its roots. The final section is directed more toward its current directions. But one crucial question remains with regard to the proliferation of avant-garde theatre: What is its relationship to American society and can it change our consciousness? One of the terms Schechner uses in his article is "post-modern" to refer to theatre. Though he, and others, Herbert Blau for one, use this term, it lacks a clearer definition. Is it an historical or aesthetic category? In "PostModernism : The Social Aspect," three distinguished writers outside of the theatre community look at this confusing term from a very different and, it seems, much more provocative angle: that of public and private space in contemporary life. The function of space, and its relation to the temporal, narrative line as a conveyor of meaning, is one of the subjects French critic Patrice Pavis explores in his "The Interplay Between Avant-Garde Theatre and Semiology." Pavis points to many imaginative areas of research and analysis that critics, directors, and actors should find especially compelling for the possibilities of theatre work they suggest. Among the playwrights Pavis mentions is Jean-Paul Wenzel whose "theatre of everyday life" describes the play "Far From Hagondange" which we are publishing here. As an example of a new naturalism that, while uninfluential in this country, has characterized much of European playwriting in the last dozen years or more. Luckily for New York audiences, the Metropolitan Opera got David Hockney out of the museum and into the theatre. His designs for "Parade," an evening of modern French operas directed by John Dexter, provided the most visually stunning sets and costumes to be seen in New York all season. We 7 can't afford color, but we did try to offer more than press photos bygetting reproductions of Hockney's own drawings and paintings of his designs which appear here with Glenn Loney's informative extended captions. Tesich, Shawn, Mamet, Guare, and Weller are also artists known for one medium but working temporarily in another-this time it's playwrights scripting films. Here we were interested in finding out about the filmic work process and how it coincided with or contradicted work in the theatre. And did it enlarge the imaginative scope of the writer? How do image, character, and scene function in each medium? Allfive writers have been involved in film projects that differ greatly from one another and, as varied writers to begin with, it is not surprising that their views on writing, directing, and acting -in film and theatre-are so varied. We would have liked to continue on from the dialogue on funding with Ruth Mayleas, Joseph Zeigler, and Julius Novick entitled "The Economics of Inspiration ," which appeared in our last issue (PAJ 14). But we thought it best to wait out the summer until some final decisions on the NEA and NEH were made before rushing into print for the sake of topicality. So, we hope to have an update on arts funding in the next issue, PAJ 16. The Editors 8 ...


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