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Abstract/Synopsis

A roadmap to this Special Issue of Mime Journal. This issue emphasizes the tissue of influences that shaped Craig’s own work and continue to impact contemporary theater and performance. By focusing on the historical contexts in which his ideas were developed and those in which they have been received, the essays counter the widely held perception of Craig as the solitary genius of the “Art of the Theatre.” His claims of originality and singularity have too often obscured the connections between his work and that of other artists—especially the dancer Isadora Duncan, upon whom two of the pieces included here focus. Our contributors are actors, directors, corporeal mimes, puppeteers, dancers, and scholars of theater, performance, dance, mime, puppetry, and print culture. All have been shaped by Craig’s vision; all have reckoned with his imperious and impassioned demands; all have probed his weaknesses—personal and professional—and resisted his prejudices. All respond provocatively to Craig’s work, making a strong claim for his continuing relevance even as they critique his life and career. Far from a hagiographic tribute to Craig, this issue takes up Craig’s contested legacy and contests it further.

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© 2017 Jennifer Buckley and Annie Holt

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