Peter Barnes and the nature of authority
Peter Barnes (1931-2004) was among the most theatrically-minded playwrights of the contemporary non-musical stage in England. His work makes use of virtually every element of theatre: spectacle, music, dance, heightened speech, etc. His plays are daring, ambitious, and not always successful. While Barnes obviously did not share the staging sensibilities of Renaissance playwrights, he did share their perspectives on authority. He wrote predominantly about the outward self and the private self, the significance of representation and the power of public display, corruption and innocence, order and chaos. I explore such questions as what attraction these themes held for Barnes, what connections exist (economically, socially, and politically) between Renaissance and post-industrialized England, and how Barnes and his Renaissance mentors use their work as cultural barometers and/or forecasters. But Barnes was a modern playwright, and the discussion is not limited to his connection to the Jacobeans.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Toronto, Graduate Centre for Study of Drama, 1998