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"Two Town Festivals: Signs of A Theater of Power," by Sidney N Hetzler Jr, was published on Amazon Kindle May 17, 2012 for $9.99, or as a loaner if you have Prime. It is listed on Amazon books at $14.95. Contact: Sid Hetzler, 423 618 6651
Amazon book link: http://www.amazon.com/Two-Town-Festivals-Signs-Theater/dp/098533410X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1337710363&sr=1-2
Amazon Kindle link: http://www.amazon.com/Two-Town-Festivals-Theater-ebook/dp/B0084FR1TQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1337710363&sr=1-1
Author photo with waltz teacher Angela Amarillas, 2008 Halloween Waltz Weekend, Pocono Manor Inn, PA.
Cover image by Emanuele Luzzati, 1993 Spoleto festivals poster, "Papageno" from Mozart's Magic Flute, with permission Luzzati Museum, Genoa, Italy.
Two Town Festivals really is two, if not three, books with
old and new work in one unique format, which was made possible and affordable
for cultural leaders, artists, scholars and educators by Amazon's print on
First, it opens with a interpretive foreword by thesis director Timothy J. Reiss (New York University professor emeritus, comparative literature) and a brief summarizing author's note.
Second, it includes a vintage 1990 Emory dissertation (plus Chattanooga's 1980-82 untold stories of origin in the re-included, unpublished Appendix B), which, as a still valid historical book reflecting its time and place, offers a broad perspective of late 20th century cultural philosophy, flavored with vivid experiences of the creators of Charleston's Spoleto Festival USA and Chattanooga's Riverbend Festival.
Third, it offers a 45-page afterword reflecting how these original insights into cultural practices of diversity and intolerance influenced the author's Split Tree participatory arts theater from 1990-2007 and also shaped his political philosophy about the unending struggle between what he sees as "difference" and "sameness."
Festivals today are so commonplace that we seldom notice their subtle power to shape our shifting ideas about performing and participatory arts, ranging from Charleston's Spoleto Festival USA to Burning Man Festival, Black Rock, Nevada.
Two Town Festivals raises questions about artists and art power, artistic directors or their absence, festival ideas and forms of difference and sameness. It primarily compares the town festivals created by Charleston, SC (Spoleto) and Chattanooga, TN (Riverbend) in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, and contrasts them with ideas underlying the Chautauqua Institution, Salzburg Festival and other festive celebrations.
It examines the deep political philosophies that influenced them, as well as their stories of origin and consequences, by offering “views,” ways of seeing more than it suggests what to see, if you are standing in, experiencing and interpreting these theatrical “texts.” Its conceptual foundations offer workable ways to see shaded meanings, such as masked, even deceptive, differences and false diversity. When you stand in your four-dimensional text of a festival, these views extend your thinking tools to make sense of the many signs and symbols addressed to you the festival creators, owners and sponsors who control these "theaters of power."
The principle arguments are: 1) we shape our festivals; thereafter our festivals shape us; 2) most festivals provide a model for accepting differences and diversity in life, and we learn to tolerate as normal the small or large range of diversity contained within a festival's time and space; 3) in a festival’s theatrical space the new and different, or traditional and sameness, are made visible, dramatizing the essential idea that “differences embrace sameness; sameness rejects difference.”
These claims are derived from analysis of three key signifiers: the festival's relationship to empty spaces (its place), its purposes (its ideal), and the presence or absence of an artistic director (its force). These three elements create a festival's degree of difference or sameness. They provide the study's conceptual design and suggest, in their interdependence, several conclusions about the nature, function, and meaning of these two festivals and festival philosophy in general.
Why the special focus on Menotti? Spoleto designer Piero Lorenzini expresses his experience in a 2009 letter, “The Festival Affair”: “Maestro Menotti was truly Spoleto’s magician. He could change the physiognomy of the town, transform it into a crescendo of emotions and lead its inhabitants, its life and its stones into a dream-world…for 50 years." It is for this reason the book's cover image evoking Menotti as a Pied Piper was chosen.
--Book Front Pages and Table of Contents--
Two Town Festivals
Signs of a Theater of Power
Sidney N Hetzler Jr
Copyright 1990 ©
Split Tree Press
Sidney N Hetzler Jr
Book Publication 2012©
First Edition – Kindle Version
All rights reserved
Split Tree Press
597 West Cove Road
Chickamauga, GA 30707
United States of America
Library of Congress Control Number
Library of Congress Subject Heading:
Festival, Artists, Artistic Director,
All Split Tree Participants -- 1990-2007
Albert J. Sullivan -- 1990
College of Communication
Who taught simple writing and values,
The right to true information,
And the right to participate
Timothy J. Reiss – 2012
New York University
A teacher who held the light
Without leading the way
Sorrel Hays -- 2012
Composer of opera and symphonic music
Who always led me to believe
I could do more than I could imagine
Robert Spano -- 2012
Music Director, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Music Director, Aspen Music Festival
A magical artistic director who shares
His music with intellect and passion
Barack Obama -- 2012
President, United States of America
Who is perfecting America by example
FOREWORD AND AUTHOR’S NOTE.. vii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS - 1990. xvi
Subject and Scope. xxi
General Thesis. xxii
CHAPTER I TIME AND PLACE OF DIFFERENCES: THE IDEA OF A FESTIVAL THEATER 1
Stories of Origin. 1
Art Power and the Element of the Artistic Director. 3
The Element of the Empty Space. 5
Functions Mode of Analysis. 10
Perspectives and Semantic Framing. 15
Implications of Festivals Viewed As a "Place of the Different" 18
CHAPTER II SPOLETO FESTIVAL U.S.A.: WHERE FOOTLIGHTS CAST NO SHADOWS 21
Menotti's New Theater. 21
Functions of a "Serious" Festival 23
Three Basic Elements: Artistic Director, Empty Space, 27
Artistic Director: Why Menotti?. 28
The Empty City Space: Why Charleston?. 37
The Element of Purpose: Menotti's Festival Idea. 43
Difference and Sameness. 51
CHAPTER III CHATTANOOGA'S RIVERBEND FESTIVAL: FROM A THEATER OF DIFFERENCE TO A THEATER OF SAMENESS. 52
The Struggle to Fill the City's Empty Festival Space. 52
Absence of an Artistic Director. 56
The Element of Purpose: Festival Planning Seminars. 59
Functions of the Riverbend Festival: Embedded Meanings in Two Stories of Origin 63
Analysis of Riverbend Objectives. 66
Riverbend: Meanings and Messages. 71
CHAPTER IV TWO TOWNS, TWO FESTIVALS, MULTIPLE MEANINGS OF "FESTIVAL" 76
An "Arts" Festival-Creature Encounters its "Heritage" Habitat 76
Menotti's Logocracy. 78
Primary Function of a Festival: Chautauqua--Forum for Conflicting Views 79
Comparative Categories. 86
Restatement of Claims: Intent, Function, Effect 92
Four Conclusions: Festivals' Shaping of “Reality,” Openness, Conflict, Play 96
Toward a Semiotic of Festival 99
GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY. 105
APPENDIX A SPOLETO FESTIVAL U.S.A. MATERIALS. 118
APPENDIX B RIVERBEND FESTIVAL CHRONOLOGY. 159
AND STORIES OF ORIGIN.. 159
APPENDIX C DISSERTATION FRONT MATERIALS. 199
AFTERWORD – May 2012. 228
Nothing is absolutely dead: every meaning will have its homecoming festival.
M. M. Bakhtin
"Methodology for the Human Sciences"
Speech Genres & Other Late Essays
Chautauqua is a place, an ideal, and a force.
Chautauqua Institution, Jamestown, NY
1880’s, quoted on a postcard picturing the audience
in a traveling Chautauqua lyceum tent
Art, then, is an increase of life, a sort of
competition of surprises that stimulates our
consciousness and keeps it from becoming somnolent.
The Poetics of Space
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