The Empty Space
by Peter Brook
New York, Atheneum, ISBN: 0689705581 (originally published in 1968; since updated)
I was taking an Advanced Acting class in college, and a student was giving a book report.
These are usually rather ho-hum affairs, and I was preparing to become properly glassy-eyed
when he suddenly lept up on a table (a very Gene Kelly-ish thing to do in the middle
of a book report) and began to talk about Peter Brook's The Empty Space.
I was enthralled. I'll never forget that moment when theater started taking shape for me.
The year was 1974. The class was at California State University - Chico. The professor was
Dr. Larry Wismer and the student was Tom Kinnee, son of CSU-C opera professor, Dr. James Kinnee.
I went out immediately to buy the book, and it helped guide me through a graduate degree in theatre.
It's gone through several updated versions since then;
Brook himself says that the text will become outdated as you read it.
But if you love theater, get it anyway.
Then go jump on a table and "shape the empty space."
Return to Book Index