Special Collections and Archives

Peter Feldman papers

Special Collections and Archives

Peter Feldman papers

Peter Feldman papers, 1966-2000

Finding Aid

Prepared by Kevin R. Ferst, November 29, 2001; Updated May 2016
1 document case; .33 cubic feet; 11th floor

Biographical Note

Peter Feldman was born in New York City, 1936. He received his BA from Bard College, New York, 1958, in the Dance/Drama department. Additional theatre experience was received with various individual instructors.

Feldman's career extends from the 1960s to the present. In 1963, he, along with Joseph Chaiken, founded New York's famous Open Theatre, one of the world's leading avante-garde theatre ensembles. He co-directed this group until 1970, also serving as a Professional Associate in Acting at Columbia University during this time.

After 1970, Feldman was involved as an educator and director at several institutions, including Dartington College of Arts, Devon, U.K., from 1972-1975; Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, from 1975-1977; and Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, B.C., from 1977-1982.

Feldman returned to Brock University in 1984, where he has stayed, serving in several different functions. He was an Associate Professer in Theatre from 1984 until his retirement in 2001. He served as Director of the "Theatre and Drama in Education" Program for two terms. He was also Chair of the "Department of Film Studies, Dramatic and Visual Arts" from 1996-1999. He has directed over 20 productions at Brock, including: Blood Wedding by Lorca, Uncle Vanya by Chekhov, The Good Woman of Setzuan by Brecht, Night Sky by Susan Yankowitz, and The Party and Mountain Language by Harold Pinter.

In addition to these experiences, Feldman has directed numerous other productions in the US, Canada, and Europe. From 1970-1972, he was Artistic Director of "Satyre" topical- satirical theatre in Amsterdam. Through the 1970s to 2000, he worked with such groups as the Factory Theatre (Toronto), Actor's Lab (Toronto), The Other Theatre (New York), and the Vagabond Theatre (St. Catharines, Ontario). He has led acting workshops at colleges and universities such as Colgate University (New York), University of Iowa, and Kent State University. He has also led workshops for community and professional groups such as Western Ontario Drama League. He has published numerous articles and been a presenter at many conferences.

Feldman was retired from Brock University 2001. At the same time he began directing theatre productions with a group of his former students. Now called Stray Theatre, they have continued to present plays from the late 20th and 21st century world drama repertory -including Canadian plays- in St. Catharines and at The Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of Feldman's publications, separated into journals, texts, and presentations and workshops. The bulk of the collection are journal articles (12 items), followed by presentations and workshops (4 items). The text collection does not contain books that Feldman personally wrote, but rather an interview and a collection of articles. For further research, readers can study the following publications:

  • Pasolli, R. A Book on the Open Theatre Bobbs-Merrill, 1971. Pages 58-60.
  • Croyden, M. Lunatics, Lovers, and Poets McGraw-Hill, 1974. Pages 170-178.
  • Goodman, R. From Script to Stage Rinehart Press, 1974. Pages 562-565. (interview)
  • Hulton, P. (ed.) Theatre Papers Vol.1 Number 1. Dartington, England. (interview)

Researchers are also advised that Kent State University holds several other related collections, including the Open Theatre, collection, the Joseph Chaiken papers, and the Susan Yankowitz papers.

Box 1

Folder 1

Publications - Journals

  • "Director's note to "Keep Tightly Closed in a Cool, Dark Place."" Tulane Drama Review, T32, vol. 10, no.4, Summer 1966. (invited)
  • "Forum on Grotowski's company." The Drama Review, T46, vol.14, no.2, Winter 1970. (invited)
  • "Skin Deep: A Drama about the Racist Threat in England." Dartington Hall News, 22 June 1973, UK: Dartington Hall Press
  • "The Sound and Movement Exercise as Developed by the Open Theatre." (Feldman interviewed by Peter Hulton.) Theatre Papers, vol.1, no.1, U.K., 1975, Darkington Press.
  • "Action to Imagine." Canadian Theatre Review, no.50, Spring 1987.
  • "Working with Actors on Textual Images." Theatrum (Toronto), no.8, Fall/Winter 1987.
  • "Food Not Freud: Dialectical Acting for North Americans." Gestus: The Electronic Journal of Brechtian Studies, vol.5, no.1, 1991.
  • "The Theatre Student." Drama Contact, no.16, Autumn 1992. Journal of the Council of Drama in Education. (Ontario)
  • "Care and Feeding of Undergraduate Students." Theatre Research in Canada/Recherches Théâtrales Au Canada, vol.16, nos 1-2, 1995
  • "Exploring the Drama Student's Sensory World." Drama Contact no.19, Autumn 1995. Journal of the Council of Drama in Education. (Ontario)
  • "Forum on Grotowski" (On the occasion of his death.) Theater (formerly Yale Theater Journal) Vol.29, no.2, 1999. (invited)
  • "Hot Music, Cool Tales: A Journal of a Month's Work WIth Vancouver Moving Theatre." Drama Contact, vo. 24, Autumn 2000 (Journal of CODE, the Council of Drama and Dance in Education, Ontario.)

Folder 2

Publications - Texts

  • "The Old Tune at the Judson: Interview with Peter Feldman." From Script to Stage by Randolph Goodman, San Francisco: Rinehart Press, 1971. Published the previous year as Modern Drama Onstage NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1970.
  • "Skin Deep" The Dartington Anthology 1925-1975 UK:Dartington Press, 1975. This is a cut version of the article originally published in The Dartington Hall News in 1973.

Folder 3

Presentations and Workshops

  • "Pre-paper of Peter Feldman - Workshop "C" - Sound and Movement." International Symposium New Methods of Educational Drama. from Workshops III, IV, V, Amsterdam: Stichting Mickery Workshop, 1972.
  • "The Cave" from Workshops III, IV, V, Amsterdam: Stichting Mickery Workshop, 1972.
  • "The Truth-Fiction Dance" Text of a paper delivered at the Third Annual Humanities Symposium, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, 1991.
  • Untitled text of a paper delivered at The Image and Imagery Conference, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, 2000