Special Collections and Archives

Peter Feldman papers

Special Collections and Archives

Peter Feldman papers

Peter Feldman papers

Finding Aid

Prepared by Kevin R. Ferst, November 29, 2001; Updated May 2016; April 2018


Inclusive Dates: 1966-2015
Extent: 1 cubic foot (1 document case, 1 flat box, and 1 oversized folder)
Physical Location: 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.  He received additional theatre experience with various individual instructors.

Feldman's career extends from the 1960s to the present. In 1963, he, along with Joseph Chaikin, founded New York's famous Open Theatre, one of the world's leading avant-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 Professor 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, and production material.  Production material includes flyers, periodical clippings and posters, and is organized alphabetically by th ename of the production.  His publications are 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.


    Bibliography: For further information, please consult 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)

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


    Arrangement:

    • Series 1: Productions
    • Series 2: Publications, Journals
    • Series 3: Publications, Publications, Texts
    • Series 4: Presentations and Workshops
    • Series 5: Productions, Posters

    Box 1
    Folder-- Contents

    Productions

    1. 2 By Sam, Sullivan Mahoney Studio Theatre, flyer, undated

    2. Ashes to Ashes, Stray Theatre, program, [2015]

    3. Better Living, Brock University, program, 1998

    4. Communion, Stray Theatre, flyer, program and periodical clippings, undated

    5. The Clown Play and Comings and Goings, The Open Theatre, flyer, undated

    6. The Country, Stray Theatre, flyer and program, [2012]

    7. Dream, The Open Theatre, flyer, undated 

    8. Party Time and Mountain Language, Brock University, program, 1997

    9. Risk Everything, Niagara Artists’ Company, periodical clippings and program, 2004

    10. Salt Water Moon, program, The Players’ Guild of Hamilton, Inc., program, 2007

    11. Ubu Cocu, The Open Theatre, photographs by Karl Bissinger, undated

    12. Waiting for Godot, Niagara Artists’ Company, flyers, undated

    13. Where’s My Money, Stray Theatre, flyer, undated

    Publications - Journals

    1. "Director's note to "Keep Tightly Closed in a Cool, Dark Place."" Tulane Drama Review, T32, vol. 10, no.4, Summer 1966. (invited)
    2. "Forum on Grotowski's company." The Drama Review, T46, vol.14, no.2, Winter 1970. (invited)
    3. "Skin Deep: A Drama about the Racist Threat in England." Dartington Hall News, 22 June 1973, UK: Dartington Hall Press
    4. "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.
    5. "Action to Imagine." Canadian Theatre Review, no.50, Spring 1987.
    6. "Working with Actors on Textual Images." Theatrum (Toronto), no.8, Fall/Winter 1987.
    7. "Food Not Freud: Dialectical Acting for North Americans." Gestus: The Electronic Journal of Brechtian Studies, vol.5, no.1, 1991.
    8. "The Theatre Student." Drama Contact, no.16, Autumn 1992. Journal of the Council of Drama in Education. (Ontario)
    9. "Care and Feeding of Undergraduate Students." Theatre Research in Canada/Recherches Théâtrales Au Canada, vol.16, nos 1-2, 1995
    10. "Exploring the Drama Student's Sensory World." Drama Contact no.19, Autumn 1995. Journal of the Council of Drama in Education. (Ontario)
    11. "Forum on Grotowski" (On the occasion of his death.) Theater (formerly Yale Theater Journal) Vol.29, no.2, 1999. (invited)
    12. "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.)

    Publications - Texts

    1. "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.
    2. "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.

    Presentations and Workshops

    1. "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.
    2. "The Cave" from Workshops III, IV, V, Amsterdam: Stichting Mickery Workshop, 1972.
    3. "The Truth-Fiction Dance" Text of a paper delivered at the Third Annual Humanities Symposium, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, 1991.
    4. Untitled text of a paper delivered at The Image and Imagery Conference, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, 2000

    Box 2
    Folder-- Contents

    Productons--Posters

    1. 2 By Sam, Sullivan Mahoney Studio Theatre, undated
    2. American Hurrah and Pavane, Open Theatre, undated
    3. Ashes to Ashes, Stray Theatre, 2015
    4. Better Living, Brock University, 1998
    5. Bits and Pieces, Brock University, 1986
    6. Blood Wedding, Brock University, 1999
    7. Bonjour, Brock University, undated
    8. Communion, Stray Theatre, 2014
    9. The Country, Stray Theatre, 2012
    10. Criminals in Love, Stray Theatre, undated
    11. Electra, Brock University, 1989
    12. Hedda Gabler, Brock University, 2000
    13. I Am Yours, Brock University, 1999
    14. Killing Game, Brock University, undated
    15. La Ronde, Brock University, 1990
    16. A Lie of the Mind, Brock University, undated
    17. Metamorphosis, Connecticut College, 1983
    18. Night Sky, Brock University, 1994
    19. Party Time and Mountain Language, Brock University, 1997
    20. Risk Everything, Niagara Artists’ Company, 2004
    21. The Soviet Event, A Multi-Media Montage, Brock University, 1985
    22. Tonight We Improvise, Brock University, undated
    23. The Trial, Brock University, undated
    24. True West, Stray Theatre, undated
    25. Viet Rock, The Open Theatre, undated
    26. Waiting for Godot, Niagara Artists’ Company, undated
    27. Where’s My Money, Stray Theatre, undated

    Folder-- Oversized Production Poster

    1. Careless Vows, Brock University, undated