The Student is actually speaking to the ghost of a Milkmaid whom only he can see. The Student explains to the apparition that he is so disheveled because he had been saving the wounded from a collapsing building the night before. Meanwhile, the ghost of the Milkmaid seems to have disappeared. The Student remembers that his late father was bankrupt and constantly blamed Hummel for his impoverished state. After arguing over this point of contention, Hummel offers to make the Student prosperous and happy in return for doing Hummel a few favors. Hummel tells the Student that he was once engaged to the white-haired woman who lives in the elegant house.

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The drama, one of four chamber plays written by the author in , is a phantasmagoric coda to a death-obsessed career. The setting for the C. The facade of the ominous house is in the background. As the evening begins, a milkmaid moves a cup toward the surface of a mirror on the ground.

Like so much else in the evening, the milkmaid is an apparition. Along with those he accuses of crimes, he personifies deception. Grasping his hand, he appears to be pulling the arm from its socket. Repeatedly, the motif of vampirism is evoked; one character drains another. The play is a vortex of images -visual, aural and musical.

Presented in three brief, intermissionless scenes, it is shaped like a sonata and Beethoven is heard at intervals. One is meant to approach the play as if it were a piece of music and not as a narrative to be unfolded.

It is a journey with reiterated themes rather than one headed toward a single destination. The impact is hypnotic, and at the same time there are flashes of absurd humor - the mummy thinks she is a parrot and pops out of her clock-casket in the manner of a cuckoo. In their staging, Mr.

Martin and Miss Sunde aspire to no grand moments of transformation such as would have added enrichment to the evening. This is instead a chamber production of a chamber play. The performances are assured and restrained. In his wheelchair or hobbling with cane and his face looking like wrinkled parchment, Noble Shropshire is appropriately seductive and sinister as Hummel, inveigling the student and then unmasking his own corruption.

As the student, Tom Spackman is an innocent, litmus paper awaiting an imprint, and Ginger Grace has the ethereal quality of the enigmatic hyacinth girl. Martin; costumes, Miriam Nieves. Pre- sented by the Classic Stage Company, Mr. Martin, director; Stephen J. Holland, managing director. At East 13th Street. Old Man Noble Shropshire Student Tom Spackman Milkmaid and Dark Lady Carol Schultz Colonel Douglas Moore Girl Ginger Grace Baron and Cook David Aston-Reese Johansson Patrick Egan Bengtsson Tom Spiller Fiancee Susan Stern Advertisement.


Ghost Sonata

Ill, No. IT, july-Sep. Dramaten , Stockholm: Prisma, The illustrations have been made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Swedish Institute in Stockholm. Prologue An Important event in theatre history occurred III late autumn when the young actor and theatre manager August Falck met the elderly writer August Strindberg.



Although Strindberg wrote some seventy dramatic pieces, he is best known outside his native Sweden for a small number of plays that represent the range of his achievement. The pre-Inferno plays are naturalistic in form and are insistently concerned with sexual and class struggles bringing to the philosophy of naturalism a psychological realism that validates his characters as among the most excitingly credible in modern drama. These plays are important especially for the ways in which they extend the boundaries of dramatic form, introducing expressionism and Symbolism into the mainstream of world drama. The resulting complexity of character allowed Strindberg to approach with renewed intensity the two conflicts that for him both personally and artistically were never resolved.

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