Interview with JoAnne Akalaitis
in The politics of Jean Genet’s late theatre
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This chapter presents the interview between the author and US theatre director JoAnne Akalaitis. She is the founder of the influential avant-garde theatre company Mabou Mines. In this interview, they talk about two widely praised productions of Jean Genet's work, The Balcony with the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1985-1986, and The Screens at the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis in 1989-1990. Genet is the first western playwright to write about Arabs and a revolutionary culture in a way that is not clichéd or necessarily easy to swallow. Genet, like August Strindberg, empowers women in a way that very few playwrights do. He understood the first African rebellions, and the revolutions in the Third World. He's one of the great modern political playwrights: there's no doubt about that.

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