Set Designer and Scenic Artist for over 20 years. Now, Theatre Historian
with emphasis on Early Italian Renaissance through the Eighteenth century.
However, I am concerned with the whole phenomenon of technical stage production
in the Western world, as it is a spin-off from Italian practice. I have
published on stagecrafe in Italy, France and Germany. My doctoral thesis is on
the staging of operas at the Paris Opera 1763-1873.
Now....about Indian performance. I went to Delhi in 1975 to teach high school
at the American Embassy School. I stayed for three years and became fascinated
with Indian culture. I studied Hindi, which I still know pretty well and
travelled all over the north, including Nepal and Bhutan. I saw some
Rajasthani Khyal players at an exhibition in 1978, and became very interested in
a style of theatre totally different....no stage technology at all....from the
type in which I had been working for so many years. I returned to India many
times after that, especially since I was married to Sharon Lowen, a well known
Odissi dancer. Finally, I got an Indo-US Subcomission grant to go to Rajasthan
in 1986. I went and this launched my second career in theatre, which, actually
has overtaken everything else. I was recently in Jodhpur to
put the finishing touches on my book,
Gods, Heroes & Demons: The Theatre of Rajasthan. It should come out early 2001.
I am also working on the Rani Gumpha, a 1st century B.C. rock cut,
acoustical theatre in Orissa, just outside Bhubaneswar. My colleague,
Umashankar Manthravadi and I presented a paper on that theatre November
1999 at Columbus, Ohio. I have many publications on Western Theatre, plus
an article in Asian Theatre Journal, 1991, on Marwari Khyal.