Aspects of Wagner by Bryan Magee (1968)

Posted in Uncategorized on September 30, 2012 by therarestofbirds

The highest point ever reached in human creative achievement was Greek tragedy. This is for five main reasons, which should be considered together.

First, it represented a successful combination of the arts – poetry, dance, song – and as such had a greater scope and expressive powers than any of the arts alone.

Second, it took its subject matter from myth, which illuminates human experience to the depths, and in universal terms. “The unique thing about myth is that it is true for all time; and its content, no matter how terse or compact, is inexhaustible for every age.”

Third, both the content and the occasion of performance had religious significance.

Fourth, it was a religion of “the purely human”, a celebration of life – as in the marvelous chorus in the Antigone of Sophocles which begins

Numberless are the world’s wonders, but none More wonderful than man…

Fifth, the entire community took part.

This art-form was ideal because it was all-embracing: its expressive means embraced all the arts its subject matter embraced all human experience, and its audience embraced the whole population. It was the summation of living.

But with the passage of time it disintegrated. The arts all went their separate ways and developed alone – instrumental music without words, poetry without music, drama without either, and so on. In any case its available  content dissolved when Greek humanism was superseded by Christianity, a religion which divided man against himself, teaching him to look on his body with shame, his emotions and suspicion, sensuality with fear, sexual love with feelings of guilt. This life, it taught, was a burden, this world a vale of tears, our endurance of which would be rewarded at death, which was the gateway to eternal bliss.

In effect this religion was, as it was bound to be, anti-art. The alienation of man from his own nature, especially his emotional nature; the all-pervading hypocrisy to which this gave rise throughout the Christian era; the devaluation of life and the world and hence, inevitably, their wonderfulness; the conception of man as being not a god but a worm, and a guilty one at that; all this is profoundly at odds with the very nature and existence of art.

Such a religion, based as it is on the celebration of death and on hostility to the emotions, repudiates both the creative impulse and its subject matter. Art is the celebration of life, and the exploration of life in all its aspects. If life is unimportant – merely a diminutive prelude to the real Life which is to begin with death – then art can be only of negligible importance too.



Posted in 1, The Rarest of Birds, Theatre on November 6, 2009 by therarestofbirds


Posted in 1, The Rarest of Birds, Theatre on October 30, 2009 by therarestofbirds



Posted in 1, The Rarest of Birds, Theatre on October 30, 2009 by therarestofbirds


The Rarest of Birds is featured on page 6 as part of the festival!

“If a man don’t go his own way, he’s nothing.”

Posted in 1, The Rarest of Birds, Theatre on October 27, 2009 by therarestofbirds


– Robert E. Lee Prewitt in From Here to Eternity


Artists in the Kitchen Presents:

Posted in 1, The Rarest of Birds, Theatre on October 19, 2009 by therarestofbirds


Written by John Lisbon Wood and Omar Prince

Starring Omar Prince*

Sunday, November 8th at 6:30pm

At the Ellington Room in Manhattan Plaza

400 West 43rd Street, 2nd Floor

Corner of 43rd and 9th Avenue

New York, New York

*Member of Actor’s Equity

Let me out Huston! Freud would never do this…

Posted in 1 on October 13, 2009 by therarestofbirds

Locked Door

 Omar Prince as  Montgomery Clift

THE RAREST OF BIRDS is a one-man show based on the complex and self-destructive life of brilliant actor Montgomery Clift. The show ran off-off-Broadway to rave reviews. “The Rarest of Birds” is the first live production to be realized after years of failed attempts at bringing this actor’s legendary life story to the stage or screen. Actor Omar Prince is astounding as Clift and clips of the original production have been incorporated into an upcoming A&E Biography television special. The show runs 75 minutes without intermission and is performed on a bare stage with 3 chairs, 1 table, no light changes and brief audio cues consisting of a pre-recorded epilogue and prologue on CD. There are minimal props and no costume changes.

 Contact Omar Prince at: