Theater legend Peter Brook passed away on July 2 at age 97. The famed English director won two Tony Awards, both for Best Direction of a Play, one in 1966 for Marat/Sade, and one in 1971 for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Brook was also known for his trailblazing 1968 book, The Empty Space, which examined the four modes or points of view on theatre: Deadly, Holy, Rough, and Immediate.
Many theater celebrities, critics, and writers weighed in on Brook’s impact and passing. SpongeBob SquarePants director Tina Landau tweeted, “Peter Brook’s vision & wisdom are at the root of what I do & aspire to in the theater RIP, Mr. Brook – thank you for your life’s work, and my foundation. 10 quotes that exemplify: ‘A stage space has two rules:(1) Anything can happen and (2) Something must happen.'”
NPR film critic Bob Mondollo also weighted in, tweeting, “R.I.P. PETER BROOK, director of Marat/Sade, Lord of the Flies, and arguably the most brilliant theater mind of the 20th century.” Another critic, New York Times theater writer Laura Collins-Hughes, said, “The blink-and-you-miss-it online placement of news about Peter Brook’s death suggests an icon who retired eons ago, not one who persisted and persisted and persisted as a theatermaker and a theatergoer.”
Brook directed over a dozen productions with England’s Royal Shakespeare Company and also won two Emmy Awards and a Laurence Olivier Award.