Some time ago, just after Alvin Epstein appeared in a Robert Wilson production at the American Repertory Theatre, a reporter asked the actor how Wilson had explained some of the images to the cast. Epstein, a highly articulate actor/director, took a beat and said, “Does the painter tell the paint why he does what he does?” Wilson paints with people, giving them precise direction: an actor must move her arm at a certain pace in a certain direction while looking at the floor at a precise ...

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