Drama: Between Poetry and Performance
January 2010, ©2010, Wiley-Blackwell
- Draws on examples from major playwrights including Shakespeare, Ibsen, Beckett, and Parks
- Explores the critical terms and controversies that animate the performance and study of drama, such as the status of language, the function of character and plot, and uses of writing
- Engages in a theoretical, disciplinary, and cultural repositioning of drama, by exploring and contesting its position at the threshold between text and performance
Preface: Drama, Poetry, and Performance.
Introduction: Between Poetry and Performance.
i. Shakespeare 3.0.
ii. Images of Writing/Metaphors of Performance.
Dramatic tools, performance technologies.
iii. Agencies of Drama: Burke, Poetry, and Performance.
Writing as agency: "Antony in Behalf of the Play".
1. From Poetry to Performance.
i. Dramatic Performance and its Discontents: The New Criticism.
Drama, poetry, and "interpretation".
"An arrangement of words".
Acts of speech.
Heresy, responsibility, and performance.
ii. Dramatic Writing and its Discontents: Performance Studies, Drama Studies.
The "theater of acting".
2. Performing Writing: Hamlet.
i. Hamlet’s Book.
Playing the book.
The law of writ.
Speaking by the card.
ii. Corrupt Stuff; or, Doing Things with (Old) Words.
The crux of performance.
iii. "OK, we can skip to the book": The Wooster Group Hamlet.
Theatrofilm by Electronovision.
(Re)playing Burton, performing Hamlet.
3. Embodying Writing: Ibsen and Parks.
i. Can We Act What We Say?: Rosmersholm.
Acting the role.
Confession, disclosure, detour.
Doing (unspeakable) things with words.
ii. Footnoting Performance: The America Play and Venus.
A wink to Mr. Lincolns pasteboard cutout.
4. Writing Space: Beckett and Brecht.
i. Quad: Euclidean Dramaturgies.
ii. By Accepting This License.
iii. What Where: Brechtian Technologies.
An engaging book spanning the fields of drama, literary criticism, genre, and performance studies, which not only teaches students how to read drama, but also explores the key questions that have occupied the earliest playwrights through to today’s most distinguished literary and cultural critics
Draws on examples from major playwrights including Shakespeare, Ibsen, Beckett, and Parks
Explores the critical terms and controversies that animate the performance and study of drama, such as the status of language, the function of character and plot, and uses of writing
Engages in a theoretical, disciplinary, and cultural repositioning of drama, by exploring and contesting its position at the threshold between text and performance
— Martin Puchner, Harvard University
"An impressive—indeed, brilliant—book, a powerful
defence of dramatic textuality in its relationship to performance
[…] In addition to its deft negotiation of print practices
and other early social technologies, it is refreshingly up-to-date
in its awareness of the ways that digital technologies have
transformed the delivery and reception of textual performance
—Stanton B. Garner Jr, University of Tennessee
"Essential reading not only for all drama and theatre studies
students from undergraduate level upwards, but for anyone involved
in teaching them, researching in the field, or interested in the
state of theatre history, theory and criticism today."
—Robert Shaughnessy, University of Kent
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