Drama: Between Poetry and Performance / Edition 1

Drama: Between Poetry and Performance / Edition 1

by W. Worthen
     
 

Using the work of Kenneth Burke to develop an original critical perspective on the dual identity of drama, this engaging new book offers a way to read plays ‘between poetry and performance’, exploring and contesting the threshold between text and performance. The author offers both a critical account of literary criticism and performance studies, and

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Overview

Using the work of Kenneth Burke to develop an original critical perspective on the dual identity of drama, this engaging new book offers a way to read plays ‘between poetry and performance’, exploring and contesting the threshold between text and performance. The author offers both a critical account of literary criticism and performance studies, and suggests a means for seizing dramatic writing as an instrument for performance.

Drama: Between Poetry and Performance discusses major plays, drawing on examples from playwrights including Shakespeare, Ibsen, Beckett, and Parks, and asks how they offer a critical perspective on the drama's relation to books, to the process of embodiment, and to the mapping of space in the theatre. Exploring 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, this is an ideal text 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.

This book will appeal both to the professional and academic audience in drama and performance studies, as well as to a wider audience of theatregoers interested in the relationship between writing and performance.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781405153423
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
01/19/2010
Series:
Wiley Desktop Editions Series
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface: Drama, Poetry, and Performance xi

Introduction: Between Poetry and Performance 1

i Shakespeare 3.0 2

ii Images of Writing/Metaphors of Performance 8

The score 8

The blueprint 12

Information/software 13

Dramatic tools, performance technologies 20

iii Agencies of Drama: Burke, Poetry, and Performance 22

Writing as agency: "Antony in Behalf of the Play" 29

1 From Poetry to Performance 35

i Dramatic Performance and its Discontents: The New Criticism 39

Drama, poetry, and "interpretation" 39

"An arrangement of words" 45

Acts of speech 50

Heresy, responsibility, and performance 56

ii Dramatic Writing and its Discontents: Performance Studies, Drama Studies 64

Antigone's bones 64

The "theater of acting" 69

Rethinking writing 77

2 Performing Writing: Hamlet 94

i Hamlet's Book 97

Playing the book 97

The law of writ 101

Speaking by the card 106

ii Corrupt Stuff; or, Doing Things with (Old) Words 112

The crux of performance 113

Enseamed beds 118

iii "OK, we can skip to the book": The Wooster Group Hamlet 123

Theatrofilm by Electronovision 127

(Re)playing Burton, performing Hamlet 130

3 Embodying Writing: Ibsen and Parks 139

i Can We Act What We Say?: Rosmersholm 142

Inscribing character 147

Acting the role 150

Confession, disclosure, detour 152

Doing (unspeakable) things with words 158

ii Footnoting Performance: The America Play and Venus 161

A wink to Mr. Lincolns pasteboard cutout 172

Diggidy-diggidy-diggidy-dawg 178

4 Writing Space: Beckett and Brecht 192

i Quad: Euclidean Dramaturgies 196

ii By Accepting This License 205

iii What Where: Brechtian Technologies 211

Notes 216

Works Cited 239

Further Reading 258

Index 261

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