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This collection of essays explores the changing connotations of "theatricality" for theatrical performance and everyday life. Six case studies, each written by a specialist in the field, use historically specific circumstances to illustrate how explanations of theatricality relate to political and cultural issues ranging from contemorary gender theory to Confucian philosophy, anti-theatrical prejudices, aesthetics of realism and politicized spectacle. This book establishes the terms of debates for theatricality's place within performance theory.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What is special about the selection of these essays is how well they are ordered and flow from one topic to the next[...] All of the essays are of the highest quality. However, the strongest reason that this book is important is the Introduction, which should be required reading for all drama and theatre scholars and those in the field of performance studies. The concept of theatricality is now solidified as an important concept both inside and outside of performance and theatre studies."
-Michael Y. Bennett, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, American and English Studies
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521012072
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/19/2004
  • Series: Theatre and Performance Theory Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Tracy C. Davis is Barber Professor of the Performing Arts at Northwestern University. She is author of Actresses as Working Women: Their Social Identity in Victorian Culture, George Bernard Shaw and the Socialist Theatre, and The Economics of the British Stage, 1800–1914 and general editor of the Cambridge series Theatre and Performance Theory.

Thomas Postlewait is Professor of theatre history at Ohio State University. He contributed to the Cambridge History of American Theatre, vol. two, and is the editor of the book series Studies in Theatre History and Culture with University of Iowa Press.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Notes on contributors
1 Theatricality: an introduction 1
2 Performing miracles: the mysterious mimesis of Valenciennes (1547) 40
3 Theatricality in classical Chinese drama 65
4 Theatricality and antitheatricality in renaissance London 90
5 Theatricality and civil society 127
6 Defining political performance with Foucault and Habermas: strategic and communicative action 156
7 Theatricality's proper objects: genealogies of performance and gender theory 186
List of works cited 214
Index 238
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