Making the Stage: Essays on the Changing Concept of Theatre, Drama, and Performance
MAKING THE STAGE is a collection of essays that examines the role of theatre, drama, and performance in contemporary culture, a culture that is growing increasingly technological and isolated--seemingly at odds with the very nature of theatre, a collaborative and sometimes very primitive art form. Through the course of these essays, it is clear that theatre not only survives some of the challenges of the day but even defines discussions, particularly political ones which are prohibited by an increasingly manipulated media. The essays, from a diverse group of theatre scholars, examine the mechanics of theatre, from space to sound to the use of technology, the role of women in creating theatre, the relationship between theatre and literary art forms, the politics of theatre, science and theatre, and the role of performance art. Through them all, it is clear that theatre, drama, and performance continue to speak in significant ways.
Ann C. Hall is a Professor of English at Ohio Dominican University. She is also serving as the President of the Harold Pinter Society. She has published widely on drama, popular culture, and women's studies. She has recently been named a Theatre Series Editor for Palgrave-MacMillan.
“MAKING THE STAGE provides a unique purchase of drama's potentially disruptive cultural work. While it offers trenchant analyses of performance on earlier stages, its contributors speak with particular eloquence and force about a post-Beckettian theatre and world of disembodied voices, cyber-spaces, the threat of terrorism, and a new kind of theatrical spectator. This volume will be a 'must read' text for students of the contemporary theatre, as it has significant things to say about a range of sites and figures: from Beckett's 'Mouth' in NOT I to detainees at Guantanamo Bay, from Martin McDonagh's dark comedy to Caryl Churchill's continuing dissections of power.”
Stephen Watt, Indiana University, Professor of English
“Ann Hall's new collection, Making the Stage: Essays on the Changing Concept of Theatre, Drama, and Performance, is a very welcome and timely volume. As Hall notes in her insightful introduction, the thirteen essays she includes, wide ranging though they are, all exemplify a very traditional emphasis on the text and its relationship to performance. Her collection I think a fine nudge of the critical pendulum away from the obsession with performance studies of the last twenty years or so, itself initially a correction of the previous generation's over-emphasis on the text-in-isolation. Hall's Making the Stage rediscovers that a play is indeed a literary genre as well as an exciting variant of "performance entertainment," perhaps in the Brechtian sense. I particularly welcome all of the essays' suggestion, implicit or very explicit, that theater/drama, as a genre, at its best should challenge and disrupt the status quo, should be thought-provoking, should encourage radical change, in perspective, social understanding, political or aesthetic action. The essays collected here encourage our examination of responses to huge range of our theater, from the dramatized conduct literature of the 18th century, to 19th-century dramatic treatments of Milton in Spain, through early modern Irish drama's treatment of women, and into the modern, post-modern and achingly contemporary. While no reader will agree with all of the authors' conclusions and observations, all will profit from their very thoughtful, indeed provocative examination of a genre challenged by current "entertainment alternatives," but still vital, exciting and enriching.”
Christopher C. Hudgins, Dean, College of Liberal Arts, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
“Ann Hall's book, MAKING THE STAGE, lives up to her promise in its Introduction that the book's emphasis is on "theatre's ability to challenge the status quo, speak for the unspoken, and enlighten the unenlightened."
That is exactly what this fine collection of essays does. The book's broad range covers everything from the use of voice in Beckett's plays to ways of bringing revolution to the stage in Irish Drama, to theatrical responses to the current war on terror. Bravo! A rich collection which explores theatre's changing approaches and its enduring values.” Katherine Burkman, Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University
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