Postdramatic Theatre and the Political

Postdramatic Theatre and the Political : International Perspectives on Contemporary Performance

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Is postdramatic theatre political and if so how? How does it relate to Brecht's ideas of political theatre, for example? How can we account for the relationship between aesthetics and politics in new forms of theatre, playwriting, and performance?

The chapters in this book discuss crucial aspects of the issues raised by the postdramatic turn in theatre in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century: the status of the audience and modes of spectatorship in postdramatic theatre; the political claims of postdramatic theatre; postdramatic theatre's ongoing relationship with the dramatic tradition; its dialectical qualities, or its eschewing of the dialectic; questions of representation and the real in theatre; the role of bodies, perception, appearance and theatricality in postdramatic theatre; as well as subjectivity and agency in postdramatic theatre, dance and performance.

Offering analyses of a wide range of international performance examples, scholars in this volume engage with Hans-Thies Lehmann's theoretical positions both affirmatively and critically, relating them to other approaches by thinkers ranging from early theorists such as Brecht, Adorno and Benjamin, to contemporary thinkers such as Fischer-Lichte, Ranciere and others
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 20.32mm | 390g
  • Methuen Drama
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • 5 halftones
  • 1408184869
  • 9781408184868
  • 522,323

Table of contents

List of Figures
Introduction: Postdramatic Theatre and the Political by Jerome Carroll, Karen Jurs-Munby and Steve Giles
Chapter 1: Towards a Paradoxically Parallaxical Postdramatic Politics? By Brandon Woolf (University of California, USA)
Chapter 2: Performing Dialectics in an Age of Uncertainty, or: Why Post-Brechtian Does not Mean Postdramatic by David Barnett (University of Sussex, UK)
Chapter 3: Political Fictions and Fictionalisations: History as Material for Postdramatic Theatre by Mateusz Borowski and Malgorzata Sugiera (Jagiellonian University, Poland)
Chapter 4: A Future for Tragedy? Remarks on the Political and the Postdramatic by Hans-Thies Lehmann (University of Kent, UK)
Chapter 5: Spectres of Subjectivity: On the Fetish of Identity in (Post-)Postdramatic Choreography by Peter M. Boenisch (University of Kent, UK)
Chapter 6: Christoph Schlingensief's Rocky Dutschke, '68: A Reassessment of Activism in Theatre by Antje Dietze ( University of Leipzig, Germany)
Chapter 7: Postdramatic Reality Theatre and Productive Insecurity: Destabilising Encounters with the Unfamiliar in Theatre from Sydney and Berlin by Ulrike Garde and Meg Mumford (Macquarie University, Australia, and University of New South Wales, Australia)
Chapter 8: Postdramatic Labour in The Builders Association's Alladeen by Shannon Jackson (Berkeley, University of California, USA)
Chapter 9: Acting, Disabled: Back to Back Theatre and the Politics of Appearance by Theron Schmidt (King's College London, UK)
Chapter 10: Parasitic Politics: Elfriede Jelinek's 'Secondary Dramas' Abraumhalde and FaustIn and Out by Karen Jurs-Munby (Lancaster University, UK)
Chapter 11: Phenomenology and the Postdramatic: A Case Study of Three plays by Ewald Palmetshofer by Jerome Carroll (University of Nottingham, UK)
Chapter 12: Performing the Collective. Heiner Muller's 'Alone with these Bodies' ('Allein mit diesen Leibern') as a Piece for Postdramatic Theatre by Michael Wood (University of Edinburgh, UK)

Notes on Contributors
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Review quote

In this collection, various case studies ground a series of arguments ascribing political force - variously conceived - to experimental theatre. As a whole, the book offers an important rejoinder to claims about postdrama's political apathy. -- Julia Jarcho, New York University * Modern Drama * The first of many such projects ... there is some fascinating work in development here. * Platform * This is a timely text, given that the politics of aesthetics has become an increasingly vital issue to contemporary theatre scholars and practitioners alike. ... The essays gathered here succeed in bearing vivid witness to the diversity of contemporary postdramatic practices. -- Ryan Anthony Hatch * PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art * This is a timely text, given that the politics of aesthetics has become an increasingly vital issue to contemporary theatre scholars and practitioners alike. ... The essays gathered here succeed in bearing vivid witness to the diversity of contemporary postdramatic practices, and a few of them stand out as genuinely incisive case studies. * PAJ: Performing Arts Journal *
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About Dr Karen Jurs-Munby

Dr Jerome Carroll is lecturer in German Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK.

Steven Giles is Professor Emeritus of German Studies and Critical Theory at the University of Nottingham, UK. He has contributed to Brecht on Art and Politics (Methuen Drama, 2003) as well as authoring books on Modern European Drama and Critical Theory.

Dr Karen Jurs-Munby is a lecturer in Theatre Studies at the University of Lancaster, UK. She translated and wrote a critical introduction for Hans-Thies Lehmann's Postdramatic Theatre (2006).
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