Integral Drama critically explores modern drama in the context of Indian aesthetics described in the
Natyashastra and the vast, new interdisciplinary field of consciousness studies. It also focuses on how Indian theatre aesthetics has influenced modern drama theories and practice, and the extent to which this has promoted the development of higher consciousness in actors and audience. According to Indian aesthetics,
rasa or aesthetic rapture is refers to bliss innate in the Self that manifests even in the absence of external sources of happiness. Overall, this book explores the relation between modern theatre and higher states of mind and demonstrates that one of the key purposes of theatre is to help the spectator experience the pure consciousness event described in consciousness studies by theorists such as Anna Bonshek, Ken Wilber, Robert K. C. Forman, Jonathan Shear, Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe, Ralph Yarrow and others.
Integral Drama will appeal not only to drama theorists but also to teachers and students of acting, as well as an educated general audience interested in understanding the aesthetic experience of theatre.
Integral Drama, moreover, can be used as a textbook for acting and drama theory classes and would also appeal to university and public libraries. The book serves as a bridge between the ideas and experiences long understood through Indian philosophy and the many questions raised by modern theatre studies.
William S. Haney II is Professor of American and British Literature, Modern Drama and Theater, and Literary Theory and Criticism at the American University of Sharjah, UAE. His research interests include the analysis of contemporary literature from a Consciousness Studies perspective, Science Fiction, Cybercultures, and the Posthuman Condition. Three of his recent books are
Culture and Consciousness: Literature Regained (Bucknell UP, 2002),
Postmodern Theatre and the Void of Conceptions (Cambridge Scholars Press 2006), and
Cyberculture, Cyborgs and Science Fiction: Consciousness and the Posthuman (Rodopi 2006).
Table of contents
Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: The Fall of Private Man in Harold Pinter’s
The Birthday Party Chapter 3: Eugène Ionesco’s
Rhinoceros: Defiance vs. Conformity Chapter 4: Tom Stoppard’s
Arcadia: Orderly Disorder Chapter 5: Discovering Happiness in Harold Pinter’s
The Homecoming Chapter 6: Luigi Pirandello’s
Six Characters in Search of an Author: Being vs. having Form Chapter 7: The Reality of Illusion in Jean Genet’s
The Balcony Chapter 8: Soyinka’s Integral Drama: Unity And the Mistake of the Intellect Bibliography Index of Names