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Integral Drama

Culture, Consciousness and Identity

Series:

William S. Haney II

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.

Men at Play

Masculinities in Australian Theatre since the 1950s

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Jonathan Bollen, Adrian Kiernander and Bruce Parr

How are masculinities enacted in Australian theatre? How do Australian playwrights depict masculinities in the present and the past, in the bush and on the beach, in the city and in the suburbs? How do Australian plays dramatise gender issues like father-son relations, romance and intimacy, violence and bullying, mateship and homosexuality, race relations between men, and men’s experiences of war and migration?
Men at Play explores theatre’s role in presenting and contesting images of masculinity in Australia. It ranges from often-produced plays of the 1950s to successful contemporary plays – from Dick Diamond’s Reedy River, Ray Lawler’s Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Richard Beynon’s The Shifting Heart and Alan Seymour’s The One Day of the Year to David Williamson’s Sons of Cain, Richard Barrett’s The Heartbreak Kid, Gordon Graham’s The Boys and Nick Enright’s Blackrock.
The book looks at plays as they are produced in the theatre and masculinity as it is enacted on the stage. It is written in an accessible style for students and teachers in drama at university and senior high school. The book’s contribution to contemporary debates about masculinity will also interest scholars in gender, race and sexuality studies, literary studies and Australian history.

Nick Enright

An Actor’s Playwright

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Edited by Anne Pender and Susan Lever

Nick Enright (1950-2003) was one of Australia’s most significant and successful playwrights. As a writer, director, actor and teacher he influenced theatre in Australia for thirty years. Enright wrote more than fifty plays for the stage, film, television and radio, translated and adapted more, and taught acting to students in varied settings, both in Australia and the United States. His writing repertoire included comedy, social realism, farce, fantasy and the musical. In addition to his prodigious contribution to all of these genres, he was a passionate advocate for the actor and the theatre in contemporary society.
In this volume Anne Pender and Susan Lever present a set of essays and recollections about Nick Enright’s work for students, teachers and scholars. The book offers a comprehensive study of Enright’s writing for theatre, film and television. Scholars, acting teachers and theatre directors have contributed to this work each illuminating an aspect of Enright’s remarkable career. The discussions cover interpretations of Enright’s scripts and productions, detailed analysis of his directing style, substantial background and analysis of his writing for musicals, as well as accounts of his specific approach to acting and to adaptation across genres. The essays and recollections included in this book will inspire theatre practitioners as well as scholars. Most importantly, this book will inform and enlighten students and teachers both at high school and university about an exceptional career in the theatre.

Presence in Play

A Critique of Theories of Presence in the Theatre

Series:

Cormac Power

Presence in Play: A Critique of Theories of Presence in the Theatre is the first comprehensive survey and analysis of theatrical presence to be published. Theatre as an art form has often been associated with notions of presence. The ‘live’ immediacy of the actor, the unmediated unfolding of dramatic action and the ‘energy’ generated through an actor-audience relationship are among the ideas frequently used to explain theatrical experience – and all are underpinned by some understanding of ‘presence.’ Precisely what is meant by presence in the theatre is part of what Presence in Play sets out to explain. While this work is rooted in twentieth century theatre and performance since modernism, the author draws on a range of historical and theoretical material. Encompassing ideas from semiotics and phenomenology, Presence in Play puts forward a framework for thinking about presence in theatre, enriched by poststructuralist theory, forcefully arguing in favour of ‘presence’ as a key concept for theatre studies today.

The Rhythm of Space and the Sound of Time

Michael Chekhov’s Acting Technique in the 21st Century

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Cynthia Ashperger

The Rhythm of Space and the Sound of Time examines the place of Chekhov’s Technique in contemporary acting pedagogy and practice. Cynthia Ashperger answers the questions: What are the reasons behind the technique’s current resurgence? How has this cohesive and holistic training been brought into today’s mainstream acting training? What separates this technique from the other currently popular methods?
Ashperger offers an analysis of the complex philosophical influences that shaped Chekhov’s ideas about this psycho-physical approach to acting. Chekhov’s five guiding principles are introduced to demonstrate how eastern ideas and practices have been integrated into this western technique and how they have continued to develop on both theoretical and practical levels in contemporary pedagogy, thereby rendering it intercultural.
The volume also focuses on the work of several contemporary teachers of the technique associated with Michael Chekhov International Association (MICHA). Current teacher training is described as well as the different modes of hybridization of Chekhov’s technique with other current methods.
Contemporary practical experiments and some fifty exercises at both beginner and intermediate/advanced levels are presented through analysis, examples, student journals and case studies, delineating the sequences in which units are taught and specifying the exercises that differ from those in Chekhov’s original writing.
This book is for practitioners as well as students of the theatre.

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Edited by Robert Gillett and Godela Weiss-Sussex

This volume presents a cross-section of current Brecht studies, reflecting a variety of approaches and perspectives ranging from detailed exegesis of particular texts to cultural criticism in the broadest sense. It provides analyses of Brecht's work and investigates his pervasive influence in 20th century literature. The studies collected here cover the whole of Brecht’s career, from the early one-acter Kleinbürgerhochzeit of 1919 to the Sinn und Form years immediately preceding his death, as well as his use of tradition and his legacy. By way of redressing a tendency in Brecht reception to regard him mainly as a dramatist, the volume covers novels, poetry, film, photography, journalism and theory as well as plays.

"All Sturm and no Drang"

Beckett and Romanticism. Beckett at Reading 2006

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Edited by Dirk Van Hulle and Mark Nixon

This new issue of Samuel Beckett Today / Aujourd’hui contains three sections: Beckett and Romanticism, the conference proceedings of Beckett at Reading 2006, and finally a collection of miscellaneous essays. In the past few decades there have been scattered efforts to address the topic of Beckett and Romanticism, but it remains difficult to fathom his ambiguous and somewhat paradoxical attitude toward this period in literature, music and art history. Although far from being a comprehensive examination, the dossier on “Beckett and Romanticism” represents the first sustained attempt to give an impetus to the study of this complex theme. Presented here are contributions on Beckett’s attitudes toward Romantic aesthetics in general, including notions such as the sublime, irony, failure, ruins, fragments, fancy, imagination, epitaphs, translation, unreachable horizons, the infinite, the infinitesimal and the unfinished, but also on Beckett’s reading about the Romantic period, his affinity with specific Romantic artists and their influence on works such as Murphy, the trilogy, Krapp’s Last Tape and All Strange Away. The second part of the current issue presents a selection of papers given at the Beckett at Reading 2006 conference in Reading, organised by the Beckett International Foundation to honour the writer’s centenary. Reflecting the importance of the Beckett Foundation’s Archive to scholars, many of these essays present new empirical research in the field of manuscript studies. Further areas of research are illuminated by other contributions which, together with the essays contained in the ‘Free Space’ section, show the importance and benefits of scholarly dialogue and cross-fertilization between different approaches in current Beckett Studies.

Acts and Texts

Performance and Ritual in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Series:

Edited by Laurie Postlewate and Wim Hüsken

For the Middle Ages and Renaissance, meaning and power were created and propagated through public performance. Processions, coronations, speeches, trials, and executions are all types of public performance that were both acts and texts: acts that originated in the texts that gave them their ideological grounding; texts that bring to us today a trace of their actual performance. Literature, as well, was for the pre-modern public a type of performance: throughout the medieval and early modern periods we see a constant tension and negotiation between the oral/aural delivery of the literary work and the eventual silent/read reception of its written text. The current volume of essays examines the plurality of forms and meanings given to performance in the Middle Ages and Renaissance through discussion of the essential performance/text relationship. The authors of the essays represent a variety of scholarly disciplines and subject matter: from the “performed” life of the Dominican preacher, to coronation processions, to book presentations; from satirical music speeches, to the rendering of widow portraits, to the performance of romance and pious narrative. Diverse in their objects of study, the essays in this volume all examine the links between the actual events of public performance and the textual origins and subsequent representation of those performances.

At the Periphery of the Center

Sexuality and Literary Genre in the Works of Marguerite Yourcenar and Julien Green

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Thomas J.D. Armbrecht

At the Periphery of the Center is the first comparison of two of France’s most important twentieth-century authors, Julien Green and Marguerite Yourcenar. It examines textual elements in their plays and novels to draw conclusions about the ways that they represent homosexuality in their texts. Both Yourcenar and Green turned to drama to explore aspects of same-sex desire that they felt unable to express in their prose. The analysis of their plays shows that an emphasis on dialogue and action makes drama a particularly appropriate genre for writing about homosexuality because it affords an author distance and therefore protection from the “proclivities” of his characters. The chapters on the novel show, by contrast, how prose fiction allows an author to explain a character's sexuality with a degree of subtlety difficult to achieve in theatre. Variations in narration and paratext allow writers to avoid condemning discourses and to find an original means of expression instead. At the Periphery brings a new, textually centered approach to Green’s and Yourcenar’s works that is unlike the psychological analyses that often typify queer readings. It will be of great interest to scholars of twentieth-century French literature and of Gender Studies. The book will also appeal to non-academic readers, however, since it is about two French authors who were also American citizens and who wrote about US history and contemporary culture.

Embodied Texts

Symbolist Playwright-Dancer Collaborations.

Series:

Mary Fleischer

Embodied Texts: Symbolist Playwright-Dancer Collaborations explores the dynamic relationship between Symbolist theatre and early modern dance across Europe from the 1890s through the 1930s. Gabriele D’Annunzio’s projects with Ida Rubinstein; Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s pantomimes for Grete Wiesenthal; W. B. Yeats’s work with Michio Ito and Ninette de Valois; and Paul Claudel’s collaborations with Jean Börlin and the Ballets Suédois are studied in depth to shed new light on an evolving dance-theatre form within Symbolist culture. Buoyed by the era’s heightened interest in the expressive qualities of the body, these playwrights were highly invested in the authority of language, yet were drawn to the capacity of dance to evoke spiritual or psychological states which words could not completely capture. In its belief of fundamental correspondences among the arts, Symbolism encouraged experimentation across disciplines, and this study traces interconnections among many of its significant figures including Max Reinhardt, Claude Debussy, Gertrud Eysoldt, Edward Gordon Craig, Bronislava Nijinksa, Isadora Duncan, Jaques Dalcroze, Darius Milhaud, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Mariano Fortuny, Terence Gray, George Antheil, Eleonora Duse, and Michel Fokine.