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Taking a 'performance studies' perspective on Shakespearean theatre, W. B. Worthen argues that the theatrical event represents less an inquiry into the presumed meanings of the text than an effort to frame performance as a vehicle of cultural critique. Using contemporary performances as test cases, Worthen explores the interfaces between the origins of Shakespeare's writing as literature and as theatre, the modes of engagement with Shakespeare's plays for readers and spectators, and the function of changing performance technologies on our knowledge of Shakespeare. This book not only provides the material for performance analysis, but places important contemporary Shakespeare productions in dialogue with three influential areas of critical discourse: texts and authorship, the function of character in cognitive theatre studies, and the representation of theatre and performing in the digital humanities. This book will be vital reading for scholars and advanced students of Shakespeare and of performance studies.Read more
- Provides a new critical account of a performance studies approach to Shakespeare criticism
- Relates Shakespeare performance, not just texts, to emerging forms of inquiry in the humanities, including in the digital humanities
- Provides a model for performance studies in Shakespeare by using three performances by contemporary theatre companies and film as test cases
Reviews & endorsements
'In a dazzling survey of cutting-edge contemporary Shakespeare performances, W. B. Worthen calls for a full embrace of the often provocative 'noise' of modern Shakespearean performance, and does so with great erudition, analytical incisiveness, and sheer delight.' Douglas Lanier, University of New Hampshire
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- Date Published: September 2017
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107628236
- length: 263 pages
- dimensions: 230 x 154 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.4kg
- contains: 7 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Shakespeare performance studies
2. Intoxicating rhythms: Shakespeare, literature, and performance: Nature Theater of Oklahoma, Romeo and Juliet
3. 'The written troubles of the brain': writing, character, and the cognition of performance: Punchdrunk Theatre, Sleep No More
4. Retrotech: writing, theatre, and technologies of performance: Michael Almereyda, Hamlet.
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