The Routledge Introduction to Theatre and Performance Studies
Edited by Minou Arjomand, Ramona Mosse
Routledge – 2014 – 200 pages
Erika Fischer-Lichte's introduction to the discipline of Theatre and Performance Studies is a strikingly authoritative and wide ranging guide to the study of theatre in all of its forms. Its three-part structure moves from the first steps in starting to think about performance, through to the diverse and interrelated concerns required of higher-level study:
Part 1 – Central Concepts for Theatre and Performance Research – introduces the language and key ideas that are used to discuss and think about theatre: concepts of performance; the emergence of meaning; and the theatrical event as an experience shared by actors and spectators. Part 1 contextualizes these concepts by tracing the history of Theatre and Performance Studies as a discipline.
Part 2 – Fields, Theories and Methods – looks at how to analyse a performance and how to conduct theatre-historiographical research. This section is concerned with the 'doing' of Theatre and Performance Studies: establishing and understanding different methodological approaches; using sources effectively; and building theoretical frameworks.
Part 3 – Pushing Boundaries – expands on the lessons of Parts 1 and 2 in order to engage with theatre and performance in a global context. Part 3 introduces the concept of 'interweaving performance cultures'; explores the interrelation of theatre with the other arts; and develops a transformative aesthetics of performance.
Case studies throughout the book root its theoretical discussion in theatrical practice. Focused accounts of plays, practitioners and performances map the development of Theatre and Performance Studies as an academic discipline, and of the theatre itself as an art form. This is the most comprehensive and sophisticated introduction to the field available, written by one of its foremost scholars.
"Rarely do books with “introduction” in the title exhibit the depth of synthesis that this one does. Fischer-Lichte’s book, as edited and translated by Minou Arjomand and Romona Mosse, is stimulating in its approach, conversational tone, and ease of access to interesting points of view…This well-researched, cogent study will be a fine addition to any theatre and performance studies collection. Summing up: Recommended." - CHOICE, November 2014
Acknowledgements Preface Prologue: Is Everything Theatre? Part 1: Central Concepts for Theatre and Performance Research 1. The Concept of Theatre 2. The History of the Discipline 3. The Concept of Performance Part 2: Fields, Theories, and Methods 4. Performance Analysis 5. Theatre Historiography 6. Theorizing Theatre and Performance Part 3: Pushing Boundaries 7. Interweaving Cultures in Performance 8. Performing the Arts 9. Cultural Performances Epilogue: Is Everything Theatre? Bibliography
Erika Fischer-Lichte is Professor of Theatre Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin and Chair of the Institute for Advanced Studies on "Interweaving Cultures in Performance" founded in 2008. Among her many publications are Global Ibsen. Performing Multiple Modernities (2010), The Transformative Power of Performance: A New Aesthetics (2008, German 2004), and Theatre, Sacrifice, Ritual. Exploring Forms of Political Theatre (2005).
Ramona Mosse is Lecturer in Theatre Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin, where she previously completed a fellowship at the International Research Center "Interweaving Performance Cultures."
Minou Arjomand is Assistant Professor of English at Boston University. Her research focuses on the relationship between theatre and political trials in postwar Germany and the United States.