Actors and Onlookers: Theater and Twentieth-Century Scientific Views of Nature

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9780810108370: Actors and Onlookers: Theater and Twentieth-Century Scientific Views of Nature
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This is the first detailed and analytic study of the revolutionary impact of contemporary scientific views of nature on contemporary postmodern theater in all its aspects--directing, scripting, producing, and acting. Natalie Schmitt centers her analysis on the opposition between the philosophical system of Aristotle, which for centuries anchored Western concepts of theater, and the non-systematic theorizing of John Cage, whose formulations most clearly reflect the aesthetic principles of avant-garde theater.

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About the Author:

Natalie Crohn Schmitt is Professor of Theater at the University of Illinois, former Visiting Associate Professor at Stanford University, and former Associate Editor of Theatre Journal.

Review:

Schmitt's eye-opening enterprise is simple in conception, but grand in consequence: She sets out to map contemporary trends in the sciences and the performing arts, highlighting the territory where they overlap.  She argues, convincingly, that advances in both disciplines derive from the same contemporary paradigm....Schmitt's book provokes a spate of big questions about Art and the Universe...."
Lynn Jacobson, American Theatre, 8, 6 (1991).

"apt to give one pause on at least two counts: first, the striking power of her argument and, second, the highly unusual experience of reading a new critical/theoretical study about new theater forms in a language and style untouched by the difficulties of most structural and post-structural discourse.... A genuinely new book." Gordon Wickstrom, The Theatre Journal, 6, 1 (1991).

"This book is a blessing for readers struggling to understand postmodern thought and art.... Precisely because it provokes further discussion and because it questions the dramatic future, this is the best introduction I know to postmodern aesthetics in contemporary theatre."
David Richard Jones, Modern Drama, 30, 2 (1992).

"It should be, in my view, required reading for anyone interested or puzzled by avant-garde theater and the welter of new approaches to and theories about the craft of acting."
Daniel Watermeier, Comparative Drama 25, 3 (1991).

"A clearly written, accessible reading of historical and current correspondences between modern science(s) and modes of acting and performance.  Schmitt teases out these shifting alignments between scientific theories/discourses and the way in which various performing arts structure and articulate the performative moment." 
Phillip B. Zarrilli, TDR: The Drama Review, 38, 8 (1994).

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9780810108363: Actors and Onlookers: Theater and Twentieth-Century Scientific Views of Nature

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ISBN 10:  0810108364 ISBN 13:  9780810108363
Publisher: Northwestern University Press, 1990
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