This book proposes a new way to consider theatre and performance that claims a special relationship to reality, truth and authenticity. It documents innovations in devising and staging theatre and performance that takes reality as its subject, cultural shifts that have generated theatre of the real, some of its problems and some possibilities.
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CAROL MARTIN is Professor of Drama at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, USA. Recent books include Dramaturgy of the Real on the World Stage. Martin is the General Editor of 'In Performance', a book series devoted to post 9/11 performance texts and plays published by Seagull Books and distributed by The University of Chicago Press. Her essays have appeared in anthologies and academic journals and have been translated into Turkish, French, Polish, Chinese, Romanian and Japanese.Review:
'In Theatre of the Real, Carol Martin addresses a perennial problem in the medium of theatre: its access to, reliance on, and use, representation, and betrayal of the real. Eschewing a merely generic argument, Martin moves beyond the terminology of "documentary" or "verbatim" theatre to analyze the complex ways performance invokes contemporary politics, biography and autobiography, historical events and personal memory. Richly positioned in the history of modern theatre, ranging across four decades of performance, The Theatre of the Real suggestively explores an essential dimension of the contemporary stage.' - W. B. Worthen, Alice Brady Pels Professor in the Arts, Barnard College, Columbia University, USA
'The book provides an ideal conceptual framework within which to view and understand a variety of performances that have erupted in Egypt since the dawn of the so-called Arab Spring. Martin's profound, insightful and lucid investigation of the elusiveness of truth in relation to the staging of 'reality' makes it a must read for artists/activists in the Arab world and similarly beleaguered countries and for anyone, anywhere, who still believes in the political potency of theatre.' - Nehad Selaih, Professor of Drama and Criticism, Cairo Academy of Arts, Egypt
'In Theatre of the Real, Carol Martin reopens a question as old as theatre itself - she calls it "ontoglogical theatre doubt" - and puts the multifarious styles of "reality" performance since the 1960s, from opening of veins in protest to closing of doors in housing-bubble foreclosure, to the cogent test of critical truth-telling.' - Joesph Roach, Sterling Professor of Theater and English, Yale University, USA
'The importance of this study lies in its broadening of our conception of a theatre of the real, its capacity to reach beyond an analysis of such theatre practice on its own terms to ask critical and topical questions concerning the nature of the real itself, and its disclosing of how diverse structures of performance and narrative enable us to read, conceptualize, and invoke reality in different ways.' - Liz Tomlin, Modern Drama
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