Booklist: Theater

Booklist: Theater


Performing Democracy: International Perspectives on Urban Community-Based Performance
Susan Chandler Haedicke and Tobin Nellhaus
The University of Michigan Press, 2001
ISBN: 0472067605

Book Description: International perspectives on a form of activist, participatory theater with marginalized groups in cities around the world. Performing Democracyexplores aspects of a developing form of performance that works to change social conditions for marginalized groups or to preserve the traditions and cohesion of the community. The book combines critical analysis with field reports on specific projects and productions to explore the issues that confront community-based performance. The range of topics is impressive, and includes performances in North America, Australia, the Middle East, Bosnia, Taiwan, Korea, England, and the Netherlands. Many articles include production photos. The book's first section focuses on how performance can contribute to the definition, creation, and preservation of community. Next, contributors address issues of authority within the production of community-based performance. A final section considers community-based performance's efforts to encourage individuals to feel empowered in everyday life and in their relation to government. The range of performance genres covered includes community history plays, agitprop, forum theater workshops, puppetry, avant-garde plays, dance, and oral epics. The projects involve many different kinds of communities, including the inner city, youth, seniors, ethnic groups, activists, gays and lesbians, immigrants, and prison inmates.

Conversations on Art and Performance
Bonnie Marranca and Gautam Dasgupta, editors
Johns Hopkins University Press/PAJ Books, 1999
ISBN: 0801859255

Book Description: In this collection of more than three-dozen conversations on contemporary art and ideas, Marranca and Dasgupta bring together influential performers, video artists, playwrights, filmmakers, composers, and critics to talk about the artistic process, the perception of artworks by audiences, and the complex aesthetic, social, and political interrelationships that artworks reflect in the life of a culture. At the center of inquiry are issues that have preoccupied arts discussion in the last quarter of the century, addressed here by the very artists and thinkers responsible for extending the boundaries of their chosen fields in their search for new artistic and critical languages. Conversations takes up a broad range of key questions. What is the nature of presence? How does one see? Where does meaning reside? Topics include the creative process, the impact of criticism and historical legacies, arts funding and education, the modernism/ postmodernism debates, and the special tensions between private and public spheres and between personal statement and the need for communication. In touchstones that are surprisingly similar, what emerge from these conversations are the high standards and intellectual rigor these artists bring to their work, commitment to artistic ideals, and the demands placed on the artists as well as the public. Contributors include John Cage; Gary Hill; Laurie Anderson; Edward Said; Susan Sontag; Umberto Eco; John Ashbery; Robert Jay Lifton; Philip Glass; Stanley Kauffmann; Edwin Denby; Mac Wellman; Maria Irene Fornes; Trisha Brown; Carolee Schneemann; Robert Wilson; Richard Foreman; Herbert Blau; John Guare; Judith Malina; Elizabeth LeCompte; and Wallace Shawn

Between Theater and Anthropology
Richard Schechner
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986
ISBN: 0812212258

Book Description: Forthcoming

Future of Ritual: Writings on Culture and Performance
Richard Schechner
Routledge, 1993
ISBN: 0415046890

Book Description: How is performance used in politics, medicine, religion, popular entertainment and individual interactions? In The Future of Ritual, Richard Schechner explores the nature of ritualized behavior and its relationship to performance and politics. Schechner studies the interactions, sometimes easy, sometimes tense, among authors, directors, performers, and spectators. A brilliant examination of cultural expression and communal action, The Future of Ritual asks pertinent questions about art, theatre and the changing meaning of "culture" in today's intercultural world.

Excerpted Book Review: “Schechner has given us we need to appreciate the deeper social significance of what is taking place in front of our eyes instead of accepting it for what it seems to be. (Jo Colin Turnbull, The New York Times)

Community Theatre: Global Perspectives
Eugene van Erven
Routledge Press, 2001
ISBN: 0415190312

Book Description: Community theatre is an important device for communities to collectively share stories, to participate in political dialogue, and to break down the increasing exclusion of marginalized groups of citizens. It is practiced all over the world by growing numbers of people. Eugene van Erven, who is one of the world's foremost experts on Asian political theatre, has now put together the first comparative study of the work and methodological traditions that have developed in community theatres around the world. It's an incredibly wide ranging study based on van Erven's own experiences working with community theatre groups in six very different countries (the Philippines, the Netherlands, United States, Costa Rica, Kenya, and Australia). Includes a unique video record of van Erven's journey, specially produced to accompany the book.