cover of book

After Live: Possibility, Potentiality, and the Future of Performance
by Daniel Aaron Sack
University of Michigan Press, 2015
Cloth: 978-0-472-07286-6 | eISBN: 978-0-472-12142-7 | Paper: 978-0-472-05286-8
Library of Congress Classification PN2039.S235 2015
Dewey Decimal Classification 792.1

In the dark of the blackout before the curtain rises, the theater holds its many worlds suspended on the verge of appearance. How can a performance sustain this sense of potentiality that grounds all live production? Or if a stage-world does begin, what kinds of future might appear within its frame? Conceiving of the theater as a cultural institution devoted to experimenting with the future, this book begins and ends on the dramatic stage; in between it traverses literature, dance, sculpture, and performance art to explore the various futures we make in a live event.

After Live conceives of traditional dramatic theater as a place for taming the future and then conceptualizes how performance beyond this paradigm might stage the unruly nature of futurity. Chapters offer insights into the plays of Beckett, Churchill, Eno, and Gombrowicz, devised theater practices, and include an extended exploration of the Italian director Romeo Castellucci. Through the lens of potentiality, other chapters present novel approaches to minimalist sculpture and dance, then reflect on how the beholder him or herself is called upon to perform when confronted by such work.

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