Is it possible today to understand current genres such as drama and theater without considering the influence of television? Elizabeth Klaver argues that television’s dominance of the entertainment industry demands a continual negotiation of subject position from all other cultural forms and institutions. By examining plays that incorporate televisual discourse—from cameras and monitors to televisual style and structure—Performing Television probes the turbulent relation contemporary drama has had to television and its negotiations for identity in a postmodern media culture.
Klaver applies post-structuralist theories of subjectivity to drama while ranging through Beckett’s plays, National Hockey League games, “The Tonight Show,” gay and lesbian drama, minority drama, avant-garde performance, and the topics of theatrical paranoia, the mediatized Imaginary, and the spectatorial gaze.
Numerous plays have professionals as major characters, but academia has ignored them to a large extent.
The Professions in Contemporary British Drama fills this extraordinary gap with a series of nine papers discussing the educational professions (Bennett, Mangan), the medical profession (Shields, Buse, ), priests (Kurdi), archaeologists (Forsyth) and artists (Di Benedetto, Meyer-Dinkgräfe, Edwards).
The book is of relevance to theatre academics and students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It is based on a conference organised in conjunction with the Centre for English Studies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London, 6 March 1998.