Dramaturgy in Motion innovatively examines the work of the dramaturg in contemporary dance and movement performance. Katherine Profeta, a working dramaturg for more than fifteen years, shifts the focus from asking “Who is the dramaturg?” to “What does the dramaturg think about?”
Profeta explores five arenas for the dramaturg’s attention—text and language, research, audience, movement, and interculturalism. Drawing on her extended collaboration with choreographer and visual artist Ralph Lemon, she grounds her thinking in actual rehearsal-room examples and situates practice within theoretical discourse about contemporary dramaturgy. Moving between theory and practice, word and movement, question and answer until these distinctions blur, she develops the foundational concept of dramaturgical labor as a quality of motion. Dramaturgy in Motion will be invaluable to practitioners and scholars interested in the processes of creating contemporary dance and movement performance—particularly artists wondering what it might be like to collaborate with a dramaturg and dramaturgs wondering what it might be like to collaborate on movement performance. The book will also appeal to those intrigued by the work of Lemon and his collaborators, to which Profeta turns repeatedly to unfold the thorny questions and rich benefits of dramaturgical labor.
The first-century Roman tragedies of Seneca, like all ancient drama, do not contain the sort of external stage directions that we are accustomed to today; nevertheless, a careful reading of the plays reveals such stage business as entrances, exits, setting, sound effects, emotions of the characters, etc. The Dramaturgy of Senecan Tragedy teases out these dramaturgical elements in Seneca's work and uses them both to aid in the interpretation of the plays and to show the playwright's artistry.
Thomas D. Kohn provides a detailed overview of the corpus, laying the groundwork for appreciating Seneca's techniques in the individual dramas. Each of the chapters explores an individual tragedy in detail, discussing the dramatis personae and examining how the roles would be distributed among a limited number of actors, as well as the identity of the Chorus. The Dramaturgy of Senecan Tragedymakes a compelling argument for Seneca as an artist and a dramaturg in the true sense of the word: "a maker of drama." Regardless of whether Seneca composed his plays for full-blown theatrical staging, a fictive theater of the mind, or something in between, Kohn demonstrates that he displays a consistency and a careful attentiveness to details of performance. While other scholars have applied this type of performance criticism to individual tragedies or scenes, this is the first comprehensive study of all the plays in twenty-five years, and the first ever to consider not just stagecraft, but also metatheatrical issues such as the significant distribution of roles among a limited number of actors, in addition to the emotional states of the characters. Scholars of classics and theater, along with those looking to stage the plays, will find much of interest in this study.
The History of Italian Opera marks the first time a team of scholars has worked together to investigate the entire Italian operatic tradition, rather than limiting its focus to major composers and their masterworks. Including both musicologists and historians of other arts, the contributors approach opera not only as a distinctive musical genre but also as a form of extravagant theater and a complex social phenomenon.
This sixth volume in the series centers on the sociological and critical aspects of opera in Italy, considering the art in the context of an Italian literary and cultural canon rarely revealed in English and American studies. In its six chapters, contributors survey critics' changing attitudes toward opera over several centuries, trace the evolution of formal conventions among librettists, explore the historical relationships between opera and Italian literature, and examine opera's place in Italian popular and national culture. In perhaps the volume's most striking contribution, German scholar Carl Dahlouse offers his most important statement on the dramaturgy of opera.
In this innovative study of performance in international relations, James R. Ball III asks why states and their representatives come to the United Nations to perform for a global audience and how those audiences may intervene in the spectacle of global politics. Theater of State looks at key spaces in which global politics play out: in debating forums of the UN, at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and in peacekeeping operations in Africa and the Middle East, as well as in a variety of related media productions. Ball argues that culture and politics form a unified field organized by the theatricality of its actors and the engaged spectatorship of its audiences. He provides a theory of global political spectatorship: of how the world watches itself in institutions and beyond, and of what citizens and diplomats do by watching.
This study of the lived experience of spectacular politics on the world stage draws on theories of theater, performance, and politics to offer new ways of approaching issues of war, cosmopolitanism, international justice, governance, and activism. Situated at the nexus of two disciplines, performance studies and political science, this volume encourages conversations between the two so that each might offer lessons to the other.
What happens when operas that are comfortably ensconced in the canon are thoroughly rethought and radically recast on stage? What does a staging do to our understanding of an opera, and of opera generally? While a stage production can disrupt a work that was thought to be established, David J. Levin here argues that the genre of opera is itself unsettled, and that the performance of operas, at its best, clarifies this condition by bringing opera’s restlessness and volatility to life.
Unsettling Opera explores a variety of fields, considering questions of operatic textuality, dramaturgical practice, and performance theory. Levin opens with a brief history of opera production, opera studies, and dramatic composition, and goes on to consider in detail various productions of the works of Wagner, Mozart, Verdi, and Alexander Zemlinsky. Ultimately, the book seeks to initiate a dialogue between scholars of music, literature, and performance by addressing questions raised in each field in a manner that influences them all.
In this innovative study, Gilles de Van focuses on an often neglected aspect of Verdi's operas: their effectiveness as theater. De Van argues that two main aesthetic conceptions underlie all of Verdi's works: that of the "melodrama" and the "musical drama." In the melodrama the composer relies mainly on dramatic intensity and the rhythm linking various stages of the plot, using exemplary characters and situations. But in the musical drama reality begins to blur, the musical forms lose their excessively neat patterns, and doubt and ambiguity undermine characters and situations, reflecting the crisis of character typical of modernity.
Although melodrama tends to dominate Verdi's early work and musical drama his later, both aesthetics are woven into all his operas: musical drama is already present in Ernani (1844), and melodrama is still present in Otello (1887). Indeed, much of the interest and originality of Verdi's operas lies in his adherence to both these contradictory systems, allowing the composer/dramatist to be simultaneously classical and modern, traditionalist and innovator.
In this encompassing and accessible introduction to dramaturgy, Felicia Hardison Londré promotes the dramaturgical essay as both an art form and as a method for improving creative writing skills. Words at Play: Creative Writing and Dramaturgy includes Londré ’ s essays on plays produced at several regional professional theatre companies interspersed with instructive examples for writing more clearly, economically, and compellingly.
Beginning with an introduction that outlines the purpose of the dramaturgical essay as well as its usefulness as a tool for teaching how to write for the theatre, Londré provides numerous examples of this specialized literary genre culled from program essays she has written for Missouri Repertory Theatre, Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, American Heartland Theatre, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Words at Play: Creative Writing and Dramaturgy contains more than sixty complete essays and pertinent selections from twenty others.
Drawing on personal and professional experiences as a teacher and dramaturg, Londré considers plays from timeless classics, including those of Shakespeare and Chekhov, to contemporary favorites and a few unusual and largely unknown pieces. Words at Play: Creative Writing and Dramaturgy furthermore incorporates introductory paragraphs that are informal and personal yet cogent and critical, providing readers with object lessons in both writing style and analysis. Taking the reader into her confidence, Londré also shows how a dramaturg develops a print relationship with other theatre artists and the community. A foreword by Royal Shakespeare Company associate artist Barry Kyle addresses the evolving role of the dramaturg in Britain and America. Dakin Williams, brother of playwright Tennessee Williams, provides a letter.