This book provides needed information on the collaborations between filmmakers and theater personnel before 1930 and completes our understanding of how two art forms influenced each other. It begins with the vaudeville and "faerie" dramas captured in brief films by the Edison and Biograph companies; follows the development of feature-length Sarah Bernhardt and James O'Neill films after 1912; examines the formation of theater/film combination companies in 1914-15; and details later collaborations during the talking picture revolution of 1927. Includes detailed analyses of important theatrical films like The Count of Monte Cristo, The Virginian, Coquette, and Paramount on Parade.
Canonical States, Canonical Stages was first published in 1994. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
In the crucible of seventeenth-century Europe, a new kind of subjectivity formed, private and interior. Perversely, the new private subject made its most spectacular appearance on the public stage-an appearance that, as Mitchell Greenberg amply demonstrates, also marked the emergence of absolutism in Europe. What these two phenomena had to do with one another, and how they were elaborated in the theater of the seventeenth century, is the subject of Greenberg's book, a masterful critical work that relates the dramatic construction of modern subjectivity and absolutist culture to the formation of the Western literary canon.
In particular, Canonical States, Canonical Stages shows how the Oedipus myth, reinterpreted on various stages at the end of the Renaissance, served the purposes of the emerging culture by replaying the founding moment of absolute rule. Working with models of genealogical criticism, psychoanalysis, and a certain Continental feminism, Greenberg reads plays by Shakespeare, Lope de Vega, Calderón, Corneille, and Racine to show how, as symptomatic texts staged within the confines of familial scenarios, they combine a dynamics of politics with a conflicting "private" desire shown to be inimical to the dominant ideology. This analysis reveals how scenarios of sacrifice and transcendence are brought into play to normalize and naturalize inchoate and threatening forces of social change by appealing to preexisting cultural models such as the myth of Oedipus. A fascinating integration of texts from political theory, psychoanalysis, history, and literature, Canonical States, Canonical Stages offers a powerful interpretation of the interrelated representation of subjectivity and absolutism on the seventeenth-century stage.
Winner of the 1995 MLA Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies
Mitchell Greenberg is chair of the Department of French and Italian at Miami University in Ohio. He is the author of, among other books, Subjectivity and Subjugation in Seventeenth-Century Drama and Prose: The Family Romance of French Classicism (1992).
In a sense it would be inappropriate to speak of “Hegel’s system of philosophy,” because Hegel thought that in the strict sense there is only one system of philosophy evolving in the Western world. In Hegel’s view, although at times philosophy’s history seems to be a chaotic series of crisscrossing interpretations of meanings and values, with no consensus, there has been a teleological development and consistent progress in philosophy and philosophizing from the beginning; Hegel held that his own version of “German idealism” was simply bringing to final expression the latest refinements of an ongoing, perennial system.
If we take Hegel at his word, then one of the best entries into his system would be through the history of philosophy, showing how systems and schools of thought prior to Hegel led up to his system. The most important currents to focus on, however, would be in modern philosophy, in which especially intensive changes led ultimately to German idealism and Hegel’s immediate predecessors.
Fortunately, Hegel lectured extensively on the history of modern philosophy and structured his lectures in such a way as to throw light on the status of the “one system” of Western philosophy at the time — the status to which Hegel felt he had been contributing and was continuing to contribute. These lectures are of interest, first of all, as a systematic chronicle of philosophical positions in the heyday of modern philosophy, from Bacon to Hegel. Second, they are interesting because Hegel’s critical comments on his predecessors clarify his own positions: for example, the dialectic method and the importance of triplicity, the relationship of philosophy to the scientific method, the necessity for avoidance of the extremes of empiricism and of idealism, the subject/object problematic, the “identity” of rationality and reality, and the technical meaning in Hegel’s philosophy of “absolute,” “infinity,” and the “idea.”
Pittsburgh has a rich and diverse theatrical tradition, from early frontier performances by officers stationed at Fort Pitt through experimental theater at the end of the twentieth century. Pittsburgh in Stages offers the first comprehensive history of theater in Pittsburgh, placing it within the context of cultural development in the city and the history of theater nationally.
By the time the first permanent theater was built in 1812, Pittsburgh had already established itself as a serious patron of the theatrical arts. The city soon hosted New York and London-based traveling companies, and gained a national reputation as a proving ground for touring productions. By the early twentieth century, numerous theaters hosted 'popular-priced' productions of vaudeville and burlesque, and theater was brought to the masses. Soon after, Pittsburgh witnessed the emergence of myriad community-based theater groups and the formation of the Federation of Non-Commercial Theatres and the New Theater League, guilds designed to share resources among community producers. The rise of local theater was also instrumental to the growth of African American theatrical groups. Though victims of segregation, their art flourished, and was only later recognized and blended into Pittsburgh's theatrical melting pot.
Pittsburgh in Stages relates the significant influence and interpretation of urban socioeconomic trends in the theatrical arts and the role of the theater as an agent of social change. Dividing Pittsburgh's theatrical history into distinct eras, Lynne Conner details the defining movements of each and analyzes how public tastes evolved over time. She offers a fascinating study of regional theatrical development and underscores the substantial contribution of regional theater in the history of American theatrical arts.
Four hundred years after Shakespeare’s death, his plays live on in theater and popular culture, given new life through countless innovative approaches to their performance and interpretation. Just as our enthusiasm for seeing the plays performed—and transformed—affirms their continued life, death scenes in Shakespeare’s plays tend to mark not an ending but a transformation of life.
Published to accompany a major exhibition at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, Shakespeare’s Dead documents the many ways Shakespeare’s characters meet their demise, from suicide to murder, from death by workaday dagger to the more creative method of being baked and fed to one’s family in a meat pie. Through these examples, Simon Palfrey and Emma Smith show Shakespeare’s mastery at choreographing death as a means of rediscovery. Some characters refuse to go quietly, dying in stages, as in Nick Bottom’s performance as Pyramus killing himself with much flourish in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Others are remembered in elegies, and still others are resurrected or reappear as ghosts. Shakespeare’s death scenes also often speak to the boundaries between theater and everyday life, with funerals and scenes of mourning that are undercut by their staged inauthenticity.
Extensively illustrated with contemporary drawings and images from stage history, Shakespeare’s Dead takes readers through the playwright’s great death scenes and tragic figures, exploring in them the theme of life in death and delineating the cultural, religious, and social contexts.
In Stages of Capital, Ritu Birla brings research on nonwestern capitalisms into conversation with postcolonial studies to illuminate the historical roots of India’s market society. Between 1870 and 1930, the British regime in India implemented a barrage of commercial and contract laws directed at the “free” circulation of capital, including measures regulating companies, income tax, charitable gifting, and pension funds, and procedures distinguishing gambling from speculation and futures trading. Birla argues that this understudied legal infrastructure institutionalized a new object of sovereign management, the market, and along with it, a colonial concept of the public. In jurisprudence, case law, and statutes, colonial market governance enforced an abstract vision of modern society as a public of exchanging, contracting actors free from the anachronistic constraints of indigenous culture.
Birla reveals how the categories of public and private infiltrated colonial commercial law, establishing distinct worlds for economic and cultural practice. This bifurcation was especially apparent in legal dilemmas concerning indigenous or “vernacular” capitalists, crucial engines of credit and production that operated through networks of extended kinship. Focusing on the story of the Marwaris, a powerful business group renowned as a key sector of India’s capitalist class, Birla demonstrates how colonial law governed vernacular capitalists as rarefied cultural actors, so rendering them illegitimate as economic agents. Birla’s innovative attention to the negotiations between vernacular and colonial systems of valuation illustrates how kinship-based commercial groups asserted their legitimacy by challenging and inhabiting the public/private mapping. Highlighting the cultural politics of market governance, Stages of Capital is an unprecedented history of colonial commercial law, its legal fictions, and the formation of the modern economic subject in India.
"An invaluable resource to teachers of Latin American theater, with texts that provide an accurate panorama of Latin American theater."
---Adam Versenyi, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"A most welcome and needed collection . . . Not only is it the first English-language anthology of theater and performance in Latin America from the Conquest onward, but it also includes excellent introductory and background material . . . certain to become an essential source book."
---Marvin Carlson, City University of New York
"A rich resource for teachers and students, and for everyone intrigued by the history of performing Latin America . . . Diana Taylor and Sarah Townsend locate an animating tension between indigenous and colonial performance practices, and between the irreducibly local character of performance and the insistent pressure---as visible in the sixteenth century as in the twenty-first---of a globalizing, often oppressive modernity."
---W. B. Worthen, Barnard College, Columbia University
Stages of Conflict brings together a vast array of dramatic texts, ambitiously tracing the intersection of theater and social and political life in the Americas over the past five centuries. Including eighteen works faithfully translated into English, the collection moves from a sixteenth century Mayan dance-drama to a 2003 production by the first published indigenous playwright in Mexico. Historical pieces from the sixteenth century to the present highlight the encounter between indigenous tradition and colonialism, while contributions from modern playwrights such as Virgilio Pinero, Jose Triana, and Denise Stolkos take on the tumultuous political and social upheavals of the past century.
The editors have added comprehensive critical commentary that details the origins of each play, affording scholars and students of theater, performance studies, and Latin American studies the opportunity to view the history of a continent through its rich and diverse theatrical traditions.
Diana Taylor is Director of The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics and Professor of Performance Studies and Spanish at New York University. Her books include the award-winning volume The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas.
Sarah J. Townsend is a doctoral student at New York University.
In an era defined by the threat of nuclear annihilation, Western nations attempted to prepare civilian populations for atomic attack through staged drills, evacuations, and field exercises. In Stages of Emergency the distinguished performance historian Tracy C. Davis investigates the fundamentally theatrical nature of these Cold War civil defense exercises. Asking what it meant for civilians to be rehearsing nuclear war, she provides a comparative study of the civil defense maneuvers conducted by three NATO allies—the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom—during the 1950s and 1960s. Delving deep into the three countries’ archives, she analyzes public exercises involving private citizens—Boy Scouts serving as mock casualties, housewives arranging home protection, clergy training to be shelter managers—as well as covert exercises undertaken by civil servants.
Stages of Emergency covers public education campaigns and school programs—such as the ubiquitous “duck and cover” drills—meant to heighten awareness of the dangers of a possible attack, the occupancy tests in which people stayed sequestered for up to two weeks to simulate post-attack living conditions as well as the effects of confinement on interpersonal dynamics, and the British first-aid training in which participants acted out psychological and physical trauma requiring immediate treatment. Davis also brings to light unpublicized government exercises aimed at anticipating the global effects of nuclear war. Her comparative analysis shows how the differing priorities, contingencies, and social policies of the three countries influenced their rehearsals of nuclear catastrophe. When the Cold War ended, so did these exercises, but, as Davis points out in her perceptive afterword, they have been revived—with strikingly similar recommendations—in response to twenty-first-century fears of terrorists, dirty bombs, and rogue states.
Latina theater and solo performance emerged in the 1990s as vibrant, energetic new genres found on stages from New York to Los Angeles. Many women now work in all aspects of Latina theater—often as playwrights or solo performers—with practitioners ranging from teenagers to grandmothers. Alberto Sandoval-Sánchez and Nancy Saporta Sternbach have previously published a groundbreaking anthology of Latina theater, Puro Teatro. They now offer a critical analysis of theatrical works, presenting a theoretical perspective from which to examine, understand, and contextualize Latina theater as a genre in its own right. This is the first in-depth study of the entire corpus of Latina theater, based on close readings of works both published and in manuscript. It considers a large body of productions and performances, including works by such internationally known authors as Dolores Prida, Cherríe Moraga, and Janis Astor del Valle. Applying feminist and postcolonial theory as well as theories of transculturation, Sandoval-Sánchez and Sternbach show how, despite cultural differences among Latinas, their works share a common poetics by building upon the politics of representation, identity, and location. In addition to covering theater, this study also shows that solo performance has its own history, properties, structure, and poetics. It examines performances of Carmelita Tropicana, Monica Palacios, and Marga Gomez—artists whose hybrid identities as Latina lesbians constitute living examples of transculturation in the making—to show how solo performance has roots in and digresses from more traditional modes of theater. With their Latina heritage as a unifying link, these women reflect common traits, patterns, dramatic structures, and properties that overcome regional differences. Stages of Life reads these eclectic cultural productions as a unified body of work that contributes to the formation of Latina identity in America today.
From around the world, whether for New York City's 9/11 Memorial, at exhibits devoted to the arts of Holocaust memory, or throughout Norway's memorial process for the murders at Utøya, James E. Young has been called on to help guide the grief stricken and survivors in how to mark their losses. This poignant, beautifully written collection of essays offers personal and professional considerations of what Young calls the "stages of memory," acts of commemoration that include spontaneous memorials of flowers and candles as well as permanent structures integrated into sites of tragedy. As he traces an arc of memorial forms that spans continents and decades, Young returns to the questions that preoccupy survivors, architects, artists, and writers: How to articulate a void without filling it in? How to formalize irreparable loss without seeming to repair it?
Richly illustrated, the volume is essential reading for those engaged in the processes of public memory and commemoration and for readers concerned about how we remember terrible losses.
From plantation performances to minstrel shows of the late nineteenth century, the roots of black theatre in Texas reflect the history of a state where black Texans have continually created powerful cultural emblems that defy the clichés of horses, cattle, and bravado. Drawing on troves of archival materials from numerous statewide sources, Stages of Struggle and Celebration captures the important legacies of the dramatic arts in a historical field that has paid most of its attention to black musicians. Setting the stage, the authors retrace the path of the cakewalk and African-inspired dance as forerunners to formalized productions at theaters in the major metropolitan areas. From Houston’s Ensemble and Encore Theaters to the Jubilee in Fort Worth, gospel stage plays of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters in Dallas, as well as San Antonio’s Hornsby Entertainment Theater Company and Renaissance Guild, concluding with ProArts Collective in Austin, Stages of Struggle and Celebration features founding narratives, descriptions of key players and memorable productions, and enlightening discussions of community reception and the business challenges faced by each theatre. The role of drama departments in historically black colleges in training the companies’ founding members is also explored, as is the role the support of national figures such as Tyler Perry plays in ensuring viability. A canon of Texas playwrights completes the tour. The result is a diverse tribute to the artistic legacies that continue to inspire new generations of producers and audiences.