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Death of Character Perspectives on Theater after Modernism

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ISBN-10: 0253210089

ISBN-13: 9780253210081

Edition: 1996

Authors: Elinor Fuchs

List price: $18.95
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What makes this book exceptional is Fuchs acute rehearsal of the stranger unnerving events of the last generation that havein the cross-reflections of theorydetermined our thinking about theater. She seems to have seen and absorbed them all. Herbert Blau, Center for Twentieth Century Studies, University of Wisconsin, MilwaukeeA work of bold theoretical ambition and exceptional critical intelligence. Una Chaudhuri, New York University . . . Fuchs makes an exceptionally lucid and eloquent case for the value and contradictions in postmodern theater. Alice Rayner, Stanford UniversitySurveying the extraordinary scene of the postmodern American theater, Fuchs boldly frames key issues of subjectivity and performance with the keenest of critical eyes for the compelling image and the telling gesture. Joseph Roach, Tulane UniversityIn this engrossing study, Elinor Fuchs explores the multiple worlds of theater after modernism. She begins with the story of the decline of character, once the central link between the artist and the spectator. In theatrical modernism Fuchs sees a series of strategies to compensate for this decline. Postmodern theater no longer greets the demotion of character with anxiety, despair, or satisfactionas in Pirandello, Beckett, or Brechtbut puts in its stead a multiple subject, a protean spectator, and a dispersed field of attention. These changes are reflected in the dramaturgy, staging, gender representations, and audience expectations of contemporary theater. While The Death of Character engages contemporary cultural and aesthetic theory, Elinor Fuchs always speaks as an active theater critic. Nine of her Village Voice and American Theatre essays conclude the volume. They give an immediate, vivid account of contemporary theater and theatrical culture written from the front of rapid cultural change.
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Book details

List price: $18.95
Copyright year: 1996
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 7/22/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.66" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

ELINOR FUCHS, a New York theater critic noted for her writing on contemporary experimental theater, is on the faculty of the School of the Arts at Columbia University and is Lecturer at the Yale School of Drama. She has also taught at Harvard University, New York University, and Emory University. She is editor of Plays of the Holocaust: An International Anthology, and co-author (with Joyce Antler) of the documentary play Year One of the Empire. Her essays have appeared in such publications as American Theatre, The Drama Review, Modern Drama, Theater, and Performing Arts Journal. She has been a contributor to The Village Voice since 1982.

Introduction
Modern Retrospect
Character: Its Rise and Fall
The Mysterium and the Re-Allegorization of Modern Drama
Reading Against the Grain
Theater After Modernism
Signalling Through the Signs: Thinking Theater After Derrida
Play as Landscape: Another Version of Pastoral
Staging the Obscene Body
Theater as Shopping
Postmodernism and the ��Scene�� of Theater
Reviews and Articles 1979��1993: Accounts of an Emerging Aesthetic
1979 Des McAnuff��s Leave it to Beaver is DeadRichard Schechner��s The Balcony
1982 Andrei Serban��s The Marriage of Figaro
1983 The Death of Character
1985 Peter Sellars��s The Count of Monte Cristo
1986 Robert Wilson��s Alcestis
1988 Elizabeth LeCompte and The Wooster Group��s Frank Dell��s The Temptation of Saint Antony
1989 Misunderstanding Postmodernism: Joanne Akalaitis��s Cymbeline
1993 The AIDS Quilt and The Performance of Mourning