Theories of Performance invites students to explore the possibilities of performance for creating, knowing, and staking claims to the world. Each chapter surveys, explains, and illustrates classic, modern, and postmodern theories that answer the questions, "What is performance?" "Why do people perform?" and "How does performance constitute our social and political worlds?" The chapters feature performance as the entry point for understanding texts, drama, culture, social roles, identity, resistance, and technologies.
Written specifically for the undergraduate classroom, performance theories are explained in ways accessible to students, relevant to their lives, and richly illustrated with examples that encourage students to think more, to think harder, and to think differently about performances around them. The text incorporates a variety of pedagogical strategies to encourage students to demonstrate, apply, extend, and share their discoveries about theory. Each chapter provides student-centered exercises, activities, and prompts.
From Aristotelian tragedy to on-line avatars, Dramatism to performativity, cultural performance to public protest, canon wars to virtual reality, Theories of Performance brings classic, modern, and postmodern theories to life in the classroom.
"Elizabeth Bell has done a prodigious, expert, and original synthesis of the new work in performance studies here, by grounding performance in communication theory and practice. Students reading this book will more readily see how and why performance is a way of communicating, empowering them to critically participate in producing and consuming the myriad texts and performances in which we are immersed. The 'Act Out' and other boxes present effective and innovative learning activities; they move performance from a display of competence to participation in bodily knowing. In short, Theories of Performance is an exceptional accomplishment. "
– Kristin M. Langellier, University of Maine
"Theories of Performance is the BEST synthesis of performance studies issues, concepts, and methodologies that yet exists. This textbook is invaluable and will make performance studies classrooms 'smarter' and more sophisticated both in terms of content and in practice. What a treat it will be to offer students a text that takes the best thoughts, practices, and examples and presents it to them in an engaging, surprising, and provocative format!" – Keith Pounds, Hofstra University
– Keith Pounds, Hofstra University
Companion Web site: www.sagepub.com/bellstudy/