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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Modern Theories of Performance

From Stanislavski to Boal

ISBN 9780230629158
Publication Date April 2017
Formats Ebook Paperback Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave

The modern era in the theatre is remarkable for the extraordinary role and influence of theoretical practitioners, whose writings have shaped our sense of the possibilities and objectives of performance. This study offers a critical exploration of the theoretical writings of key modern practitioners from Stanlislavski to Boal. Designed to be read alongside primary source material, each chapter offers not only a summary and exposition of these theories, but a critical commentary on their composition as discourses. Close scrutiny of the cultural context and figurative language of these important, and sometimes difficult, texts yields fresh insight into the ideas of these practitioners.

JANE MILLING is Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Drama at the University of Exeter.

GRAHAM LEY is Director of taught Postgraduate Studies in the School of Music and Drama at the University of Exeter.

Stanislavski's Theoretical System
Proposals for Reform: Appia and Craig
The Popular Front: Meyerhold and Copeau 
Artaud and the Manifesto
Grotowski and Theoretical Training
Boal's Theoretical History
Conclusion: From Theoretical Practitioners to Theorized Performance


This is a 'concentrated critical analysis' of the rhetoric of these writings about performance...Together with the generic frameworks of the theoretical text (dialogue, manifesto, history, and interview), the often problematic (and on occasion contradictory) operation of the dominant metaphors in each theorist's writing is examined...[This book] should not only stimulate 'further interest and enquiry' in the student but also refresh the perceptions of the experienced scholar.' - Paul Lawley, University of Plymouth, MLR
'The conciseness with which the book deals with very specific practitioners makes for a useful introduction to 1st year students, many of whom may not have studied Drama and Theatre Arts academically.' - Bella Martin, University of Birmingham
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