As the nature of contemporary performance continues to expand into new forms, genres and media, it requires an increasingly diverse vocabulary. Reading Contemporary Performance provides students, critics and creators with a rich understanding of the key terms and ideas that are central to any discussion of this evolving theatricality. Specially commissioned entries from a wealth of contributors map out the many and varied ways of discussing performance in all of its forms - from theatrical and site-specific performances to live and New Media art. The book is divided into two sections: * Concepts - Key terms and ideas arranged according to the five characteristic elements of performance art: time; space; action; performer; audience. * Methodologies and Turning Points - The seminal theories and ways of reading performance, such as postmodernism, epic theatre, feminisms, happenings and animal studies. * Case Studies - entries in both sections are accompanied by short studies of specific performances and events, demonstrating creative examples of the ideas and issues in question. Three different introductory essays provide multiple entry points into the discussion of contemporary performance, and cross-references for each entry also allow the plotting of one's own pathway. Reading Contemporary Performance is an invaluable guide, providing t just a solid set of familiarities, but an exploration and contextualisation of this broad and vital field.
Meiling Cheng is Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts/Critical Studies and English at the University of Southern California and Director of Critical Studies at USC School of Dramatic Arts. Gabrielle H. Cody is Mary Riepma Ross Professor and Chair of Drama at Vassar College where she has taught since 1992. She concentrates her areas of teaching in performance studies, environmental studies, and material performance projects.