Engaging Performance: Theatre as Call and Response

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Routledge, 2010 - Performing Arts - 228 pages
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Engaging Performance: Theatre as Call and Response presents a combined analysis and workbook to examine "socially engaged performance." It offers a range of key practical approaches, exercises, and principles for using performance to engage in a variety of social and artistic projects. Author

Jan Cohen-Cruz draws on a career of groundbreaking research and work within the fields of political, applied, and community theatre to explore the impact of how differing genres of theatre respond to social "calls."

Areas highlighted include:

  • playwrighting and the engaged artist
  • theatre of the oppressed
  • performance as testimonial
  • the place of engaged art in cultural organizing
  • the use of local resources in engaged art
  • revitalizing cities and neighborhoods through engaged performance
  • training of the engaged artist.

Cohen-Cruz also draws on the work of major theoreticians, including Bertolt Brecht, Augusto Boal, and Doreen Massey, as well as analyzing in-depth case studies of the work of US practitioners today to illustrate engaged performance in action.

Jan Cohen-Cruz is director of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life. She is the author of Local Acts: Community-based Performance in the US; the editor of Radical Street Performance; co-editor, with Mady Schutzman, of Playing Boal: Theatre, Therapy, Activism and A Boal Companion; and a University Professor at Syracuse University.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
putting plays to use
17
theatre of the oppressed orthodoxy and adaptation
42
testimonial performance
67
multiple modes of communication
90
the art of local resources
111
revitalizing cities and neighborhoods
134
an engaged artist prepares
165
the centrality of relationships in engaging performance
193
Appendix
199
Notes
209
Bibliography
214
Index
220
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Jan Cohen-Cruz is director of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life. She is the author of Local Acts: Community Performance in the US; the editor of Radical Street Performance; co-editor, with Mady Schutzman, of Playing Boal: Theatre, Therapy, Activism and A Boal Companion; and a University Professor at Syracuse University.

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