Dark Matter: Invisibility in Drama, Theater, and Performance

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University of Michigan Press, Oct 28, 2013 - Literary Criticism - 229 pages
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Dark Matter maps the invisible dimension of theater whose effects are felt everywhere in performance. Examining phenomena such as hallucination, offstage character, offstage action, sexuality, masking, technology, and trauma, Andrew Sofer engagingly illuminates the invisible in different periods of postclassical western theater and drama. He reveals how the invisible continually structures and focuses an audience’s theatrical experience, whether it’s black magic in Doctor Faustus, offstage sex in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, masked women in The Rover, self-consuming bodies in Suddenly Last Summer, or surveillance technology in The Archbishop’s Ceiling. Each discussion pinpoints new and striking facets of drama and performance that escape sight. Taken together, Sofer’s lively case studies illuminate how dark matter is woven into the very fabric of theatrical representation. Written in an accessible style and grounded in theater studies but interdisciplinary by design, Dark Matter will appeal to theater and performance scholars, literary critics, students, and theater practitioners, particularly playwrights and directors.

 

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Contents

An Introduction
1
Conjuring Performatives in Doctor Faustus
16
Desiring Bottom in A Midsummer Nights Dream
38
The Rover and Sexual Signification on the Restoration Stage
66
Power Performance and the SelfConsuming Body in Tennessee Williamss Suddenly Last Summer
90
The Archbishops Ceiling and Arthur Millers Prismatic Drama
104
Rehearsing Trauma on the Contemporary Stage
117
Notes
147
Glossary
201
Index
205
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Andrew Sofer teaches in the English department at Boston College. He is the author of The Stage Life of Props and Wave, a collection of poetry.

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