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By Philip Auslander

From performing to Performance collects for the 1st time significant essays via functionality theorist and critic Philip Auslander. jointly those essays supply a survey of the adjustments in performing and function throughout the the most important transition from the ecstatic theatre of the Nineteen Sixties to the ironic postmodernism of the Eighties. Auslander examines functionality genres starting from theatre and dance to functionality artwork and stand-up comedy. In doing so he discusses a magnificent line-up of practitioners together with Antonin Artaud, Jerzy Grotowski, Peter Brook, Willem Dafoe, the Wooster workforce, Augusto Boal, Kate Bornstein, and Orlan. From appearing to Performance is a needs to for all scholars and students drawn to modern theatre and function.

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Sample text

His paratheatrical events were purely causal: they did not represent something to an audience, but engaged groups of initiates directly in psychophysical activity. Grotowski’s paratheatrical events were therapeutic in that his main concern was with enabling people to overcome their fear of their true selves and to heal the mind-body schism created by Western civilization. In keeping with its therapeutic nature, Grotowski’s project was individualistic in emphasis: like his Poor Theatre, it appealed to a certain kind of person and enabled each participant “to go to the end of his own quest” (Grotowski, quoted in Mennen 1975:58).

Artaud’s theory stresses the effect of theatre on its audience. The actors’ catharsis precedes and causes the audience’s; the end of Artaud’s theatre is the purgative release of repressed materials in the minds of the spectators. Grotowski’s actors also experience catharsis, but they 26 “Holy theatre” and catharsis neither share catharsis nor cause the audience to experience it automatically. Rather, they present the possibility and means of catharsis to the spectator, who must perceive and choose to enter into their self-exploratory state in order to achieve it.

Me, personally, not the character— ’cause I don’t know about the 44 Task and vision character. If someone asked me about John Proctor the character, I wouldn’t be able to tell him a thing. The possibility of meditativeness leads to a kind of catharsis, defined entirely in terms of the performance structure: The way I get off in the performances is when I hit those moments of real pleasure and real clarity and an understanding about myself in relationship to the structure; it is work, it is an exercise of me for two hours, behaving a certain way, and it can become meditative.

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