Provides an editorial which discusses the creation of the Performance Analysis Working Group which was established in 1991 and dedicated to presenting studies by theater scholars of particular performances rather than of general theatrical topics. Discusses the different theoretical approaches of the American and the Israeli members of the group and notes that the papers in this volume were selected from conferences given in Helsinki in 1993; Moscow in 1994; and Montreal in 1995.
Provides an analysis of a 1990 production of Federico Garcia Lorca's play "Blood Wedding" directed by Hanan Snir at the Hamibah National Theatre. Comments on the replacement of a realistic style by a symbolic one in Lorca's play and argues for the intimate connection between style and meaning in Lorca's drama. Notes that the play "aimed for political rather than social statement" and describes how Snir abolished the line between realism and symbolism in the play.
Provides an analysis of the Theatre du Soleil's Greek tetralogy "Les Atrides (1990-1993) directed by Ariane Mnouchkine. States that the performances at the Theatre du Soleil owed as much to ancient Greek culture as to previous intercultural performances given at the theater. Draws heavily on the work of Erika Fischer-Lichte, particularly "The Dramatic Touch of Difference: Theatre Own and Foreign" in which she studies how audiences interpret theatrical productions which feature dramas from foreign cultures. Discusses the political importance of the performances and notes the influences of European and Asian cultural issues in the plays.
Provides an analysis of two plays, Peter Brook's "Marat/Sade" and Karen Finley's "The Constant State of Desire" and discusses how the theories of the mise-en-scene by Hans-Thies Lehmann and Patrice Pavis can help to interpret the importance of these performances in dramatic theory. Considers the usefulness of a "typological analysis" in discussions of performance and notes that if typologies are to be useful they must "be utilized as flexible instruments with shifting conceptual boundaries rather than as hard, mutually exclusive lines of demarcation.
Provides a discussion of the performing style of the performing artist Karen Finley and describes how the focus on the materiality of her body in her performances acts as "statements about the manipulation and violence toward women by the male power structure." Comments on her performance in the film "Mondo New York" and considers how Finley uses sexuality as the premise for both tragic and comic gestures in her performances.
Provides an analysis of Peter Handke's play "The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other" (Die Stunde da wir nichts voneinander wußten) and discusses the staging of the play. States that the intention of the play to remain enigmatic and not to communicate any information to the audience is itself the "meaning" of the play. Considers different staging possibilities for Handke's plays which seem to defy staging and notes different approaches to acting in Handke's idiosyncratic works.