Examines the formulated ideas of François Delsarte (1811-71) who devised a network of interrelations between different body zones and emotional intensity, intellectual honesty and moral intention, as they were applied to 19th century acting traditions. Discusses his proposed triad of Body, Mind and Spirit as they were equated in different formulations with (a) the Vital, the Mental and the Moral, (b) sensory perception, rational judgment and motivating desires, and (c) the Son, the Father and the Holy Spirit. States that from this triad Delsarte developed a scheme of correspondences between bodily expression, mental philosophy and spiritual theology. Relates this philosophical nexus to the art of expressive acting. Includes notes.
Examines the term "semiotic approach" as applied to theater. Asserts that the corporeality of the body should be seen as a particular case of a general principle of the theater medium, which is characterized by imprinting its images on materials similar to the models of these images. States that awareness of the body of the actor, while in character, should be conceived as a metatheatrical device indicating theatricality; experiencing the body of the actor expands personification to include the material level and lends to the theatrical performance a dimension lacking in other fictional arts. Informs that since the corporeality of the actor is an integral part of the signifier level of the text, it also enters into aesthetic relations with other signifiersin the sense of inducing aesthetic experiences. Concludes that viewing the principle of acting as a crucial feature of theater leads to the conclusion that cinematic and televisual drama and puppet theater have more in common with theater than with any other form of art or social drama.
In the course of the 1990s, a new paradigm in cultural studies seems to have arisen. In the humanities, the metaphor of culture as text held true until the late 1980s; culture as a whole and different cultural phenomena were understood and interpreted as structural sequences composed of single elements (signs) to which a particular meaning can be attributed. In the 1990s, however, the focus of interest shifted to the processes of making, producing, creating, doing and to the actions, processes of exchange, negotiation and transformation as well as to the dynamics which constitute the agents of these processes, the materials they use and the cultural events they produce. Thus, it seems that the metaphor of culture as performance is gaining ground. Whereas the humanities prevailingly dealt with texts and monuments as the results, manifestations and greatest achievements of modern European culture, they are now concerned with all kinds of performative processes which are, by their very nature, bodily processes. Thus, it seems that the discovery of the performative nowadays directs the humanities and cultural studies in particular.
Examines the concept of transculturation, stating it refers to "an intercultural body associated with hybrid encounters and with a system that resists and contests the powers of domination." Explains interculturalism in the study of Latina performance, considering how the contradictions of colonialism and neocolonialism have influenced their creative works, observing that performance art is an exceptionally effective way to articulate issues of identity and identification. Finds that in most Latina performances, the body "as a potential site of decolonization is going to be rescripted in a multilayered fashion," and determines that this performance represents a confluence of cultures in which the order of 'mestizaje' ('hybridity') "must reconcile the claims of gender positioning, various temporalities, historicities, ethnicities." Includes notes.
Opines that while historians have tried to explain drama in terms of known architectural, scenographic, and technological practices, the effect of one upon the other has been less than fully explored. Questions if in the rapidly changing technology of the contemporary world it is possible that technology has become a causal factor in the development of drama. Offers five observations that are examined within the context of the history of dramaturgy, and suggests that we are now entering into what might be termed "neomedievalism," a movement owing its genesis and form to technology which has refashioned the neo-classical worldview.
Discusses aspects of time and social construction as they relate to the theatre and theatre research at the millenium. Suggests that there is a dialectical interplay between the serious difficulties that beset mankind and our engagement with them; that our capacity for individual responsibility and social agency are affirmed and seen in terms of creative work. Includes notes.
Discusses the work of Tari Ito, who is so far the only 'out' lesbian performance artist in Japan, noting she began her solo performances in 1989 and 'came out' in 1996 in a performance called "Self-Portrait." Asserts the significance of these performances is in three elements: first, the woman is portrayed as subject of desire; second, the heterosexual reading of desire is unsettled by demonstrating lesbian desire; and third, lesbian is constructed as a political identity. Contends these are considerable achievements in a Japanese context, and offers a close study of the scenes performed in "Self-Portrait." Includes notes.
Studies Korean women's dramas, commenting on the diverse theories on identity as a women that have been developed by Western feminisms and stating that these discussions are not of a comparable status in contemporary Korean feminism. States Korean feminism's interests are primarily in immediate social issues, and mentions that one factor can be found in traditional Korean culture, influenced by Confucian, Buddhist, Taoist and Shamanistic traditions. Considers the woman's position in ideology and concepts of yin/yang, and examines this in three plays by Korean women: Jung Bock-keun's "What's the Matter with You, Honey?"; Park Wanso's adaptation of her own novel "Are You Still Dreaming, Dear?"; and Lee Ju-sil's "Goddammit, Practising Leave-Taking." Includes notes.
Describes the critical history of melodrama as being seen as unacceptable due to its disrespect of properties or control. Develops the argument against this view by suggesting that, in the case of English melodrama, the practice of the form as it emerged is far from being non-intellectual in that the dramatists were conscious of what they were doing formally: not only in intelligence but also in terms of self-reflection. Opines that those responsible for developing melodramaturgy were interested in allowing the unspoken to sustain a play's uncanny undecidability. Examines William Damond's play "The Hero of the North" (1809).
Examines the three dialectic concepts of 'false but true, empty but full and few but many' as they were applied in Chinese theater and painting. State that the primary features of the traditional Chinese theater are said to include a theatrical form that does not represent a realistic illusion on the stage. Notes that the theater is strongly influenced by traditional painting both stress the importance of the involvement and imagination of viewers/spectators. Impart that the use of the three concepts in painting and theater are examined in terms of stylistic reference and aesthetic process. Concludes by stating that there is no limit to the imagination of viewers and spectators, and therefore the artists and performers gain more freedom. Indicates that ignoring faithful presentation of the outside world, both Chinese painting and theater pay more attention to expressing the feelings of the artists and the spirit of the objects they want to describe.
Examines the ramifications of the hypothesis that encoded in the dialogue of Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre texts are precise indications for the actors as to their entrance and exit points. Assumes that such indications constitute a stage management system, a dramaturgical system and a system of spatial semiotics that might invest these movement patterns with thematic or semiotic significance. Includes notes.
Examines the importance of scene painters to English theatre toward the end of the 18th century, especially in the sense of scale and the internal operational workings at the administratively and financially troubled Pantheon Opera during this time period. Notes the work of principal painters, William Hodges, Simon Frédéric Moench, Gaetano Marinari, N. Fileter Stephanoff, assistant painters and colormen. Includes notes.
Introduces the special issue of "Theatre Research" on the subject of performing feminism, stating that feminist research and performance have both nurtured and critiqued the project of uniting women across national and cultural differences. Mentions a number of feminist writers and the international interest in their work, and comments on the self-criticism within the feminist movement over representation and the dominance of First World feminism. Considers the position of the feminist spectator and how this response to gender issues in performance may violate "the local structures of performance." Mentions a number of the articles in this issue and how they engage with these topics. Includes notes.