• The Thing Itself: Performing the Celebrity Text

    Louise Geddes (see profile)
    Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616, Theater, Dramatic criticism, Fans (Persons), Performance art--Study and teaching
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Shakespeare in performance, Shakespeare performance, Theatre criticism, Shakespeare, Performance, Fan studies, Performance studies
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    Since the turn of the twentieth-century, the presumed invisibility of craft that defines dramatic theatre erases our capacity to usefully theorize the repeated use of a popular script in performance. Lehmann’s postdramatic theatre has further facilitated a segregation between performance and dramatic theatre and current critical frameworks that position staged productions as events necessarily evince a tendency to center historicism as the primary method of critical study for famous plays.This paper suggests that the unrealistic expectation placed on dramatic theatre to represent events, thoughts, and feelings as if they were happening for the first time ignores the latent celebrity power of the oft-repeated play. I wish to isolate the script as an iterative object and interrogate what can be gained by applying object theory to classical drama using Shakespeare, whose status as a literary icon often overrides his unstable theatrical origins, as my case study. Drawing from fan studies and the new materialist idea of vibrant materialism, I suggest that if we view the Shakespeare play as a vibrant, archontic object, scripted performance is not a single event, but a longer entelechial process of materialization that never concludes, but continues to grow and evolve as its own affective archive. The celebrity text, as latent with potentiality as the performing body, not only accrues value as it is repeated, but is agential in transmitting that value to the artists who engage with it.
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    2 years ago
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