Interpreting the theatrical past essays in the historiography of performance

He has also taught at U. His books include Kathakali Dance-Drama: Theories and Practices, 2nd edn ed.

Interpreting the theatrical past essays in the historiography of performance

The essay combines my interests in actresses and acting. Marlene Dietrich and Isabelle Huppert are two iconic actress stars that toil with the abject in their film work.

Although Dietrich and Huppert are from different historical milieus and cinematic cultures, the ways in which each has constructed and cultivated her own star image seem to parallel one another — suggesting a kind of kindred spirit between the pair.

But also, by continually exploring the abject, art offers audiences the opportunity to reconsider the definitions of abjectness; to re-evaluate the issues, subjects and phenomena that were once deemed as abject.

The two stars also present us new possible forms of being — forms that although seem abject to some such as excess consumption, promiscuity, adultery, prostitution, destitution, murder, even suicide, matricide, patricide, filicide and genital mutilationwill represent a necessity; a bliss; a means of survival; a coping mechanism; an addiction to others.

The means and methods by which Dietrich and Huppert created their respective star images interestingly parallel one another.

However, gradually along their careers, both were able to reclaim the images that these male directors had created of, and for, them. A third option, which surprisingly many critics do not explicitly contend, is the likely possibility that both actresses, in collaboration with their directors, mutually constructed specific, relevant images for the type of persona, role and character that the film demanded.

It would not be until the s, when she reinvented herself as a solo stage star, would she be able to reclaim the star image that was initially created for her by Sternberg. She introduced audiences to these marginalised, objectionable women and, regardless of how one-sided or stereotyped they were presented, gave audiences the opportunity to identify and empathise with them.

Barbara Creed has singled out Isabelle Huppert, comparing her to the best: So, obviously, that means I can transform it endlessly. It also must be noted that these explorations are never just one-sided; rather a fine line between sympathy and horror is tread.

Yet in another way, these directors are champion lovers of women, much in the same vein as the way gay Spanish director Pedro Almodovar or Danish director Lars von Trier love women.

These directors — Haneke, Charbol, Sternberg — by subjecting their heroines to the abject, and consequently by showing their bravery, courage and resourcefulness in the most dire of circumstances, are in fact admiring, respecting and celebrating the strength of women.

Dietrich and Huppert in exploring the abject in their film work have been able to carve out a unique star image within their respective Hollywood and French star systems. This attractively perverse star image has not only made each an iconic star actress in her own right, but also allowed each to demonstrate how the definition of abjection is one that is socially, morally and politically contingent.

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These brave explorations are what have ultimately made the pair so enduringly appealing and influential in cinema and art.

London and New York. In Studies in French Cinema. In Interpreting the Theatrical Past: Essays in the Historiography of Performance, ed. Thomas Postlewait and Bruce A. University of Iowa Press. From Caligari to Hitler.

An Essay on Abjection. University of California Press. Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis, Routledge: An Essay on Abjection, New York:Interpreting The Theatrical Past: Historiography Of Performance (American University Studies.

Series 7) [Thomas Postlewait, Bruce A. Mcconachie] on timberdesignmag.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Book by Postlewait, ThomasPrice: Though these 13 essays provide historical information on specific people, events, works, documents, institutions, and social conditions in the theater, they aim primarily to explore theoretical and methodological issues, current research practices, and new theoretical orientations.

says in the Historiography of Performance () is still cited as a landmark study in theatre historiography, the past few years have seen a number of impor-tant additions to the field, such as Diana Taylor’s The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural () and Charlotte Can-ning and Postlewait’s Representing the Past: Essays in Performance Historiography (; reviewed above).

R. W. Vince, in "Theatre History as an Academic Discipline," in Interpreting the Theatrical Past: Essays in the Historiography of Performance, ed.

Interpreting the theatrical past essays in the historiography of performance

Thomas Postlewait and Bruce A. McConachie (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, ), outlines how studying drama as literature has limited other inquiry into theatre history. His discussion. Interpreting the theatrical past: essays in the historiography of performance / edited by Thomas Postlewait and Bruce A.

McConachie. PN I54 How not to write a play. Interpreting the Theatrical Past: Essays in the Historiography of Performance, ed. by Thomas Postlewait and Bruce A. McConachie (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, ).

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