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Performance and Cognition: Theatre Studies and the Cognitive Turn [Hardcover]

Bruce McConachie , F. Elizabeth Hart

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Book Description

Feb. 20 2007 0415763843 978-0415763844 1

This anthology is the first of its kind. In addition to opening up fresh perspectives on theatre studies – with applications for dramatic criticism, performance analysis, acting practice, audience response, theatre history, and other important areas – the book sets the agenda for future work, helping to map the emergence of this new approach.

Following a comprehensive introduction, the contributors examine:

  • the interfaces between cognitive studies and Lacanian psychoanalysis, phenomenology and communication theory
  • different ideas from cognitive studies that open up the meanings of several plays
  • the process of acting and the work of Antonio Damasio
  • theatrical response: the dynamics of perception, and the riots that greeted the 1907 production of The Playboy of the Western World.

This original and authoritative work will be attractive to scholars and graduate students of drama, theatre, and performance.

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About the Author

Bruce McConachie is Professor of Theatre at the University of Pittsburgh, USA, and specializes in theatre history, theatre historiography, and cognitive approaches to theatre.

F. Elizabeth Hart is Associate Professor of English at the University of Conneticut, Storrs, USA, where she teaches Renaissance studies, Shakespeare and cognitive approaches to literature.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience and its Significance in Performance Nov. 15 2012
By Dr. Laurence Raw - Published on
This book offers a comprehensive introduction to understand the relationship between cognitive studies, theatre and performance studies; and how such studies challenge Brechtian ideas of performance, while helping to enrich Stanislavskian approaches to acting. The various contributors invite aspiring actors to approach a text like a musical score, with each word and phrase involving a particular gesture or inflection; cumulatively speaking, this helps to create characters whose behavioral modes change at every tick and turn. Just like our imaginations, which veer from one subject to another from moment to moment, so actors should try to recreate that experience while portraying a character on stage. This is not 'Method' acting - i.e. trying to work out rationally what a character is thinking and feeling and finding a gesture for it - but a kind of acting that is both intellectual and emotional. Highly recommended.

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