POSTMODERN THEATRE QUOTES

quotations about postmodern theatre

I always am in a role, lovely -- for you, for them -- even for myself. Yeah... Even when I'm alone, I am still in a role -- and I myself am the most exacting audience I have ever had.

SIMONA PANOVA, Nightmarish Sacrifice

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Postmodern theatre makes a presentation, not a representation.

MICK WALLIS, Drama/Theatre/Performance

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Postmodern theatre seems unwilling to listen to talk about textual or theatrical heritage, which it treats as no more than memory in the technical sense of that word, as an immediately available and reusable memory bank.

PATRICE PAVIS, Theatre at the Crossroads of Culture

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In theatre, presence is the matrix of power; the postmodern theatre of resistance must therefore both expose the collusion of presence with authority and resist such collusion by refusing to establish itself as the charismatic Other.

PHILIP AUSLANDER, From Acting to Performance

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The urge to disrupt the theatrical illusion has led to a variety of dramatic means such as a provocative audience addressing, or, even more radically, the attempt to establish physical contact with the audience ... It is precisely in the moment of the breakdown in a performance, that is, when the illusion of the stage as a closed world is denied, that the audience participation can take place and the spectator moves into the center of theatrical attention. In postmodern drama, forms of meaning are created by the gaze of the spectator ... the spectator becomes the "master of semiosis."

KERSTIN SCHMIDT, Postmodernism in American Drama

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Postmodern theatre raises theory to the rank of a playful activity; it suggests as the only inheritance the faculty of replaying the past, rather than pretending to recreate and absorb it.

PATRICE PAVIS, Theatre at the Crossroads of Culture

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Postmodern drama remains a theater of theory ... with vital interest in the transformative processes of perception, that is, on how drama and theater are created and presented on stage.

KERSTIN SCHMIDT, Postmodernism in American Drama

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Challenging the boundaries of what constitutes classical drama, as well as the space in which that drama occurs, much of postmodern drama might be called performances, or happenings, and overlaps with the performance in body art.

TIM WOODS, Beginning Postmodernism

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New dramatic writing has banished conversational dialogue from the stage as a relic of dramaturgy based on conflict and exchange: any story, intrigue or plot that is too neatly tied up is suspect.

PATRICE PAVIS, Theatre at the Crossroads of Culture

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In much postmodern theatre ... the line between theatre and non-theatre is deliberately erased.

JEREMY BEGBIE, "Christ and the cultures: Christianity and the arts"

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The more successful the intellectual paradigm of postmodern performance becomes, the tighter is the circuit of exchange between the self-acknowledging and unmistakable energies of performance and the exemplary or demonstrative function that such free energies perform for the paradigm.

STEVEN CONNOR, Postmodernist Culture

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Postmodern dramatists approach performance art as a valuable resource for their dramatic endeavors. Among others, the influence takes shape most vividly in the attempt to make the theatrical audience reconsider the traditional boundaries between performance and reality, art and life, fiction and autobiography.

KERSTIN SCHMIDT, Postmodernism in American Drama

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Given technological developments in virtual reality and communications, it is not clear what, if any, purpose will be served by live theatre in the not-too-distant future. Postmodern theory sees theatre as a quaint and marginalized activity in a wired world, and ... whether live theatre even really exists anymore. Some of you may dream of seeing your name up in lights on a theatre marquee, but if you are really looking for fame and fortune shouldn't you be studying film at least, or television arts, or computers? What is it about theatre that remains compelling for you? Is it just because it's there?

MARK FORTIER, Theory Theatre and Introduction

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Under postmodern influence, theatre as it has so long and so widely been appreciated -- as holding "as 'twere the mirror up to nature" -- undergoes a catastrophic refiguring. The linearism and aesthetics of conventional theatre -- that comfortably familiar, enjoyably predictable swelling and subsiding of traditional, plot-focused drama -- falls away completely. What we are left with in its wake, is an uncomfortable vacuum and a pervasive, disorienting senselessness. The question is, are we convinced, or just a bit confused?

EMILY PARKER, "Savage melodies, clown-children, and pink plastic membranes: does postmodernist theatre go too far?", Oxford Student, November 1, 2014

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Previous concepts of plot and characterization, no matter whether they are in the Aristotelian or modernist sense, no longer exist in the postmodern theatre. Critical categories of the psychic, dream, distortion and plotlessness in modernist poetics are no longer the defining qualities of the postmodern theatre, which offers a new poetics of collage in playing with discontinuities and inconsistencies always in the making and unmaking.

A. ROBERT LEE, Old Worlds, New Worlds

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Underlying postmodern theater is the belief that life is simply an eclectic assemblage of disconnected and impermanent events and narratives.

R. KEVIN SEASOLTZ, A Virtuous Church: Catholic Theology, Ethics, and Liturgy for the 21st Century

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The task of postmodern theater is to ... continue to pursue the illusive foundation of an unfounded appearance. Rather than stand in opposition of life, theater is the most accurate mirror of life; the unfounded apparency of the actor caught within the dispersion of the text and the playing space mirrors the unfounded apparency of the social self caught within the dispersion of culture and social space.

FRED MCGLYNN, attributed, Flash and Crash Days: Brazilian Theater in the Post-Dictatorship Period

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Far from participating in a collective experience that is human enough to be social, the postmodernist production is designed to distance the human and draw in the alien.

EMILY PARKER, "Savage melodies, clown-children, and pink plastic membranes: does postmodernist theatre go too far?", Oxford Student, November 1, 2014

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The postmodern theatre is introducing the removal of the boundary of language, and by that it is founding some new language whose source is art in itself.

STERIJINO POZORJE, Scena, 1990

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The mirror which postmodern theatre shows to its spectators may seem in some respects, a shattered one. It consists of numerous disparate elements which, even as a whole, render no meaningful unit, can reveal no unifying image. The image reflected by postmodern theatre is one of many "Others."

ERIKA FISCHER-LICHTE & JO RILEY, The Show and the Gaze of Theatre: A European Perspective

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