Theatre in crisis?

Performance manifestoes for a new century

Edited by Maria M. Delgado and Caridad Svich

Theatre in crisis?

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-6291-9
  • Pages: 288
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: October 2002
  • BIC Category: Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800, The arts / Theatre studies, PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General, Literary studies: general, Theatre studies, Literature
  • Series: Theatre: Theory - Practice - Performance


A wide-ranging look at the state of contemporary theatre practice, economics, and issues related to identity, politics, and technology. Contains a snapshot dissection of where theatre is, where it has been and where it might be going through the voices of established and emerging theatre artists and scholars from the UK, US and elsewhere. Offers an examination of how to make theatre in a time of crisis and why it is a vital form of communication are at the heart of the book's mission. Asks questions such as: where is theatre now taking place?; what is the relationship between play and performance?; how does funding work?; what states does theatre flourish under?; and if there is a current 'crisis of theatre' should it not be seen as a welcome opportunity to develop a vigorous 'theatre of crisis'?.

The international list of contributors includes Jim Carmody, Phyllis Nagy, Michael Billington, Max Stafford-Clark, Peter Sellars, Dragan Klaic, Goat Island, Erik Ehn and many others, making up a vast array of practising artists, thinkers, and scholars.


'Delgado and Svich have assembled a collection that will be of great use to and inspiration to academics and practitioners alike'
Sean Carney, Modern Drama, Vol. XLVI No. 4 2003

'This provocative collection of over 30 international contributions draws from an impressive and diverse group of artists, playwrights, and scholars to scrutinize contemporary theatre issues relating to identity, politics, technology, and economics.'
Library Journal, 2003

'An excellent collection'
Plays International, May 2003

'Entertaining and revealing'
European Journal of English Studies, Vol. 7 No. 1

Plays International 'Pick of the Month'.


List of illustrations
Theatre in crisis?: Performance manifestos for a new century - snapshots of a time - Maria M. Delgado and Caridad Svich
Theatre in crisis? Living memory in an unstable time - Caridad Svich
Some quick thoughts on theatre and its future - Oliver Mayer, Jorge Cortiñas, Neena Beber, Craig Lucas

Crisis as practice: Strategies, concepts and working decisions

The comforts of crisis - Jim Carmody
Some words about the theater today - Roberta Levitow
Seeing through the national and global stereotypes: British theatre in crisis - Peter Lichtenfels and Lynette Hunter
The state of reviewing today - Michael Billington
Critical path - Claire H. MacDonald
Those who can do teach - Anna Furse
Hold your nerve: Notes for a young playwright - Phyllis Nagy
Against pessimism - Max Stafford-Clark

Theatre and identity: Negotiating doubt and passion

More enterprise in walking naked - Len Berkman
Educating the audience: Sharing the process - DD Kugler
One the death of theatre: A call to action - Tori Haring-Smith
Dancing with the dead man: Notes on a theatre for the future of Europe - John London
Black Theatre at the turn of the millenium - Kia Corthron
The crisis of label - Alice Tuan
Notes on opera at the end of the century - Ricardo Szwarcer

What is to be done? : Theatre off the map

The question of culture - Peter Sellars
The crisis of theater? The theatre of crisis! - Dragan Klaic
Scavenging for home (or how I learned to take refuge in live theater while worrying about the bomb) - Lisa D'Amour
Stealing kisses - Paul Heritage
A theatre of monsters: Live performance in the age of digital media - Matthew Causey
The moment of realised actuality - Andy Lavender

Looking forward, looking back: Theatre and the spiritual, messages to the new world

When an angel goes through the stage - Jon Fosse
Bad Glamour - Erik Ehn
Heat Bath - Matthew Maguire
Theatre of the mind: A fugue in two parts - Shelley Berc
An evangelical capitalist: Message in a bottle to the next millenium of Robinson Crusoes in proscenium - Ruth Margraff
Poor Toms a cold: Reflections on the modern theater in crisis - Martin Epstein
The theatre of good intentions - Mac Wellman
Letter to a young practitioner - Goat Island


Maria M. Delgado is Reader in Drama and Theatre Arts at Queen Mary, University of London. Caridad Svich is a member playwright of New Dramatists in New York

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