“Performance Studies: An Introduction” by Richard Schechner Book Review

The meaning of publication of Performance Studies: An Introduction by Richard Schechner could not be underestimated, as this textbook is important for overviewing of performance of undergraduates of various levels as well as graduate students in theatre, performing arts, cultural studies, etc. The major themes, discussed in the book, are popular entertainments, play and games, rituals, performances and all of them are supported with examples and ideas from the spheres of ritual theory, philosophy, aesthetics, social sciences.  Some critics consider the ideas of Schechner to be revolutionary and innovative. He did not support much traditional practices, thus he considered drama to belong to daily experiences: ‘It is important to develop and articulate theories concerning how performances a regenerated, transmitted, received and evaluated in pursuit of these goals, performance studies is insistently intercultural, inter-generic and inter-disciplinary’. (Schechner 2013). The author developed such concept of performance, which did not coincide with preliminary approaches and pointed out the meaning of various systems of transformations. An interesting idea of Schechner related to his perception of universe, where according to him life and art were separated, moreover, life was said to have higher priority in comparison to art. The author pointed out a system of performance magnitudes: brain event, microbit, bit, sign, scene, drama, macrodrama. All magnitudes, under the condition of thorough consideration and investigation, could be important for easy distinguishing between performativity and theatricality and narrativity. (Schechner 2013). Performativity could be found everywhere in life, including even minor gestures. Narrativity and theatricality are not that free, they are limited. Different degrees of magnitude impact all aesthetic genres and their frames. Even if some of the genres are not clearly marked, they should not be considered as having less performativity. Those scholars, who have the intention to understand the formative processes, they should not focus only upon shows, instead they are to learn to consider various performances of magnitudes, for example microbits or brain events.

Works cited:

Schechner, Richard. Performance Studies: An Introduction. Routledge; 3 edition, 2013

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"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

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"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: September 29, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: September 29, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: September 29, 2020]