Insecurity: Perils and Products of Theatres of the Real

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University of Toronto Press, Apr 8, 2019 - Drama - 296 pages
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The early years of the twenty-first century have witnessed a proliferation of non-fiction, reality-based performance genres, including documentary and verbatim theatre, site-specific theatre, autobiographical theatre, and immersive theatre. Insecurity: Perils and Products of Theatres of the Real begins with the premise that although the inclusion of real objects and real words on the stage would ostensibly seem to increase the epistemological security and documentary truth-value of the presentation, in fact the opposite is the case.

Contemporary audiences are caught between a desire for authenticity and immediacy of connection to a person, place, or experience, and the conditions of our postmodern world that render our lives insecure. The same conditions that underpin our yearning for authenticity thwart access to an impossible real. As a result of the instability of social reality, the audience, Jenn Stephenson explains, is unable to trust the mechanisms of theatricality. The by-product of theatres of the real in the age of post-reality is insecurity.

 

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Contents

1 Introduction
3
Winning andor Losing the Game of Life in Autobiographical Performance Winners and Losers
23
Insecurity and Ethical Failure in the Encounter with Strangers 100 Vancouver RARE and Polyglotte
48
Reproducing Life in Remediated Verbatim Theatre Seeds and 300 TAPES
91
The Insecure Geographies of SiteSpecific Audio Walks Garden Suburbia and Landline
130
The Traumatic Real in Immersive Performances of Political Crisis and Insecurity Counting Sheep and Foreign Radical
169
Narcissistic Spectatorship in Theatrical Haunted Houses of Solo Immersive Performance Everyman
210
Theatres of the Real in the Age of PostReality
226
Notes
235
Bibliography
261
Index
275
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About the author (2019)

Jenn Stephenson is Professor in the Dan School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University. Her book Performing Autobiography: Contemporary Canadian Drama is also published by University of Toronto Press.

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