The Death of Character

9780253210081: Paperback
Release Date: 22nd July 1996

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 240

Series Drama and Performance Studies

Indiana University Press

The Death of Character

Perspectives on Theater after Modernism

Paperback / £15.99

Extremely well written, and exceedingly well informed, this is a work that opens a variety of important questions in sophisticated and theoretically nuanced ways. It is hard to imagine a better tour guide than Fuchs for a trip through the last thirty years of, as she puts it, what we used to call the ‘avant-garde.’" —Essays in Theatre

... an insightful set of theoretical ‘takes’ on how to think about theatre before and theatre after modernism." —Theatre Journal

In short, for those who never experienced a ‘postmodern swoon,’ Elinor Fuchs is an excellent informant." —Performing Arts Journal

... a thoughtful, highly readable contribution to the evolving literature on theatre and postmodernism." —Modern Drama

A work of bold theoretical ambition and exceptional critical intelligence.... Fuchs combines mastery of contemporary cultural theory with a long and full participation in American theater culture: the result is a long-needed, long-awaited elaboration of a new theatrical paradigm." —Una Chaudhuri, New York University

What makes this book exceptional is Fuchs’ acute rehearsal of the stranger unnerving events of the last generation that have—in the cross-reflections of theory—determined our thinking about theater. She seems to have seen and absorbed them all." —Herbert Blau, Center for Twentieth Century Studies, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Surveying the extraordinary scene of the postmodern American theater, Fuchs boldly frames key issues of subjectivity and performance with the keenest of critical eyes for the compelling image and the telling gesture." —Joseph Roach, Tulane University

... Fuchs makes an exceptionally lucid and eloquent case for the value and contradictions in postmodern theater." —Alice Rayner, Stanford University

Arguably the most accessible yet learned road map to what remains for many impenetrable territory…an obligatory addition to all academic libraries serving upper-division undertgradua

Part I: Modern Retrospect
1. Character: Its Rise and Fall
2. The Mysterium and the Re-Allegorization of Modern Drama
3. Reading Against the Grain
Part II: Theater After Modernism
4. Signalling Through the Signs: Thinking Theater After Derrida
5. Play as Landscape: Another Version of Pastoral
6. Staging the Obscene Body
7. Theater as Shopping
8. Postmodernism and the "Scene" of Theater
Reviews and Articles 1979–1993: Accounts of an Emerging Aesthetic
1979 Des McAnuff’s Leave it to Beaver is Dead
Richard Schechner’s The Balcony
1982 Andrei Serban’s The Marriage of Figaro
1983 The Death of Character
1985 Peter Sellars’s The Count of Monte Cristo
1986 Robert Wilson’s Alcestis
1988 Elizabeth LeCompte and The Wooster Group’s Frank Dell’s The Temptation of Saint Antony
1989 Misunderstanding Postmodernism: Joanne Akalaitis’s Cymbeline
1993 The AIDS Quilt and The Performance of Mourning

ELINOR FUCHS, a New York theater critic noted for her writing on contemporary experimental theater, is on the faculty of the School of the Arts at Columbia University and is Lecturer at the Yale School of Drama. She has also taught at Harvard University, New York University, and Emory University. She is editor of Plays of the Holocaust: An International Anthology, and co-author (with Joyce Antler) of the documentary play Year One of the Empire. Her essays have appeared in such publications as American Theatre, The Drama Review, Modern Drama, Theater, and Performing Arts Journal. She has been a contributor to The Village Voice since 1982.