Theatre in a Media Culture

Production, Performance and Perception Since 1970

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About the Book

As the media have increasingly become the lens through which we see the world, media styles have shaped even the fine arts, and contemporary theatre is particularly indebted to mass media’s dramatic influence. In order to stay culturally and financially viable, theatre producers have associated theatrical productions and their promotion with film, television, and the Internet by adopting new theatrical practices that mirror the form and content of mass communication. This work demonstrates how mediatization, or the adoption of the semantics and the contexts of mass media, has changed the way American theatre is produced, performed, and perceived.
Early chapters use works like Robert Wilson’s 3D digital opera Monsters of Grace and Thecla Schophorst’s digitally animated Bodymaps to demonstrate the shifting nature of live performance. Critical analysis of the interaction between the live performer and digital technology demonstrates that the use of media technology has challenged and changed traditional notions of dramatic performance. Subsequent discussion sustains the argument that theatre has reconfigured itself to access the economic and cultural power of the media. Final chapters consider the extent to which mediatization undermines theatrical authorship and creativity.

About the Author(s)

Amy Petersen Jensen is an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre and Media Arts at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Bibliographic Details

Amy Petersen Jensen
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 227
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2877-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0891-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

1. The Mediatized Stage: Theatre, Visual Culture, and Presence      11

2. Theatre’s New Visual Literacy: Production and Reception in a Mediatized Culture      23

3. Theatrical Space in Mass-Media Culture      49

4. Nostalgia as Theatrical Presence and Commodity      87

5. Media as an Overt Presence in Theatrical Text and Production      111

6. Media and the Performing Body      124

7. Theatre and the Grammar of Media Technology      146

8. Reality and Spectatorship      167

Conclusion: Towards Hybridity      187

Appendix A: Media Conglomerates in Theatre Production      191

Appendix B: Media Based Musicals      203

Bibliography      211

Index      219