Performance/ Theatre: Theory/ Practice

Course Number: 
HSL 836
LTP structure: 

Course Objective

The course would introduce the student to the theories of performance and a selection of theatrical practices. Reading theatrical perspectives on the study of performances, alongside studying the development of theatre practices and the insights offered by various theatre practitioners would prepare the student for studying the performative.

Course Content

The course will look upon performance practices both within and beyond the theatre viz. the spectacular, the digital media, sports etc. It will take the students through a variety of performance practices in India and across the world. The history of the development of performance forms and conditions of performance would be studied. Special focus would be on the theorisation of theatre and performance both by theatre practitioners and those emanating from the area of Performance Studies. The role of performance in maintaining and countering relations of power would be explored. Students would be required to observe, study and analyse live performances as part of the course.

Suggested Reading List

Suggested (from among the following):
Richard Schechner, Performance Theory, Routledge 1988.
Richard Schechner, Performance Studies: An Introduction, Routledge 2002.
Victor Turner, The Anthropology of Performance, PAJ 1968
Amrit Srinivasan ed. (2009). Knowledge Tradition Text: Approaches to Bharata’s Natyasastra. SNA: Delhi
Barucha, Rustom: Theatre and the World: Performance and the Politics of Culture, Routledge 2004.
Rustom Bharucha, Rehearsals of a Revolution, the Political Theatre of Bengal, (Calcutta, Seagull 1983)
Aparna Dharwadkar, Theatres of Independence: Drama, Theory, and Urban Performance in India Since 1947, University of Iowa Press 2009.
Kathryn Hansen, Grounds for Play: The Nautanki Theatre of North India, University of California Press 1992.
Dia da Costa, Development Dramas: Reimagining Rural Political Action in Eastern India, Routledge, 2009.
Arjun Ghosh A History of the Jana Natya Manch: Plays for the People, Sage 2012.
E.F. Aston, An Introduction to Feminism and Theatre, London and New York, Routledge 1995.
Sue Ellen Case, Feminism and Theatre, Macmillan London 1988.
Butler, Judith, (2007), Gender Trouble, Routledge, London and New York.
Lata Singh (2009), Theatre in Colonial India: Play House of Power. New Delhi, Oxford University Press.
Shanta Gokhale (2000). Playwright at the Centre: Marathi drama from 1843 to the present. Seagull Books.
Peggy Phelan, Unmarked: The Politics of Performance, Routledge 2012.
Catherine Cole, Performing South Africa's Truth Commission: Stages of Transition Indiana University Press, 2009.
Sudipto Chatterjee, Colonial Staged: Theatre In Colonial Calcutta. Seagull, 2007.
Jisha Menon, The Performance of Nationalism: India, Pakistan, and the Memory of Partition, Cambridge University Press, 2013.
Bernard Cohn, Colonialism and its Forms of Knowledge, Princeton University Press, 1990.

Michael Huxley and Noel Witts eds., The 20th Century Performance Reader, Routledge 1996.
Marvin Carlson, Performance: A Critical Introduction, Routledge 2003 .
Susan Bennet, Theatre Audiences: A Theory of Production and Reception, Routledge 1997.
Jan Cohen-Cruz ed., Radical Street Performance: An International Anthology, Routledge 1998.
Joel Schechter ed., Popular Theatre, A Source Book, Routledge 2003.
L Goodman, The Routledge Reader in Gender and Performance, Routledge 1998.
Diana Taylor, Disappeating Acts: Spectacles of Gender and Nationalism in Argentina's 'Dirty War", Duke Universiy Press 1997.
Diana Taylor, The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas. Duke University Press, 2003
Lara D. Nielsen and Patricia Ybarra eds. Neoliberalism and Global Theatres: Performance Permutations. Palgrave Macmillan 2012.

The information provided here may not be updated. Please check UG/PG section for updated course offering data.