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Sacred Theatre
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Price £25, $35.50
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ISBN 9781841501536
Paperback 224 pages
Published February 2008
Imprint: Intellect
Books by Ralph Yarrow
Books in Performing Arts
Other books in this series Review: SAGE

Edited by Ralph Yarrow
Chapter Titles     |      Reviews     |      Comments

The notion of sacred has long informed the work of British dramatists such as Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard, and Ralph Yarrow’s Sacred Theatre is the first book to examine the role of the sacred in the practice, process and performance of drama. The volume considers the definition of the terms ‘sacred’ and theatre and suggests that the joining of the two is a unique experience for writer, performer and viewer. It examines how such an ambiguous term is defined and how sacred can be represented and expressed through performance. These ideas form an animated dialogue and delve into the heart of playwrights’ and audiences’ ongoing relationship with all things spiritual.

Yarrow draws upon elements of sociology, anthropology and critical theory as well as analytical readings of an array of plays, texts and performances, allowing room for personal experiences of what is sacred and examination of how theatre interacts with the otherworldly. The book investigates structural understandings and functions of the sacred in theatre, offering stimulation for discussion within performance and theatre teaching.

Sacred Theatre provides an engaging multi-disciplinary approach to the sacred in theatre and performance, making it essential for anyone intrigued by the intersection of drama and consciousness.

Chapter titles
Chapter 1: 'What Is the Sacred?' - Page 13
Ralph Yarrorw
Chapter 2: 'Terminologies and Categorizations of the Sacred' - Page 33
Ralph Yarrow
Chapter 3: 'The Phenomenology of Nonidentity: Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead' - Page 67
Ralph Yarrow
Chapter 4: 'Between the Opposites: Gender Games' - Page 83
Ralph Yarrow
Chapter 5: 'Ionesco' - Page 107
Ralph Yarrow
Chapter 6: 'Pinter' - Page 119
Ralph Yarrow
Chapter 7: 'Genet' - Page 127
Ralph Yarrow
Chapter 8: 'Processes' - Page 153
Ralph Yarrow
Chapter 9: 'Places, Spaces and Generative Directions; A Symposium' - Page 165
Ralph Yarrow
'This book takes on the enormous task of identifying not only the sacred in theatre but also questions ideas of sacred across the spectrum. It offers a great deal of material for discussion within performance and theatre theory courses. ' – Dr. Jade Rosina McCutcheon, Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance, UC Davis

'For the academics or general readers, Sacred Theatre is an invaluable source on the sacred and its relation to the theatre. [It is] valuable and accessible to all readers, since it provides explanations for the structural understanding and function of the sacred in theatre with multidisciplinary approaches.' – Aylin Atilla, Interactions

'Sacred Theatre is the first book to take an in-depth look at the role of the transcendent, i.e., "sacred," in the practice, process, and performance of drama. The collaborative format identifies the sacred in theatre from a wide-range of perspectives while at the same time questioning the ideas raised. Not only collaborative, the format is deliciously non-linear. As I read I found myself consistently looking back at something that I had read earlier, or even jumping ahead to see the thoughts of another contributor to the issue raised. There are three parts, with several chapters each, to the book, "Basic Questions," "Text and Performance," and "Processes and Directions." Each of the five contributors brings to the discussion their expertize, experiences, and extensive research, making Sacred Theatre both theoretical and practical in nature. As such, Sacred Theatre is in my opinion a must read for both the student of theatre theory and the performer. ' – Frank A. Mills, The Empty Space

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