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Beyond Failure

New essays on the cultural history of failure in theatre and performance



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Beyond Failure
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In setting foot on stage, every performer invokes their own capacity to fail. The very performance of this action and those that follow it are inextricable from their potential not to succeed. This potential has become a key critical trope in contemporary theatre and performance studies, and Beyond Failure explores what it means for our understanding not just of theatrical practice but of human social and cultural activity more broadly. The essays in this volume tackle contemporary debates around the theory and poetics of failure, suggesting that in the absence of success can be found a defiance and hopefulness that points to new ways of knowing and being in the world. Beyond Failure offers a unique and engaging approach for students and practitioners interested not only in the impact of failure on the stage, but what it means for wider social and cultural debates.

Author Biography

Tony Fisher is Reader in Theatre and Philosophy, at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. His monograph, Theatre and Governance in Britain, 1500-1900: Democracy, Disorder and the State was published in 2017 by Cambridge University Press. He is also co-editor (with Eve Katsouraki) of Performing Antagonism: Theatre, Performance and Radical Democracy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). Eve Katsouraki is co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Performance Philosophy and Core-Convenor for the Performance Philosophy Network international. Her research concerns the intersections of philosophy and performance, especially in relation to modernism, animals and political performance. She is currently working on a monography on philosophy, modernism and the theatre director. She is also co-editor (with Tony Fisher) of Performing Antagonism: Theatre, Performance and Radical Democracy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).
Release date Australia
October 11th, 2018
Edited by Eve Katsouraki Edited by Tony Fisher
13 Halftones, black and white
Country of Publication
United States
CRC Press Inc
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