Preface; Part I. Definitions of Performance: 1. Sociology and the rituals of interaction; 2. Theatre, ceremony and everyday life; 3. Ethnography, folklore and communicative events; 4. Cultural performance, social drama and liminality; 5. Performance as a new sort of knowledge; Part II. The Emergence of Performance as Sensuous Practice: 6. Situationism, games and subversion; 7. Hippies and expressive play; 8. Performance as a new pedagogy; 9. Architecture and the performed city; 10. New forms of activism; 11. Happenings and everyday performance; 12. Body art and feminism; 13. The arrival of performance art and live art; 14. Dance party politics; Part III. Theorising Performance: 15. Performance, postmodernism and critical theory; 16. What performance studies is: version 1: New York and Northwestern; 17. What performance studies is: version 2: oral interpretation; 18. How performance studies emerged; 19. Gender performativity; 20. Performance and performativity; 21. The relations between performance, theatre and text; 22. The magic of performance; Afterword.
This engaging account explains the meaning and origins of performance theory and why it has become so important.
Simon Shepherd is Professor Emeritus of Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. He has written on performance, theatre and culture for over thirty years and his books include Direction (2012), The Cambridge Introduction to Modern British Theatre (Cambridge, 2010), Drama/Theatre/Performance (with Mick Wallis, 2004), Studying Plays (with Mick Wallis, 1998) and English Drama: A Cultural History (with Peter Womack, 1996).