Retelling performances, collecting things, reading traces, mapping memories, gaming autobiographies: in European and Anglo-American theatre since the turn of the millennium, a range of new nonliterary narrative practices such as these have taken root. Unable to be subsumed under a well-established narratological, dramatic or postdramatic perspective, they call for a reexamination of the relationship between performance and narration. Performing Stories seeks to reconceptualize narrative against the backdrop of innovative theater formats such as collective storytelling games, theater installations, extensive autobiographical performances, immersive role-playing, and audio-video walks.
Nina Tecklenburg’s focus lies on narration less as literary composition than as sensate, embodied cultural practice—a participatory and open process that fosters social relationships. She gives central importance to the forces of narration that create and undo culture and politics. A foundational new book, Performing Stories presents a groundbreaking transdisciplinary perspective through new approaches that are stimulating to performance studies, narrative and cultural theory, literary criticism, and game and video studies.
‘Not only an outstanding research achievement but also a gripping read [. . .], a highly original and innovative theoretical exploration in contemporary theatre studies.’—Dr Erika Fischer-Lichte, university professor of theatre research at the Free University of Berlin
Praise for the German original:
‘Tecklenburg’s strategy of equal attentiveness to theory and practical examples proves fantastically suitable to the theatrical everyday: her hypotheses and conclusions remain fastened to concrete images, linked to vivid descriptions of performances which in turn form tactile theoretical docking points in the reception of theatrical moments. At the same time, the author offers a comprehensive overview of narrative theory and other forms of scholarship connected to it. [. . .] Performing Stories is hence not only an interesting contribution in terms of scholarship—the first step in the rehabilitation of a (reformed) concept of narration—but is also a perfect accompaniment for the direct experience of theatre narratives.’—Anja Redecker, Kritische Ausgabe
‘One special merit of the book is how its reassessment of terminology interrogates and dismantles frozen dichotomies that have led foremost to the exclusion of narrative theory from certain fields of scholarship. [. . .] Tecklenburg’s book is a vastly important and long overdue contribution to both contemporary narrative theory and theatre studies.’—Elke Huwiler, www.theaterforschung.de
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