Performing Drama/Dramatizing Performance examines the interaction between avant-garde performance and mainstream text-oriented drama. The author begins with a historical survey of American alternative theater, from its origins in the 1960s avant-garde through the theoretical and formalist experimental work of the 1970s. He then traces how, over the last thirty years, the two strands have been slowly merging, allowing contemporary theater artists the opportunity to intertwine elements of both performance and drama to produce innovative integrated works.
This study puts recent developments in performance in context, making them more accessible to students unfamiliar with avant-garde and recent theory and to those confused by this new and often disorienting work. Vanden Heuvel places the disparate directions in contemporary theory into an interpretive framework that will aid scholars from a variety of fields: English and dramatic literature, contemporary theater history, performance studies, and cultural studies.