Staging Philosophy

Intersections of Theater, Performance, and Philosophy
David Krasner and David Z. Saltz, Editors
Investigates the fundamental issues in theater and performance from a wide range philosophical perspectives


The fifteen original essays in Staging Philosophy make useful connections between the discipline of philosophy and the fields of theater and performance and use these insights to develop new theories about theater. Each of the contributors—leading scholars in the fields of performance and philosophy—breaks new ground, presents new arguments, and offers new theories that will pave the way for future scholarship.

Staging Philosophy raises issues of critical importance by providing case studies of various philosophical movements and schools of thought, including aesthetics, analytic philosophy, phenomenology, deconstruction, critical realism, and cognitive science. The essays, which are organized into three sections—history and method, presence, and reception—take up fundamental issues such as spectatorship, empathy, ethics, theater as literature, and the essence of live performance. While some essays challenge assertions made by critics and historians of theater and performance, others analyze the assumptions of manifestos that prescribe how practitioners should go about creating texts and performances. The first book to bridge the disciplines of theater and philosophy, Staging Philosophy will provoke, stimulate, engage, and ultimately bring theater to the foreground of intellectual inquiry while it inspires further philosophical investigation into theater and performance.

David Krasner is Associate Professor at Emerson College. His books include A Beautiful Pageant: African American Theatre, Drama, and Performance in the Harlem Renaissance, 1910-1920 and Renaissance, Parody, and Double Consciousness in African American Theatre, 1895-1910. He is co-editor of the series Theater: Theory/Text/Performance.

David Z. Saltz is Professor of Theatre Studies and Head of the Department of Theatre and Film Studies at the University of Georgia. He is coeditor of Theater Journal and is the principal investigator of the innovative Virtual Vaudeville project at the University of Georgia.

Praise / Awards

  • "Engrossing and at times fascinating—an ambitious and far-reaching project that likely could effect major changes in the teaching of theater studies and performance studies."
    —Mike Vanden Heuvel, University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • "Staging Philosophy is an important contribution to the philosophy of theater, and to theater studies, that will hopefully spark further scholarship in this unexplored field."
    —David Osipovich, University of Iowa, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism

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Copyright © 2006, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 344pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 2006
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-06950-7

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  • $36.95 U.S.

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