The Problem of Theatrical Autonomy
The Problem of Theatrical Autonomy
Analysing Theatre as a Social Practice
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Introduction Ch. 1: How can we define autonomy? 1.1. The formula 1.2. The development and nature of specific capital 1.3. Actions of agents in theatre fields: Position-taking 1.4. Agents in theatre fields 1.5. Is theatre different? 1.6. Conclusion Ch. 2: The concept of artistic autonomy 2.1. The functional perspective on art 2.2. Dickie, Danto, and Becker: Art as an institution 2.3. Actor-Network Theory's critique of field theory 2.4. Boltanski and Thévenot: Art and value regimes 2.5. Conclusion Ch. 3: Autonomy in the contemporary theatre 3.1. Two forms of the argument against theatrical autonomy 3.2. Postdramatic and immersive theatre 3.3. Verbatim and documentary theatre 3.4. Applied and community theatre 3.5. Commercial theatre and stand-up comedy 3.6. Conclusion Ch. 4: How agents in theatre fields make use of claims to autonomy 4.1. How claims to autonomy influence the shape of the theatre field 4.2. Things that autonomy allows agents to do 4.3. Conclusion Ch. 5: How theatre organization shapes claims to autonomy 5.1. Funding systems 5.2. Training 5.3. The relation between production and distribution 5.4. Internationalization 5.5. The relation between national and regional subsidy 5.6. Conclusion Ch. 6: How claims to autonomy serve those outside theatre fields 6.1. Moral betterment and education 6.2. Issues of self-representation 6.3. Economic development 6.4. Social inclusion 6.5. Conclusion Conclusion References

Reviews and Features

"[This book] opens up an interesting and necessary debate in theatre analysis. It is arguable whether theatrical autonomy, being a concept that is almost impossible to define without a certain amount of reductionism, can be the key concept in further research on theatre sociology, but precisely the research of concrete cases will answer this question. It is therefore a valuable book that will help any researcher or student rethink his or her methodological approach." - Ga¿per Troha, Amfiteater, Journal of Performing Arts Theory Vol. 5, no. 2

The Problem of Theatrical Autonomy

Analysing Theatre as a Social Practice

As any devoted theatregoer will attest, watching a performance is a unique experience, as the social setting, rules, and standards of theatre often combine to create a feeling of liberation from the everyday world. This book explores the phenomenon of theatre as simultaneously distinct from and yet connected to society as a whole. Combining theoretical reflections with materials from European case studies, the authors offer intriguing new methods for the sociological study of theatre while contributing equally to theatre and performance studies.
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Joshua Edelman

Joshua Edelman worked as a research fellow at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, University of London.

Louise Ejgod Hansen

Louise Ejgod Hansen holds a research position at the theatre section of Aarhus University.

Quirijn Lennert van den Hoogen

Quirijn Lennert van den Hoogen is university lecturer of arts sociology and arts policy at the University of Groningen.