New Book: Performing Story on the Contemporary Stage

03 February, 2015

Performing Story on the Contemporary Stage by Tom Maguire, published by Palgrave Macmillan is now available.

Storytelling performance is everywhere on the stage today: from the schtick of the stand-up comedian to the harrowing stories of verbatim theatre. This is the first book to take a comparative approach to these diverse forms to address the related questions of how story worlds are created on stage and what happens when spectators experience storytelling. Tom Maguire draws on an international range of storytelling performances to identify commonalities and distinctions, with examples including work by Anna Deavere Smith, Dario Fo, Franca Rame, Bobby Baker and Billy Connolly. He argues that storytelling performance can be characterized by the prominence of three specific factors: the degree of emphasis on narration in performance; the use of specific (epic and post-epic) modes of performance; and the immediate reciprocity of the relationship between the teller and the audience. His case study method generates detailed discussions and draws out conclusions with widespread application.

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