Theatre and AutoBiographyFront Cover

ISBN: 9780889225404 | paperback / softback

$29.95 | 352 pages | Pub. Date: 2006
7.00 W × 10.00 H × 1 D inches
Non-Fiction | Backlist | Bisac: PER011020
ISBN 13: 9780889225404 | Rights: WORLD

Theatre and AutoBiography
Writing and Performing Lives in Theory and Practice
Edited by Sherrill Grace & Jerry Wasserman

That both autobiography and biography have acquired a position of unprecedented importance over the past 30 years is now obvious. Less obvious are the reasons for this phenomenon. Theorists and students of AutoBiography, a research subject now viewed as respectable in academic circles, have recently mapped the contours and shifting parameters of the autobiographical and the biographical processes, thereby contributing to the profile and stature of both.

This collection brings theatre practitioners together with academics from three continents in a groundbreaking exploration of the interdisciplinary realm of Theatre and AutoBiography. On the theoretical side, the contributors draw on a range of contemporary theorists: from Jacques Lacan, Gilles Deleuze and Emmanuel Levinas to Judith Butler, Mieke Bal and Homi Bhabha; from Elin Diamond and Jill Dolan to Leigh Gilmore, Paul John Eakin and Philippe Lejeune.

In general terms, auto/biographical performances have become hugely popular forms in Europe and North America because we live in a culture of me or I at a time when access to cultural production is easy. AutoBiographies satisfy our desire for story at the same time as they promise to give us truths (if not Truth). With the post-postmodern return of the author and the waning of a deep-seated antihumanism associated with modernist ideology and aesthetics, a desire for agency, voice, visibility and subjectivity has resurfaced with a renewed passion.

The playwrights discussed here could scarcely be more broadly representative of British and North American drama in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries: from W. B. Yeats and Samuel Beckett to Michel Tremblay, Sharon Pollock and David Mamet; from Spalding Gray and Karen Finley to Linda Griffiths; and from Orlan to Sally Clark, R. H. Thomson, Monique Mojica and George Seremba, the range of styles performances and subjectivities is extraordinary.


Edited by Jerry Wasserman

Professor of English and Theatre at the University of British Columbia and a professional actor, Jerry Wasserman has written and lectured widely on Canadian theatre, dramatic literature, theatre history, modern fiction, and blues music; publicly interviewed writers and theatre artists ranging from Margaret Atwood to Stephen Sondheim; and served for over fifteen years as a drama critic on CBC Radio. He is currently theatre critic for The Province newspaper and editor of Vancouverplays.com, an informative Web site that provides up-to-date listings and reviews of local theatre performances. Wasserman grew up in New York and attained an M.A. in English from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from Cornell, specializing in twentieth-century literature and drama. He started teaching at UBC in 1972; though his initial research focus was on fiction, his work in the theatre as an actor soon led him to teach mainly drama courses, eventually creating a course in Canadian drama.

In addition to his scholarly accomplishments, Wasserman continues to maintain a busy career as an actor. A seasoned veteran on the Vancouver theatre scene, he has also made over two hundred appearances on film and television. For more information on Wasserman and his work, please visit his faculty webpage. His acting credits may also be found here.

Read more about Jerry Wasserman


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