Please join us at NYU Skirball on Friday, September 13 for a roundtable conversation that brings together perspectives from visual art, theatre, curation, and the academy to discuss the forms performance takes today. The event celebrates the publication of Postdramatic Theatre and Form (Methuen 2019) and the launch of the 2019-20 season at Skirball NYU.

perFORMance: interdisciplinary perspectives on form & theater today will be moderated by Elinor Fuchs (Professor Emerita, Yale School of Drama) and feature contributions from:

  • Caroline Levine (David and Kathleen Ryan Professor of Humanities, Cornell)
  • David Levine (Performance Artist and Professor, Harvard)
  • Hillary Miller (Playwright and Professor, Queens College)
  • Lumi Tan (Curator, The Kitchen in NYC)

How does performance shape our society? How do social pressures give shape to performance? What is the future of theatrical form – in the theatre, the gallery, the museum, the university, and beyond?

The roundtable starts at 4:30PM, and will be followed at 6PM by a reception with food and drinks. Attendance is free and does not require reservations. The event will be followed by a performance of Philippe Quesne’s Night of the Moles and a talkback with Professor Judith Miller (NYU).

NYU Skirball is located at 566 La Guardia Place. Directions and accessibility information here. Please contact with any questions.

This event is co-organized by Brandon Woolf, Matt Cornish, Michael Shane Boyle, and J de Leon with generous support from NYU’s Department of English and its Program in Dramatic Literature, NYU Skirball, the Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies Working Group, and further assistance from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London and Ohio University.

RSVP Here | Contributor Bios | About the Book

Contributor Bios

Kate Bredeson is a theatre historian, director, and dramaturg. Her books include Occupying the Stage: the Theater of May ’68 (Northwestern 2018) and a forthcoming edited collection of the lifetime diaries of Judith Malina (Routledge). She is Associate Professor of Theatre at Reed College.

Elinor Fuchs is Professor Emerita of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at the Yale School of Drama, where she taught for twenty-three. years. She is the author or editor of five books, including The Death of Character, winner of the George Jean Nathan Award in Dramatic Criticism, and the family memoir Making an Exit.

Caroline Levine is David and Kathleen Ryan Professor of Humanities at Cornell University. She is the author of three books, The Serious Pleasures of Suspense: Victorian Realism and Narrative Doubt (2003, winner of the Perkins Prize for the best book in narrative studies), Provoking Democracy: Why We Need the Arts (2007), and Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network (2015, named one of Flavorwire’s “10 Must-Read Academic Books of 2015”).

David Levine is an artist living in New York. His work, which fuses elements of realist theater and performance art, has been commissioned by the Brooklyn Museum, MASS MoCA, MCA Chicago, and Creative Time, and has been published in n+1, ParkettCabinet and Triple Canopy. He’s the recipient of an OBIE award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is Professor of the Practice of Performance, Theater, and Media at Harvard University.  A Discourse on Method, an artist’s book created with scholar Shonni Enelow, will be published by 53rd State in October, 2019, alongside Best Behavior, an anthology of his critical writings about performance and theater.

Hillary Miller is Assistant Professor of English at Queens College, CUNY. Her book, Drop Dead: Performance in Crisis, 1970s New York, won the 2017 Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History. Her essays and reviews have appeared in Performance Research, The Radical History Review, Theatre Survey, PAJ, and Research in Drama Education. Her play, Preparedness, will premiere at the Bushwick Starr in Spring 2020.

Lumi Tan is Curator at The Kitchen, New York, where she has organized exhibitions and produced performances with artists across disciplines and generations since 2010. Most recently, Tan has worked with Kevin Beasley, Lex Brown, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Half Straddle, Sibyl Kempson, Sahra Motalebi, and The Racial Imaginary Institute.

About Postdramatic Theater and Form

Postdramatic theatre is an essential category of performance that challenges classical elements of drama, including the centrality of plot and character. Tracking key developments in contemporary European and North American performance, this collection redirects ongoing debates about postdramatic theatre, turning attention to the overlooked issue on which they hinge: form.

Contributors draw on literary studies, film studies and critical theory to reimagine the formal aspects of theatre, such as space, media and text. The volume expands how scholars think of theatrical form, insisting that formalist analysis can be useful for studying the ways theatre is produced and consumed, and how theatre makers engage with other forms like dance and visual art. Chapters focus on a range of interdisciplinary artists including Tadeusz Kantor, Ann Liv Young and Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, as well as theatre’s enmeshment within institutional formations like funding agencies, festivals, real estate and healthcare.

A timely investigation of the aesthetic structures and material conditions of contemporary performance, this collection refines what we mean, and what we don’t, when we speak of postdramatic theatre.

The book is edited by Michael Shane Boyle, Matt Cornish, and Brandon Woolf, and can be found here.