Performing Age in Modern Drama

Authors: Lipscomb, Valerie

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  • Due: July 28, 2017
  • ISBN 978-1-349-70258-9
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About this book

This book is the first to examine age across the modern and contemporary dramatic canon, from Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams to Paula Vogel and Doug Wright.  All ages across the life course are interpreted as performance and performative both on page and on stage, including professional productions and senior-theatre groups.

The common admonition "act your age" provides the springboard for this study, which rests on the premise that age is performative in nature, and that issues of age and performance crystallize in the theatre.

Dramatic conventions include characters who change ages from one moment to the next, overtly demonstrating on stage the reiterated actions that create a performative illusion of stable age. Moreover, directors regularly cast actors in these plays against their chronological ages. Lipscomb contends that while the plays reflect varying attitudes toward performing age, as a whole they reveal a longing for an ageless self, a desire to present a consistent, unified identity. The works mirror prevailing social perceptions of the aging process as well as the tension between chronological age, physiological age, and cultural constructions of age.


About the authors

Valerie Barnes Lipscomb is Associate Professor of English at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, USA.  She serves on the executive committees of the North American Network in Aging Studies and the Modern Language Association Age Studies Forum. She co-edited Staging Age (2010) and has published in such journals as Comparative Drama, Journal of Ageing and Later Life, and Age, Culture, Humanities.

Reviews

“Lipscomb skilfully reconsiders the centrality of aging in the western canon from Thornton Wilder to Paula Vogel, theorizing the performativity of age through an analysis of both text and performance. … its breadth is impressive, offering a suitable primer for emerging and established scholars interested in age studies or a more general audience interested in considering the centrality of age in the modern western theatre's most celebrated dramas.” (Benjamin Gillespie, Modern Drama, Vol. 60 (3), 2017)
“Just when you thought that some of the best-known 20th century plays had been thoroughly explored, Valerie Lipscomb brings long overdue attention to the presentation of age and aging in modern drama and theater. Her discussion shows that no analysis of theatrical text and performance can be complete without consideration of this fundamental human marker.” (Elinor Fuchs, Professor Emerita of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism, Yale School of Drama, USA)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $69.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-50169-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $89.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-51251-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $74.99
price for USA
  • Unpublished eBooks cannot be pre-ordered in advance.
  • Due: July 28, 2017
  • ISBN 978-1-349-70258-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Performing Age in Modern Drama
Authors
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-50169-1
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-50169-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-51251-2
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-70258-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 202
Topics