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The Haunted Stage: The Theatre as Memory Machine
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The Haunted Stage: The Theatre as Memory Machine

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  37 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Throughout theatrical history, almost every element in stage production has been recycled. Indeed any regular theatergoer is familiar with the experience of a performance that conjures the ghosts of previous productions. The Haunted Stage explores this theatrical déjà vu, and examines how it stimulates the spectator's memory. Relating the dynamics of reception to the inter ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published June 24th 2003 by University of Michigan Press (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-5 of 78)
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Michael Meeuwis
Mar 04, 2014 Michael Meeuwis rated it liked it
Very clearly written, and attuned to certain theatrical basics that – nevertheless – are easy to miss. Certainly enriching to one's sense of what the theater might be. I do wish that the book had made use of fewer examples, reading these in more depth – often, the book falls into lists of productions or performances, which – while interesting in their own right – can often feel like many similar things, presented without differentiation. At many moments, I found myself wishing that the book woul ...more
Mar 15, 2016 Phillip rated it liked it
I found Carlson's book quite difficult to get through. I'm not sure what exactly it is, but his writing style just doesn't engage me and it became a chore to read the book. By and large the thesis of the book is pretty straightforward--that theatre is always haunted by repetitions, echoes of previous performances, actors' bodies linked to other roles they've played, etc. and that these hauntings shape how we receive theatrical productions. The chapter essentially expand on this core idea through ...more
Oct 06, 2013 Leif rated it really liked it
What do you want from theatre criticism? If the answer is culturally diverse and historically rich discussions of general issues in drama, with particular attention to contemporary American and traditional Japanese theatre, then, well, you've got your man in the corner painted The Haunted Stage. Carlson does his best work arranging his capaciously researched material which, happily, includes a few personal reminiscences. Less able, perhaps by design, is a real effort to address the titular subje ...more
Apr 29, 2010 Katherine rated it did not like it
Shelves: meh, history
I have been trying to read this and without much success.
It is a very smart, yet dryly written text book style telling of one persons interpretations of theatre, various plays, and so on with a very strong emphasis on the point of view of the performer. It is well researched and all, it is just not my cup of tea.
I was expected more historical re-tellings, etc and it is not so much historical accurate as it is focuses on the interpretation and defining of symbolism within theatre and various th
Jun 07, 2008 Jen rated it really liked it
Carlson is remarkably articulate with somewhat esoteric concepts, and is so passionate about history that he can't help but find practical applications for his theoretical threads. The idea of past roles "ghosted" on the body of an actor has come up four times in the past week, and thanks to this book I finally have a vocabulary for it.
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241296 Drama and Theatre, Cornell University. Sidney E. Cohn Distinguished Professor of Theatre, Comparative Literature and Middle Eastern Studies.

Research and teaching interests include dramatic theory and Western European theatre history and dramatic literature, especially of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. He has been awarded the ATHE Career Achievement Award, the George Jean Nathan Prize
More about Marvin A. Carlson...

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