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Carnival Texts

Three Plays for Ensemble Performance

Designed for undergraduate performance, Carnival Texts comprises three related dramatic works, all of which have as their point of departure Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of carnival, a literary style designed to subvert dominant assumptions through chaos and humor. Making creative use of post-Brechtian performance theory, these texts blur the distinction between spectator and performer in a fascinating exploration of physical, moral, and cultural upheaval in a postmodern age. Performance theory is crucial to understanding how performance affects collective understanding, and this book will be of interest to a broad range of students of drama and theater.

246 pages | 5 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2011


Literature and Literary Criticism: Dramatic Works

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Praise for Fete:

“A twenty-first century Bartholomew Fair with up-to-date moralities.”

Peter Thomson, Exeter University

“In many ways, MacDonald’s work, with its wicked playfulness and irony, recalls that of his fellow playwright and collaborator, Caryl Churchill.”

Jessica O’Hara, Penn State University

Table of Contents


Part One: Texts
Strangers To Paradise
Brides, Bombs and Boardrooms

Part Two: Essays
Fear into Laughter
       James MacDonald
Bodies in Pain: Realism and the Subversion of Spectacle in Brides, Bombs and Boardrooms
       John Lutz
Blowing Up the Nation: Vulnerability and Violence in James MacDonald’s Post-national England
       Jessica O’Hara

Notes on Contributors

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