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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Theatre and the Macabre

A selection of essays by scholars from around the world on the macabre in theater and performance.
 
This book brings together a number of essays on the macabre in the theater and in performance. A dozen scholars from all over the world explore instances of the macabre being performed, from theatrical apparitions and severed heads on stage to dark tourism and dwelling upon the assassination of President Lincoln in Ford’s Theatre, from sideshows to Halloween haunts. Why, they ask, have audiences long been drawn to artificial images of death, pain, and violence, when they would be repulsed by the real thing? Offering an in-depth examination of the appeal of the macabre, the contributors invite us to look at its prominence in the history of theater anew.

288 pages | 5 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Horror Studies

Literature and Literary Criticism: Dramatic Works, General Criticism and Critical Theory


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Contributors
Introduction: I Made the Dance of Death - Meredith Conti

Part I. Histories of the Macabre
The Mortification of Harvey Leach: Humour and Horror in Nineteenth-Century Theatre of Disability - Michael M. Chemers
The Horrors of the Great War on the London Stage: The Grand Guignol Season of 1915 - Helen E.M. Brooks
Phantoms of the Stage: The History and Practice of Uncanny Apparitions - Richard J. Hand

Part II. Dramaturgies of the Macabre
Time and Punishment: Gothic Maternal Bodies on the Contemporary British Stage - Kelly Jones
The Body Dismembered: Allegory and Modernity in German Trauerspiel - Magda Romanska
Macabre Children on the Australian Stage: Angela Betzien’s Cycle of Crime Plays - Chris Hay and Stephen Carleton
Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen: Justice and Guilt in Public and Private Acts of Hanging - Michelle C. Paull
Fear of Death and Lyrical Flight: Mortality Salience Mediation in Fun Home - Christopher J. Staley

Part III. Staging the Macabre
The Severed Head on Stage - Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr.
Dancing Haunted Legacies: Diana Szeinblum’s Alaska- Jeanmarie Higgins
‘To Die Over and Over Inside My Body’: Three Deaths in Hijikata Tatsumi’s Butoh - J. E. F. Ooi

Part IV. The Immersive Macabre
‘Black and Deep Desires’: Sleep No More and the Immersive Macabre - Dan Venning
The Dark Ride Immersive and the Danse Macabre - David Bisaha
Liveness and Aliveness: Chasing the Uncanny in the Contemporary Haunt Industry - David Norris
American Hells: Hell Houses, Abortion Frames, and Unsexed Women - Robyn Lee Horn
Haunting the Stage: Macabre Tourism, Lieux de Mémoire, and the Immortal Death of Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre - Meredith Conti
Bibliography
Index

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