Imagined Theatres : Writing for a Theoretical Stage book cover
1st Edition

Imagined Theatres
Writing for a Theoretical Stage

Edited By

Daniel Sack

ISBN 9781138122055
Published May 1, 2017 by Routledge
312 Pages

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Book Description

Imagined Theatres collects theoretical dramas written by some of the leading scholars and artists of the contemporary stage. These dialogues, prose poems, and microfictions describe imaginary performance events that explore what might be possible and impossible in the theatre.

Each scenario is mirrored by a brief accompanying reflection, asking what they might mean for our thinking about the theatre. These many possible worlds circle around questions that include:

  • In what way is writing itself a performance?
  • How do we understand the relationship between real performances that engender imaginary reflections and imaginary conceptions that form the basis for real theatrical productions?
  • Are we not always imagining theatres when we read or even when we sit in the theatre, watching whatever event we imagine we are seeing?

Table of Contents


Imagined Theatres


137 Titles (I)

Tim Etchells Gloss: Tim Etchells

137 Titles (II)

Tim Etchells Gloss: Tim Etchells

137 Titles (III)

Tim Etchells Gloss: Tim Etchells

After Dinner

Julia Jarcho Gloss: Julia Jarcho

"All the world's a…"

Baz Kershaw Gloss: Baz Kershaw

Ancestor Call—Guerrero

Cherríe L. Moraga Gloss: Brian Eugenio Herrera

Ancestor Call—Malinche

Cherríe L. Moraga Gloss: Helen Paris

Anecdote of the Stage (after Stevens)

John F. Muse Gloss: John F. Muse

Animal Friendship: A Docudrama

Minou Arjomand Gloss: Broderick D.V. Chow

The Art of Forgetting

Daniel Sack Gloss: Daniel Sack


Isaiah Matthew Wooden Gloss: Natalie Alvarez

Candle Tears

Meiling Cheng Gloss: Meiling Cheng

Casting, Four Ways

Brian Eugenio Herrera Gloss: Brian Eugenio Herrera

A Chinese Actor's Late Style

Broderick D.V. Chow Gloss: Broderick D.V. Chow

Cities of Refuge

Dominika Laster Gloss: Yelena Gluzman

The Classroom

Lin Hixson Gloss: Matthew Goulish


Jonathan Ball Gloss: Jonathan Ball

, Colon;zations and Exclamations!: A Set Piece Staged for the Page

Jennifer DeVere Brody Gloss: Jennifer DeVere Brody

The Copper Thieves

Irma Mayorga Gloss: Irma Mayorga

Court Theatre

Petra Kuppers Gloss: VK Preston

Crow Takes Hat

Erik Ehn Gloss: Irma Mayorga

Crowds with the Shape of Reason Missing

Alan Read Gloss: Alan Read

Dance for Baghdad

Pavol Liska Gloss: Nicholas Ridout

dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/Home

Sharon Bridgforth Gloss: Nia Witherspoon


W.B. Worthen Gloss: Aaron C. Thomas

Disappearing Act

Fintan Walsh Gloss: Aaron C. Thomas

A Displacement

Patrick Anderson Gloss: Rajni Shah

Dreams on Screen

Rachel Joseph Gloss: Rachel Joseph


Joe Kelleher Gloss: Joe Kelleher

Eavesdropping in on a Cyclical Conversation

Carl Hancock Rux Gloss: Jennifer DeVere Brody

Enema of the People

Stephen Bottoms Gloss: Stephen Bottoms

esprit de corps

Kimberly Jannarone Gloss: Joshua Abrams

Extremely poor children

Romeo Castellucci Gloss: Joe Kelleher

FADE TO BLACK: Notes toward a re-performance of gestures that never occurred

Ricardo Dominguez Gloss: Ricardo Dominguez

Feminist Theory Theatre

Yelena Gluzman Gloss: Yelena Gluzman

The Fort

Yvette Nolan Gloss: Minou Arjomand


Nicholas Ridout Gloss: Kimberly Jannarone

A Garden Party Hamlet

Rachel Joseph Gloss: Kyle Gillette

Ghost Light, an Animal Congress

Jennifer Parker-Starbuck Gloss: Jennifer Parker-Starbuck

Ghost Practice

Sara Jane Bailes Gloss: Andrew Sofer

Give, Take, and Shake

Rodrigo Toscano Gloss: Carla Harryman

The Greatest Show on Earth

Darren O'Donnell Gloss: Darren O'Donnell


Jonathan Ball Gloss: John H. Muse

Gut Body

Petra Kuppers Gloss: Petra Kuppers

A Happy Life

Aaron C. Thomas Gloss: Aaron C. Thomas

Heaven's Stenographer Shines the Guiding Light

Nick Salvato Gloss: Brian Eugenio Herrera

Holding Time

Helen Paris Gloss: Sara Jane Bailes

How Does it Go Again?

Rebecca Schneider Gloss: Rebecca Schneider

Human Too

Una Chaudhuri Gloss: Petra Kuppers

I can't breathe…

Thomas F. DeFrantz Gloss: Thomas F. DeFrantz

I, Marjorie

Jen Harvie Gloss: Jen Harvie

Imagined Cities (after Calvino)

Kyle Gillette Gloss: Daniel Sack

The Impossible Magic Show

Augusto Corrieri Gloss: Augusto Corrieri

In Character

Harvey Young Gloss: Harvey Young


Joshua Chambers-Letson & Josh Rains Gloss: Chambers-Letson & Rains

it comes back together

Karen Christopher Gloss: Andy Field

It could be a forest

Ralph Lemon Gloss: Ralph Lemon

It was a large rubble space

Claire MacDonald Gloss: Ant Hampton

LAST RESORT [No One Can Stop You Now]

Sylvan Oswald Gloss: Jen Harvie

The Last Wor(l)d

VK Preston Gloss: Kyle Gillette

The Lost Notebooks of the Painter's Wife

Diane Glancy Gloss: Diane Glancy

The Means of Production

Jen Harvie Gloss: Patrick Anderson

A Meta-theatre

Bush Moukarzel Gloss: Claudia La Rocco

The monster when she opened her wings

Claudia La Rocco Gloss: Claudia La Rocco

Motion Capture

Christopher Grobe Gloss: Sarah Bay-Cheng

Music for Charlie Morel

Aaron C. Thomas Gloss: Joseph Cermatori

The Night Everything Happened

Augusto Corrieri Gloss: Isaiah Matthew Wooden

No Subject

Wendy Houstoun Gloss: Wendy Houstoun

NOT I (not)

Ant Hampton Gloss: Peggy Phelan

Ocean Oration

Una Chaudhuri Gloss: Una Chaudhuri

Oh, Have I Died, Then?

Howard Barker Gloss: Daniel Sack

On Location & Context

Ricardo A. Bracho Gloss: Ricardo A. Bracho

On Scale

Joshua Abrams Gloss: Kimberly Jannarone

Onboard Entertainment

Joe Kelleher Gloss: Kyle Gillette

or, The Whale (for Tess)

Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca Gloss: Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca

An Orogeny

Caden Manson & Jemma Nelson Gloss: Karen Christopher

Otto's Self Board Meeting

Pablo Helguera Gloss: Fintan Walsh

Passenger Pigeons

Yvette Nolan Gloss: Una Chaudhuri

Plant Life (excerpt from a play in three acts)

Peggy Phelan Gloss: Una Chaudhuri


Claudia La Rocco Gloss: Joe Kelleher


Karen Christopher Gloss: Helen Paris

The Previous Cry

Timothy McCain Gloss: Matthew Goulish

Private Language Argument I

Andrew Sofer Gloss: Nick Salvato

Private Language Argument II

Andrew Sofer Gloss: Andrew Sofer

Questions for Women in Prison

Rhodessa Jones Gloss: Rhodessa Jones


Kyle Gillette Gloss: Joshua Abrams


Andy Field Gloss: Aaron C. Thomas

Rock Performance

Nick Salvato Gloss: Nick Salvato


Nia Witherspoon Gloss: Irma Mayorga


Claire MacDonald Gloss: Augusto Corrieri

Stress Melody

Christopher Grobe Gloss: Christopher Grobe


Jonathan Ball Gloss: Rachel Joseph


Natalie Alvarez Gloss: Ju Yon Kim

Tectum Theatre

Suk-Young Kim Gloss: Suk-Young Kim


Joshua Abrams Gloss: Joshua Abrams

Theatre of the Blind (or: Description)

Patrick Anderson Gloss: Thomas F. DeFrantz

The Theatre at Calpurnia

Nadine George-Graves Gloss: Nadine George-Graves

Theatre generated by a probabilistic language model, with grammatical artifacts retained

Caden Manson & Jemma Nelson Gloss: W.B. Worthen

Theatre of Intimacy and Abandon

Casey Llewellyn & Claudia Rankine Gloss: Peggy Phelan

The Theatre of the Town

Joe Kelleher Gloss: Erin Manning


Ju Yon Kim Gloss: Ju Yon Kim

A Theatrical Revenge Melodrama with Ring-Tones

Sarah Bay-Cheng Gloss: Jennifer Parker-Starbuck

Thee Thy Thou Thine (a fragment)

Rose English Gloss: Wendy Houstoun

Then a Cunning Voice and A Night We Spend Gazing at Stars

Emily Johnson Gloss: Emily Johnson

Three dramaturgical miniatures (after Nietzsche)

Joseph Cermatori Gloss: Daniel Sack


Erin Manning Gloss: Erin Manning

Touching Touches

Isaiah Matthew Wooden Gloss: Isaiah Matthew Wooden


Kyle Gillette Gloss: Patrick Anderson

Two Dances

Susan Leigh Foster Gloss: Susan Leigh Foster

TwoDoor Drama

Rebecca Schneider Gloss: Daniel Sack

Universal Theatre Machine (for Leibniz, Turing, Brecht, and Boal)

Annie Dorsen Gloss: Christopher Grobe

Unstill Lifes

Bonnie Marranca Gloss: Bonnie Marranca

Untitled (Imaginary Theatre #1)

André Lepecki Gloss: Rebecca Schneider

Untitled (Imaginary Theatre #2)

André Lepecki Gloss: Matthew Goulish

Variations (I-III)

Deirdre Heddon Gloss: Deirdre Heddon


VK Preston Gloss: VK Preston

The Waiting Room

Michael McMillan Gloss: Michael McMillan


Natalie Alvarez Gloss: Deirdre Heddon

What to, where (A Poets Theatre)

Carla Harryman Gloss: Carla Harryman

Women & Children & an Old Man Godot

Richard Schechner Gloss: Richard Schechner


          Rajni Shah  Gloss: Rajni Shah


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Daniel Sack is Assistant Professor of English and Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.