Performance Studies: An Introduction, 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Performance Studies

An Introduction, 3rd Edition

By Richard Schechner, Richard Schechner


366 pages

Companion Website
Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415502313
pub: 2013-03-13
Hardback: 9780415502306
pub: 2013-03-14
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203125168
pub: 2017-07-14
from $42.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


The publication of Performance Studies: An Introduction was a defining moment for the field. Richard Schechner's pioneering textbook provides a lively and accessible overview of the full range of performance for undergraduates at all levels and beginning graduate students in performance studies, theatre, performing arts, and cultural studies. Among the topics discussed are the performing arts and popular entertainments, rituals, play and games, and the performances of everyday life. Supporting examples and ideas are drawn from the social sciences, performing arts, poststructuralism, ritual theory, ethology, philosophy, and aesthetics.

This third edition is accompanied by an all-new companion website curated by a dedicated media editor, with the following resources for instructors and students:

  • Interactive glossary
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Powerpoint Slides.
  • Videos
  • Website links for further study
  • Tutorials on specific skills within Performance Studies
  • Sample Discussion Questions
  • Exercises and Activities
  • Sample Syllabi

The book itself has also been revised, with 25 new extracts and biographies, up-to-date coverage of global and intercultural performances, and further exploration of the growing international presence of Performance Studies as a discipline.

Performance Studies is the definitive overview for undergraduates, with primary extracts, student activities, key biographies and over 200 images of global performance.


'This ever improved 3rd edition of Performance Studies: An Introduction will facilitate Schechner’s masterful ability to bring newcomers into and through this complex, richly interdisciplinary material. With new media links, videos, and up-to-the-minute additions, the book continues to be a terrific resource for those of us leading our students to the deep well that constitutes the field.' - Jill Dolan, Annan Professor in English and Theatre, Princeton University

'This new edition is Schechner brought right up to date. As father of the field, Schechner steps into the moment with the new companion website. It's outstanding online support for the text is exactly what we need. As usual, he is a game changer.' - Anna Deveare-Smith, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU

'This textbook is excellent -- I have used it in classes repeatedly in courses on World Theatre as well as Performance Theory. This new edition and the accompanying website will deepen the classroom experience even more. The book provides a provocative guide to questions that arise when performance is approached in a global perspective. It links broad ideas to specific contexts, particular thinkers, and precise examples from theatre and performance traditions.' - Rebecca Schneider, Brown University

'This book is not only a great textbook. For me, it is a reminder that we should keep our scholarly and social life moving forward even when faced with global desperation.' - Tadashi Uchino, University of Tokyo, Japan

'This new edition with supporting web resources will add another rich dimension to this already field-defining book. Supplementary online materials will bring Schechner's theories to life in multiple ways that befit the subject of performance, providing trenchant examples of the object of study and so making learning a more performative act: performance studies as it should be studied.' - Paul Allain, University of Kent

'This isn't merely the musings of a theatre director who never stops innovating. It is a global thinker's striking, historic way of understanding human nature from a surprisingly practical perspective, which can be adapted in countless areas at numerous levels.' – Sun Huizhu, Professor of Drama, Shanghai Theatre Academy

'The text is very cleverly put together with a clear idea of how its features contribute to the reading of the material. I frankly cannot imagine it being done better.' Simon Shepherd, Central School of Speech and Drama, London

'A very effective summary of a lifetime of major creative and scholarly experiment.' – New Theatre Quarterly

Table of Contents

Preface 1. What is Performance Studies? 2. What is Performance? 3. Ritual 4. Play 5. Performativity 6. Performing 7. Performance Processes 8. Global and Intercultural Performance Appendix References Index

About the Authors/Editor

Richard Schechner is a pioneer of Performance Studies. A scholar, theatre director, editor, and playwright he is University Professor of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and Editor of TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies. He is the author of Public Domain (1969), Environmental Theater (1973), The End of Humanism (1982), Performance Theory (2003, Routledge), Between Theater and Anthropology (1985), The Future of Ritual (1993, Routledge), and Over, Under, and Around: Essays on Performance and Culture (2004). His books have been translated into French, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Serbo-Croat, German, Italian, Hungarian, Bulgarian and Polish. He is the general editor of the Worlds of Performance series published by Routledge and the co-editor of the Enactments series published by Seagull Books.

Sara Brady is Assistant Professor at Bronx Community College of the City University of New York (CUNY). She is author of Performance, Politics and the War on Terror (2012).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
DRAMA / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / History & Criticism
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / Stagecraft
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural