Performing Religion on the Secular Stage  book cover
1st Edition

Performing Religion on the Secular Stage

  • Available for pre-order on May 19, 2023. Item will ship after June 9, 2023
ISBN 9780367487522
June 9, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
168 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

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USD $170.00

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Book Description

This book examines the relations between Western religion, secularism, and modern theatre and performance.

Sharon Aronson-Lehavi posits that the ongoing cultural power of religious texts, icons, and ideas on the one hand and the artistic freedom enabled by secularism and avant-garde experimentalism on the other, has led theatre artists throughout the twentieth century to create a uniquely modern theatrical hybrid – theatre performances that simultaneously re-inscribe and grapple with religion and religious performativity. The book compares this phenomenon with medieval forms of religious theatre and offers deep and original analyses of significant contemporary works ranging from plays and performances by August Strindberg, Hugo Ball (Dada), Jerzy Grotowski, and Hanoch Levin, to those created by Adrienne Kennedy, Rina Yerushalmi, Deb Margolin, Milo Rau, and Sarah Ruhl.

The book analyses a new and original historiography of a uniquely modern theatrical phenomenon, a study that is of high importance considering the reemergence of religion in contemporary culture and politics.

Table of Contents

List of Figures



Chapter 1: Modern Scriptural Theatre and the Performativity of Anachronism

Chapter 2: "Who shall be Christ?" From Sacrificial Figure to Social Victim

Chapter 3: Encountering Absence in the Theatre


Appendix: English Translation of Hugo Ball, A Nativity Play. Bruitist




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Sharon Aronson-Lehavi is a faculty member and former Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts at Tel Aviv University, Israel.