1st Edition

Physical Theatres: A Critical Reader

Edited By John Keefe, Simon Murray Copyright 2008
    320 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    320 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Physical Theatres: A Critical Reader is an invaluable resource for students of physically orientated theatre and performance. This book aims to trace the roots and development of physicality in theatre by combining practical experience of the field with a strong historical and theoretical underpinning.

    In exploring the histories, cross-overs and intersections of physical theatres, this critical Reader provides:

    • six new, specially commissioned essays, covering each of the book’s main themes, from technical traditions to contemporary practises
    • discussion of issues such as the foregrounding of the body, training and performance processes, and the origins of theatre in both play and human cognition
    • a focus on the relationship and tensions between the verbal and the physical in theatre
    • contributions from Augusto Boal, Stephen Berkoff, Étienne Decroux, Bertolt Brecht, David George, J-J. Rousseau, Ana Sanchez Colberg, Michael Chekhov, Jeff Nuttall, Jacques Lecoq, Yoshi Oida, Mike Pearson, and Aristotle.

    1. Introductory and Contextual Section – Physical Theatres: Genesis, Terminology & Realisation  2. Roots or Routes: The Technical Traditions of Contemporary Physical Theatres?  3. Contemporary Practices  4. Physical Theatres: Regimes of Training and Preparation  5. Physicality in Text-Based Theatre  6. Cross-Cultural and Global Bodies


    John Keefe is a Senior Lecturer in Drama, Theatre, Performance and Film at the London Metropolitan University.

    Dr Simon Murray is Director of Theatre at Dartington College of Arts, Totnes.  He is author of Jacques Lecoq in the Routledge Performance Practioners series (2003).