The Provocation of the Senses in Contemporary Theatre: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Provocation of the Senses in Contemporary Theatre

1st Edition

By Stephen Di Benedetto


252 pages

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pub: 2011-10-06
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Di Benedetto considers theatrical practice through the lens of contemporary neuroscientific discoveries in this provoking study, which lays the foundation for considering the physiological basis of the power of theatre practice to affect human behavior. He presents a basic summary of the ways that the senses function in relation to cognitive science and physiology, offering an overview of dominant trends of discussion on the realm of the senses in performance. Also presented are examples of how those ideas are illustrated in recent theatrical presentations, and how the different senses form the structure of a theatrical event. Di Benedetto concludes by suggesting the possible implications these neuroscientific ideas have upon our understanding of theatrical composition, audience response, and the generation of meaning.

Table of Contents

Preface: Why Contemporary Performance Can Provoke the Senses Acknowledgments 1: Our Sensing Bodies: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Understanding Live Theatrical Experience 2: Scintillating Visions and Visual Perception: How Light, Movement and Stage Space Capture Our Attention and Stimulate Our Brains 3: Attendant to Touch: Cutaneous Stimulation and its Expressive Capabilities 4: Noses, Tongues and Other Surprising Possibilities: Harnessing Olfaction and Gustation in Performance 5: Aural Landscapes: Voices, Noises, Vibrations and Other Quivering Stimulators of Cochlear Perception 6: The Sentient Body: Guiding Somatic Responses Within Performative Structures Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author


Stephen Anthony Di Benedetto

Coral Gables, FL - Florida, United States of America

Learn more about Stephen Anthony Di Benedetto >>

Stephen Di Benedetto is an Assistant Professor of Theatre History and Theory at the University of Miami, and is the Book Review Editor (North America) for Theatre Research International.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering theatre and performance alongside topics such as religion, politics, gender, race, ecology, and the avant-garde, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / Stagecraft
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology