1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Theatre, Performance and Cognitive Science

ISBN 9781138048898
Published September 10, 2018 by Routledge
386 Pages

USD $250.00

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Book Description

The Routledge Companion to Theatre, Performance and Cognitive Science integrates key findings from the cognitive sciences (cognitive psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary studies and relevant social sciences) with insights from theatre and performance studies. This rapidly expanding interdisciplinary field dynamically advances critical and theoretical knowledge, as well as driving innovation in practice. The anthology includes 30 specially commissioned chapters, many written by authors who have been at the cutting-edge of research and practice in the field over the last 15 years. These authors offer many empirical answers to four significant questions:

  • How can performances in theatre, dance and other media achieve more emotional and social impact?
  • How can we become more adept teachers and learners of performance both within and outside of classrooms? 
  • What can the cognitive sciences reveal about the nature of drama and human nature in general? 
  • How can knowledge transfer, from a synthesis of science and performance, assist professionals such as nurses, care-givers, therapists and emergency workers in their jobs?

A wide-ranging and authoritative guide, The Routledge Companion to Theatre, Performance and Cognitive Science is an accessible tool for not only students, but practitioners and researchers in the arts and sciences as well.

Table of Contents

General Introduction

Bruce McConachie


Part I: Artistry


Rick Kemp

  1. Stanislavsky’s prescience: The conscious self in the system and Active Analysis
  2. as a theory of mind

    Sharon Marie Carnicke

  3. The improviser’s lazy brain: improvisation and cognition
  4. Gunter Lösel

  5. Devising – embodied creation in distributed systems
  6. Rick Kemp

  7. Embodied cognition and Shakespearean performance
  8. Darren Tunstall

  9. The remains of ancient action: Understanding affect and empathy in Greek drama
  10. Peter Meineck

  11. Minding implicit constraints in dance improvisation
  12. Pil Hansen

  13. Applying developmental epistemic cognition to theatre for young audiences
  14. Jeanne Klein

  15. 4E cognition for directing: Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and Caryl Churchill’s
  16. Light Shining in Buckinghamshire

    Rhonda Blair

  17. Acting and Emotion
  18. Vladimir Mirodan


    Part II: Learning


    Bruce McConachie

  19. Improvising communication in Pleistocene performances
  20. Bruce McConachie

  21. Ritual transformation and transmission
  22. David Mason

  23. Communities of gesture: Empathy and embodiment in Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane
  24. Dance Company’s 100 Migrations

    Ariel Nereson

  25. Creative storytelling, crossing boundaries, high-impact learning and
  26. social engagement

    Nancy Kindelan

  27. From banana phones to the bard: The developmental psychology of acting
  28. Thalia R. Goldstein

  29. 'I'm giving everybody notes using his body': Framing actors’ observation of performance
  30. Claire Syler

  31. Acting technique, Jacques Lecoq, and embodied meaning
  32. Rick Kemp


    Part III: Scholarship


    Bruce McConachie

  33. Systems theory, enaction and performing arts
  34. Gabriele Sofia

  35. Watching movement: Phenomenology, cognition, performance
  36. Stanton B. Garner, Jr.

  37. Attention to theatrical performances
  38. James Hamilton

  39. Emergence, meaning and presence: An interdisciplinary approach to a disciplinary question
  40. Amy Cook

  41. Relishing performance: Rasa as participatory sense-making
  42. Erin B. Mee

  43. The self, ethics, agency and tragedy
  44. David Palmer

  45. Aesthetics and the sensible
  46. John Lutterbie

  47. Talk this dance: On the conceptualization of dance as fictive conversation
  48. Ana Margarida Abrantes and Esther Pascual

  49. Distributed cognition: Studying theatre in the wild
  50. Evelyn Tribble and Robin Dixon


    Part IV: Translational Applications


    Rick Kemp

  51. A theatrical intervention to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of
  52. dementia

    Tony and Helga Noice

  53. The Performance of Caring: Theatre, empathetic communication and healthcare
  54. Rick Kemp and Rachel DeSoto-Jackson

  55. Awareness performing: Practice and protocol
  56. Experience Bryon

  57. Imagining the ecologies of autism
  58. Melissa Trimingham and Nicola Shaughnessy

  59. Toward consilience: Integrating performance history with the coevolution
  60. of our species

    Bruce McConachie

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Rick Kemp is Professor of Theatre and Head of Acting and Directing at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA. An actor, director and Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar on Neuroscience and Art, his publications include Embodied Acting: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Performance (2012) and The Routledge Companion to Jacques Lecoq (2016).

Bruce McConachie, Emeritus Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, USA, has published widely in theatre history and cognitive studies. His scholarship includes Engaging Audiences (2008), Evolution, Cognition, and Performance (2015), and chapters in Theatre Histories: An Introduction (3rd edition, 2016). A former president of the American Society for Theatre Research, McConachie also acts and directs.