The field of performance studies casts a wide net, incorporating the study of expressive culture in many forms, from ritual and play to politics and theatre—always with a special focus on performance as the object of analysis. This collection considers the relationship between two kinds of performance: theatre and sport. The two fields share attributes, including physical training and preparation; the idea of a "virtuoso performance"; the drawing in of the audience to fully achieve the performer's goal; and the increasing "democratization" of performance in the emergence of local, organized sports teams and the alternative theatre movement.
We seek essays that explore the ties between sport and theatre in many variations, from the theatricality of sport to the athleticism of theatre.
Topics may include but are not limited to:
METAPHOR: Sport as metaphor in/for theatre.
SPACE: Theatres and stadia are performance spaces that have overlapping histories, conflicts, and continued shared uses.
PLAY: Sport is play. The 'play' can have a 'script' written by a playwright or a coach. Particular games, once played through improvisation on the field, become playscripts in the memory of sport fandom.
PERFORMERS: Athletes, like actors, train the body and mind in preparation to perform on the field and on the stage.
REPRESENTATION: Sport 'in' Theatre: where and how does sport (and its surrounding issues of gender, fan culture, nationalism, and politics) appear on the stage?
THEATRICALITY: From the overt theatricality of professional wrestling to the performance of nationalism in the Olympic stadium to the postcolonial drama played out on the cricket ground between the former colonizer and colonized.
IDENTITIES: Making identities through the performance of sport on the local, regional, national, and transnational level.
GENDER: How does sport rely on performance to reinforce hegemonic conceptions of gender?
ATHLETICISM: Sport and physical theatre (from Grotowski to Goat Island); sport and actor training (from the Constructivists to Meyerhold to Suzuki and Anne Bogart)
THEATRE SPORTS/THEATRE GAMES: Competitive improvisation: using a 'sport' model to create theatre. Games or gaming: the importance of games in the theatre and the relationship of those games to the theatrical act.
LANGUAGE: The use of sports language in the theatre/theatrical language in sports.
AUDIENCES AND SPECTATORS: The relationship or overlap of audiences in sports and theatre: sport fans/theatre fans. Roles for the spectator: how, when, and where do fans perform?
GLOBAL: ‘World’ or ‘international’ theatrical styles and the global sporting stages of the Olympics and the World Cup.
Abstracts of 250-500 words or completed drafts of previously unpublished essays should be sent in .doc OR .rtf format to Sara Brady (email@example.com) and Christie Fox (firstname.lastname@example.org) by October 1, 2007. All abstract acceptances will be conditional upon acceptance of the completed essay; all will be edited by two editors. Essays accepted into the collection will be due no later than Jan. 15, 2008; word count should be between 3000 and 5000 words.
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