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Description - Ghosts by Alice Rayner

This work presents a new view of how the stage is home to ghosts. Making spirits visible has been a part of the theatrical experience since at least the sixteenth century. Instead of illusions, however, ghostly doubles in theatre are materially real and pervasive. In "Ghosts", Alice Rayner examines theatre as a memorial practice that is haunted by the presence of loss, looking at how aspects of stage-craft turn familiar elements into something uncanny. Citing examples from the works of Shakespeare, Beckett, and Suzan-Lori Parks as well as the films "Vertigo", "Gaslight", and "The Sixth Sense", she begins by describing time as it is employed by theatre with multiple aspects of presence, duration, and passage. Suggesting that objects connect past to present through the sense of touch, she explores how props are suspended backstage between motion and meaning. Her final chapters consider the curtain as theatre's means for attempting to divide real and imaginary worlds. If ghosts hover where secrets - secrets of the past, secrets from one-self, secrets of life and death - are kept, then, according to Rayner, "theatre is where ghosts best make their appearances and let communities and individuals know that we live amid secrets hiding in plain sight."

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780816645442
ISBN-10: 0816645442
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 150mm x 18mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: University of Minnesota Press
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publish Date: 22-May-2006
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Alice Rayner

Alice Rayner is associate professor of drama at Stanford University and author of, most recently, To Act, To Do, To Perform: Drama and the Phenomenology of Action.

Books By Alice Rayner

Ghosts by Alice Rayner
Paperback, May 2006
$40.46