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Performing Arts General

World stages, local audiences

Essays on performance, place and politics

by (author) Peter Dickinson

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
May 2010
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2010
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World Stages, local audiences argues that the forms of intimacy and identification that come from being part of the public of a local performance, provide a potential model for rethinking our roles as world citizens. Using his own experience of recent theatrical practice in Vancouver as a starting point, Dickinson maps the spaces of connection and contestation, the flows of sentiment and social responsibility, produced by different communities in response to global sports spectacles. He also analyses how such topics are taken up in the work of playwrights, conceptual, installation, and performance artists like Ai Weiwei, and Rebecca Belmore. In so doing, Dickinson makes an original contribution to the emerging discourse on live art and "livability" by examining not only the geographical and historical affiliations between different sites of performance, but also the - at times - radical new social bonds created by audiences witness to those performances.

About the author

Peter Dickinson is a professor at Simon Fraser University, where he holds a joint appointment in the School for the Contemporary Arts and the Department of English. He is also Director of SFU’s Institute for Performance Studies and Associate Member of the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. Peter has published extensively on queer Canadian theatre and performance and his produced plays include The Objecthood of Chairs and Long Division.

Peter Dickinson's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Wide in scope and roving in style, World Stages, Local Audiences offers readers a rich investigation of the complex and shifting relationships among performance, place, and audience... [The book] ... outlines an ambitious project that ultimately raises important philosophical questions about the situatedness of meaning, opening up new avenues for future research and discussion"

"a divertingly diverse monograph....its four chapters present analyses of a select set of performative/ performance examples that attempt to cross the high wire between 'think global' and 'act local'. For a project of elevated ambitions, this discursive amplitude ... take[s] focused daring to especially encompassing heights"

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