Theatre, Performance, Avant Garde Glossary

Topics: Performance art, Alfred Jarry, Performance Pages: 2 (604 words) Published: January 31, 2011
Performance
It is very difficult to define the word performance, many would argue that performance is merely actors performing on a stage, however I feel that everything we do within life can be examined as performance. As we grow up we learn how to do things in a certain way. If we take the activity of cooking, we each cook in order to survive. However we did not just wake up one day being able to cook. It took months or even years of practice, watching our parents cook, reading cook books etc. When we are able to cook well, we begin to make our own rituals. We will start to cook a meal in the same way each time we prepare it. Richard Schechner would consider this to be a restored behaviour. ‘Restored behaviour: physical, verbal, ... not be aware that she is performing a strip of restored behaviour.’ (Schechner 2006 [2002]: 29) In my opinion if we are constantly repeating rehearsed scenes in our lives, we are essentially performing. Theatre

The term theatre is to present a form dramatic text; in order to entertain or educate an audience. However as stated in the Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance, ‘In many dictionaries, the first definition listed is the building, undoubtedly the most straightforward aspect of it’. (Allain, Paul and Jen Harvie 2006:208) I do not agree however that the word theatre is defined by a building or feel that theatre needs to necessarily take place within a traditional theatre space. A piece of theatre can take place anywhere at any time, as long as its function is to entertain, educate or even evoke a physical response from the audience then it is theatre. Allain and Harvey state ‘Groups like America’s living Theatre and Bread and Puppet Theatre have found theatre buildings limiting, restricted by the formal arrangement of the auditoria’. I am under the impression that if a piece of theatre is constructed well enough, it should be able to be performed anywhere and still deliver its message or key focus. Avant Garde...
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