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Passionate Amateurs By Nicholas Ridout

Passionate Amateurs
by Nicholas Ridout

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A rich, historically grounded exploration of why theater and performance matter in the modern world

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Passionate Amateurs Summary

Passionate Amateurs: Theatre, Communism, and Love by Nicholas Ridout

Passionate Amateurs tells a new story about modern theatre: the story of a romantic attachment to theatre's potential to produce surprising experiences of human community. It begins with one of the first great plays of modern European theatre-Chekhov's Uncle Vanya in Moscow-and then crosses the 20th and 21st centuries to look at how its story plays out in Weimar Republic Berlin, in the Paris of the 1960s, and in a spectrum of contemporary performance in Europe and the United States. This is a work of historical materialist theatre scholarship, which combines a materialism grounded in a socialist tradition of cultural studies with some of the insights developed in recent years by theorists of affect, and addresses some fundamental questions about the social function and political potential of theatre within modern capitalism. Passionate Amateurs argues that theatre in modern capitalism can help us think afresh about notions of work, time, and freedom. Its title concept is a theoretical and historical figure, someone whose work in theatre is undertaken within capitalism, but motivated by a love that desires something different. In addition to its theoretical originality, it offers a significant new reading of a major Chekhov play, the most sustained scholarly engagement to date with Benjamin's "Program for a Proletarian Children's Theatre," the first major consideration of Godard's La chinoise as a "theatrical" work, and the first chapter-length discussion of the work of The Nature Theatre of Oklahoma, an American company rapidly gaining a profile in the European theatre scene.

Passionate Amateurs contributes to the development of theatre and performance studies in a way that moves beyond debates over the differences between theatre and performance in order to tell a powerful, historically grounded story about what theatre and performance are for in the modern world.

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Passionate Amateurs Reviews

"[Ridout] deftly moves among several wide and disparate examples of contemporary theater practice in his quest to locate this being he identifies as the 'passionate amateur.' ... This is a stimulating and useful book."
--Choice--J.C. Jaffe "Choice "
"Passionate Amateurs is a quietly but defiantly political work which looks towards a better future, which asks more of theatre than we generally experience in contemporary culture."
--A Younger Theatre--Dan Hutton "A Younger Theatre "

About Nicholas Ridout

Nicholas Ridout is Reader in Theatre and Performance Studies, Department of Drama, Queen Mary, University of London, UK.

Additional information

Passionate Amateurs: Theatre, Communism, and Love by Nicholas Ridout
Nicholas Ridout
Theater: Theory/Text/Performance
Used - Very Good
The University of Michigan Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.