Theatre and the Macabre (Horror Studies) (Paperback)

Theatre and the Macabre (Horror Studies) By Meredith Conti  (Editor), Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr. (Editor) Cover Image

Theatre and the Macabre (Horror Studies) (Paperback)


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A selection of essays by scholars from around the world on the macabre in theater and performance.
This book brings together a number of essays on the macabre in the theater and in performance. A dozen scholars from all over the world explore instances of the macabre being performed, from theatrical apparitions and severed heads on stage to dark tourism and dwelling upon the assassination of President Lincoln in Ford’s Theatre, from sideshows to Halloween haunts. Why, they ask, have audiences long been drawn to artificial images of death, pain, and violence, when they would be repulsed by the real thing? Offering an in-depth examination of the appeal of the macabre, the contributors invite us to look at its prominence in the history of theater anew.
Meredith Conti is associate professor of theatre at the University at Buffalo, SUNY.

Kevin J. Wetmore is professor and chair of theatre arts at Loyola Marymount University.
Product Details ISBN: 9781786838452
ISBN-10: 1786838451
Publisher: University of Wales Press
Publication Date: June 21st, 2022
Pages: 288
Series: Horror Studies
"Horror onstage is too often considered a mere curiosity, rarely worthy of serious critical consideration. By presenting a wide range of pieces that incorporate history and region, as well as exploring those extraordinary places where literature, theatre, folklore and pop culture meet, Theatre and the Macabre succeeds in proving that the study of theatrical horror is tremendously valuable."
— Lisa Morton, author of Calling the Spirits: A History of Seances

"Theatre and the Macabre is a must-read book for academics, history buffs, theatre professionals and students of the macabre. The range of subjects covered and depths to which they are explored, literally from head to footlights, make this book an invaluable addition to any library."
— Teel James Glenn, actor, director, fight choreographer and novelist

"Meredith Conti and Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr. have choreographed a fascinating collection on the macabre and the theatre. More than that, its delineation of the liminal nature of performance, witnessing and participation reveal the centrality of death to the ongoing dance of life."
— Simon Bacon, author and editor of Gothic: A Reader, and Horror: A Companion

"Skulls, ghosts, severed heads. . . . This is a book steeped in gruesome and creepy manifestations. The essays gathered together address the ethics and politics of macabre spectacles—from Grand Guignol to twenty-first-century immersive experiences—as well as the potentially lucrative exploitation of our fascination with the body’s perturbing vulnerabilities. It is this joint concern that gets right to the bleeding heart of macabre theaters."
— Dr. Adam Alston, Goldsmiths, University of London