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Local Acts: Community-Based Performance in the United States (Rutgers Series on the Public Life of the Arts)


Local Acts: Community-Based Performance in the United States (Rutgers Series on the Public Life of the Arts) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An eclectic mix of art, theatre, dance, politics, experimentation, and ritual, community-based performance has become an increasingly popular art movement in the United States. Forged by the collaborative efforts of professional artists and local residents, this unique field brings performance together with a range of political, cultural, and social projects, such as community-organizing, cultural self-representation, and education. Local Acts presents a long-overdue survey of community-based performance from its early roots, through its flourishing during the politically-turbulent 1960s, to present-day popular culture. Drawing on nine case studies, including groups such as the African American Junebug Productions, the Appalachian Roadside Theater, and the Puerto Rican Teatro Pregones, Jan Cohen-Cruz provides detailed descriptions of performances and processes, first-person stories, and analysis. She shows how the ritual side of these endeavors reinforces a sense of community identification while the aesthetic side enables local residents to transgress cultural norms, to question group habits, and to incorporate a level of craft that makes the work accessible to individuals beyond any one community. The book concludes by exploring how community-based performance transcends even national boundaries, connecting the local United States with international theater and cultural movements.

Book News Annotation:

Cohen-Cruz (drama, New York U.) seeks to capture the spirit and materiality of community-based performance in the US, discussing some markers of the past, principles and purposes in the present, and aesthetic diversity, primarily in the generation of practitioners who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s. Performance, she says, includes not only theater, but also music, dance, and other heightened behavior intended for public viewing. The common features of the 16 examples she describes are collaborating with people whose lives inform the subject matter and expressing collective meaning.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

Community-Based Performance in the United States
Cohen-cruz, Jan
Cohen-Cruz, Jan
Rutgers University Press
United states
Theater - Stagecraft
Theater - History & Criticism
Theater and society
Theater and society -- United States.
Community theater -- United States.
General Performing Arts
Drama -- History and criticism.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Rutgers Series - The Public Life of the Arts
Publication Date:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
9 x 6 in 0.82 oz

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Performance Art
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » General
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Production » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine

Local Acts: Community-Based Performance in the United States (Rutgers Series on the Public Life of the Arts) New Trade Paper
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Product details 232 pages Rutgers University Press - English 9780813535500 Reviews:
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