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Experimental Shakespeare

A Novel Reading of His Play-Scripts

Eli Rozik is Ph.D. and professor emeritus of theatre studies. He was twice head of the Department of Theatre Studies and Dean of the Faculty of the Arts at Tel Aviv University. He specializes in theatre theory, particularly in non-verbal communication in performance analysis; and has published numerous articles in international leading journals in Europe and the US. His books include The Language of Theatre; The Roots of Theatre – Rethinking Ritual and Other Theories of Origin; Metaphoric Thinking; Generating Theatre Meaning; Fictional Thinking; Comedy: A Critical Introduction; Theatre Sciences: A Plea for a Multidisciplinary Approach to Theatre Studies; and Future Theatre Research.


Shakespeare’s playwrighting and possibly his directing reflect a consistent intent to explore principles that, in his days, were perceived as foreign to the dramatic idiom. This is evident within the framework of contemporary theatre theories at the time. Eli Rozik’s novel reading of the play-scripts provides the classical and synchronic theoretical background required to capture Shakespeare's innovative approach, and is a major contribution to the history of European theatre practice and theory.

All of Rozik’s earlier publications on theatre practice and theory engage with Shakespeare’s play-scripts by example and these insights are re-integrated herein. The result is a new and challenging concept of Shakespeare's contribution to the art of theatre, and to a viewpoint of the Bard as an unprecedented experimental playwright and innovator in all that concerns the mastery of theatre art and, especially, the expansion of its means of expression. The central concern of this study is not the experimentation by modernist and postmodernist directors in producing Shakespeare's play-scripts for diachronic audiences, but with the exploration, experimentation and innovation embodied in the Bard's practice itself, as reflected in the wide artistic and historical range of the play-scripts.

Drama and theatre scholarship, with its concomitant comprehensive method of analysis, is indispensable in revealing the nature of the Bard’s playwrighting, his historical explorations and theatrical innovations. Rozik's earlier works on the nature of theatre, fictional creativity and origin, best place him to interpret Shakespeare’s works against their synchronic theoretical background in the light that ‘experimentation’ lay at the heart of Shakespeare's creativity.


Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-827-5
Hardback Price: £60.00 / $74.95
Release Date: November 2016
   
Page Extent / Format: 300 pp. / 234 x 156 mm
Illustrated: No
   

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This book is not about experimentation by modernist directors producing plays for modernist audiences, says Rozik, but about Shakespeare’s own exploration, experimentation, and innovation as embodied in his play scripts. He draws from insights he has already published and from new ones that amount to a new concept of Shakespeare’s contribution to the art of theater, and to a view of the Bard as an unprecedented experimental playwright and innovator in all that concerns the mastery of theater art, especially in the expansion of its means of expression.
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