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Method Acting and Its Discontents

On American Psycho-Drama

Shonni Enelow (author)

ISBN: 9780810131408

Publication Date: Jul 2015

Format: Hardback

Also available as: Paperback  

Argues that Method acting’s positing of a fundamentally porous self was a source of deep anxiety in a culture focused on containment, an anxiety that left lasting traces on American drama and performance. Shonni Enelow places Method acting alongside developments in psychology and psychoanalysis, philosophy, and the politics of American, demonstrating that the subversive possibilities of the Method are inseparable from its failures.
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In Method Acting and Its Discontents, Shonni Enelow provocatively argues that Method acting’s positing of a fundamentally porous self was a source of deep anxiety in a culture focused on containment, an anxiety that left lasting traces on American drama and performance. In case studies of plays by Tennessee Williams and James Baldwin and a film by William Greaves, Enelow places Method acting alongside developments in psychology and psychoanalysis, philosophy, and the politics of American identity during the civil rights movement, demonstrating that the subversive possibilities of the Method are inseparable from its failures. Enelow’s book, the first of its kind, is an exciting affirmation of how performance studies can yield insights into the larger culture.
Pages 168
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 9 Jul 2015
Publisher Northwestern University Press
Subject/s Acting techniques  
Shonni Enelow is an assistant professor of English at Fordham University, USA. She is the author, with Una Chaudhuri, of Research Theatre, Climate Change, and the Ecocide Project. She also writes for the theater.

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