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Playing Is Not Pretending
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Musicology and Performance Studies, Musicology and Performance Studies.
2014 (English)In: Playing Culture: Conventions and Extensions of Performance / [ed] V. A. Cremona, R. Hoogland, G. Morries, W. Sauter, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2014, 63-82 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

As the title of this chapter indicates, the issues raised here concern the kinds of pretence that are thought to characterize playing and acting. Contrary to Michael Kirby's statement that 'to act means to feign', I will show that an actor neither can, nor wants, to pretend anything on stage. Fiction is not provided on stage but is established in the communicative act between Agent (A) and Beholder (B). Critically analyzing two texts by Bertolt Brecht on non-theatrical playing, I will argue that a number of circumstances have to be taken into consideration. The process of performing is theoretically and empirically seen as a form of playing, which allows for the distinction and communicative specification of various agents in their relation to equally specific forms of beholding. Each relationship in the public sphere between A and B constitutes a public event. This chapter searches for common ground amongst multifarious manifestations of playful behaviour, beyond various aesthetic forms and irrespective of more or less useful functions. In conclusion, playing is described as a reality-related experience: playing is always related to an event and events are never pretended.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2014. 63-82 p.
, Themes in Theatre. Collective Approaches to Theatre and Performance, ISSN 1871-8736 ; 8
Keyword [en]
Brecht, Kirby, performing, playful, event
National Category
Performing Arts
Research subject
Theatre Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-99579ISBN: 978-90-420-3790-8ISBN: 978-94-012-1039-3OAI: diva2:687264
IFTR/FIRT Theatrical Event Working Group
Available from: 2014-01-13 Created: 2014-01-13 Last updated: 2015-02-26Bibliographically approved

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