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Richard Schechner Day

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Nov 30, 2015
Nov 30, 2015
Segal Theatre + Elebash Recital Hall
, ,
RS celebrating his 77th birthday

Photo courtesy of the artist

Monday, November 30
9:00am Segal Theatre + 6:30pm Elebash Recital Hall
All Day Screenings, Discussions, Readings, and Panels

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

Join us for an extraordinary day at the Segal Center celebrating the work of Richard Schechner, who recently celebrated his 81st birthday. The formation of performance studies by Schechner and his colleagues at NYU created new ways to understand human behavior and the performing arts. The day will highlight Schechner as a director, scholar, trainer, and performance anthropologist. This rare presentation highlights a day-long celebration of Schechner’s work as a theatre director, teacher, theorist, writer, editor, and founder of the Performance Group and East Coast Artists. Schechner is currently a University Professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and editor of TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies. His many influential books include Performance Studies — An Introduction; Environmental Theater; Between Theater and Anthropology; Performance Theory, and the recent Performed Imaginaries (2015). Schechner is also the editor of the Enactments Series, a series published in India by Seagull Books, distributed by University of Chicago Press.

The evening will feature Schechner reading selections from his poetry and fiction, as well as entries from five-decades worth of notebooks. The evening event is presented in collaboration with Karen Sander, Public Programs, The Graduate Center, CUNY.




Documenting the 31-day ritual/theatre performance of the life of Rama
Richard Schechner in discussion with Rishika Mehrishi

A presentation of some Schechner productions. Richard Schechner in discussion with Marvin Carlson

Selections from  Schechner’s productions: Dionysus in 69 (1968), Makbeth (1969), Commune (1970), Tooth of Crime (1972), Mother Courage (1975), The Marilyn Project (1975), Cops (1978), Cherry Orchard (1983), Tomorrow He’ll Be Out of the Mountains (1989), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (1992), Oresteia (1995), Three Sisters (1997), YokastaS Redux (2005), Hamlet (2007), Swimming to Spalding (2009), Imagining O (2014)


Richard Schechner in discussion with Paula Murray Cole
Selection from Crossing the Line (2009)

Richard Schechner in discussion with Michael Taussig

Richard Schechner in discussion with Mariellen Sandford

Richard Schechner in discussion with William Worthen

Richard Schechner in discussion with Joseph Roach

6:30pm | Elebash Recital Hall
Readings and a presentation by Richard Schechner from notebooks collected for over five decades, followed by a discussion with Frank Hentschker. Co-presented with Public Programs, The Graduate Center, CUNY.


Richard Schechner, one of the founders of Performance Studies, is a performance theorist, theatre director, author, and editor. He is University Professor, and Professor of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Schechner combines his work in performance theory with innovative approaches to the broad spectrum of performance including play, ritual, theatre, dance, music, popular entertainments, sports, politics, performance in everyday life, etc. in order to understand performative behavior not just as an object of study, but also as an active artistic-intellectual practice. He founded The Performance Group, East End Players, and East Coast Artists; and co-founded the New Orleans Group. He was one of the producing directors of the Free Southern Theatre. He is editor of TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies and editor of the Enactments Series with Seagull Books, India, and of the Worlds of Performance Series with Routledge, UK. His theatre productions include Purlie Victorious, Dionysus in 69Makbeth, CommuneThe Tooth of Crime, Mother Courage and Her ChildrenThe Marilyn Project, Seneca’s OedipusCops, The Balcony, The Prometheus Project, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Faust/gastronome, Three SistersHamletThe Oresteia, YokastaS ReduxWaiting for Godot, Swimming  to Spalding, and Imagining O. His books include Public Domain, Environmental TheatrePerformance TheoryThe Future of RitualBetween Theater and Anthropology, Over, Under, and Around, Performance Studies: An Introduction, and Performed Imaginaries. His books have been translated into 17 languages and his numerous essays into many languages. The Richard Schechner Center at the Shanghai Theatre Academy publishes TDR/China and sponsors publications and programs in China. His theatre work has been seen in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. He has directed performance workshops and lectured on every continent except Antarctica. Schechner has been awarded numerous fellowships and grants including Guggenheim,
NEH, NEA, NYSCA, ACLS, Leverhulme Trust, Erasmus Mundus, Dartmouth, Cornell, Yale, Princeton, and the Central School of Speech and Drama, London. Among his honors are Lifetime Achievement Awards from PSi and ATHE, the Thalia Prize of IATC, and the Odznake Honorowa from Poand. Schechner’s papers, and the papers of TDR, are archived and available for research at the Firestone Library, Princeton University.

364Marvin Carlson is the Sidney E. Cohn Professor of Theatre, Comparative Literature, and Middle Eastern Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His research and teaching interests include dramatic theory and Western European theatre history and dramatic literature, especially of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. He has been awarded the ATHE Career Achievement Award, the George Jean Nathan Prize, the Barnard Hewitt Award, the George Freedley Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has been a Walker-Ames Professor at the University of Washington, a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Indiana University, a Visiting Professor at the Freie Universitat of Berlin, and a Fellow of the American Theatre. In 2005 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Athens. His best-known book, Theories of the Theatre (Cornell University Press, 1984), has been translated into seven languages. His 2001 book, The Haunted Stage won the Callaway Prize. His newest book is Four Arab Hamlet Plays (Martin E. Segal Center Publications 2015).

Paula Murray Cole Bio PicPaula Murray Cole is an associate professor of acting, voice and movement in the Department of Theatre Arts at Ithaca College. Her professional work is centered on the development of rasaboxes, a suite of exercises devised by Richard Schechner. Based on a combination of performance theories and practices, as well as contemporary emotion science, rasaboxes trains emotional awareness and expressivity through the use of breath, body, voice, and sensation. Cole acted in Schechner’s productions of Three Sisters and Hamlet with East Coast Artists. She has taught rasaboxes performance workshops at Ithaca College, NYU, Brown, Cornell, UC Berkeley, UT at Knoxville, CWU, The Dell’ Arte International School of Physical Theatre, among others. Cole has presented rasaboxes at conferences in the US, Canada, Turkey, Singapore, China, Israel and Poland. She co-authored The Actor As Athlete of the Emotions: The Rasaboxes Exercise with rasaboxes co-developer, Michele Minnick, published in Movement For Actors and contributed a sidebar article to the essay “Rasaesthetics,” by Richard Schechner. In 2009, Cole produced the first documentary video recording of Schechner teaching his intensive performance workshop, Crossing the Line: Inside Richard Schechner’s Performance Workshop. Over 100 hours of footage will become a digital archive so that scholars and practitioners may see Schechner’s exercises as he presented them in 2009. For more information, please visit www.rasaboxes.org

Joseph RoachJoseph Roach, Sterling Professor of Theater at Yale, is a theater historian and stage director.  His publications include The Player’s Passion (1985), Cities of the Dead:  Circum-Atlantic Performance (1996), and It (2007).  He is the editor of Changing the Subject:  Marvin Carlson and Theater Studies (2009) and, with Clark Lunberry, The Very Thought of Herbert Blau (forthcoming).


Mariellen SandfordMariellen R. Sandford has collaborated with Richard Schechner as Associate Editor of TDR since 1985. As a freelance editor she has worked on numerous books in the field of performance studies. She is co-editor with T. Nikki Cesar of the TDR issue on new theatre ensembles in (mostly) New York, editor of Happenings and Other Acts, and contributed an essay to The Rise of Performance Studies edited by Cindy Rosenthal and James Harding.

 Michael TaussigMichael Taussig was ship’s doctor who switched to anthropology via Colombia, Sth America where he lived with people losing their land to sugar plantations, studied shamanism in the Upper Amazon, and went to write books on commodity fetishism, shamanism, the Nervously Nervous Nervous System, Mimesis and Alterity, Secrecy, Defacement, The Magic of the State, gold and cocaine, law in a lawless land, beauty and the beast; as well as creating two pieces of theater; one on the sun in the age of meltdown, the other on the transformation of the sea.

William WorthenWilliam B. Worthen is Alice Brady Pels Professor in the Arts and Chair of the Department of Theatre at Barnard College, Columbia University, and Professor of Theatre and of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia. He is the author of many books, most recently Drama: Between Poetry and Performance (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010) and Shakespeare Performance Studies (Cambridge, 2014), and of articles on an array of subjects in drama and performance studies. He is a past editor of Theatre Journal and of Modern Drama, and editor of the widely-used Wadsworth Anthology of Drama, in addition to several scholarly collections. Professor Worthen has held research fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and from the Freie Universität, Berlin, and is currently working on technicities of contemporary theatrical performance.

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