Affective Performance and Cognitive Science

edited by Nicola Shaughnessy

DOI: 10.5040/9781408183793

ISBN: 9781408185773

This book explores new developments in the dialogues between science and theatre and offers an introduction to a fast-expanding area of research and practice.The cognitive revolution in the humanities is creating new insights into the audience experience, performance processes and training. Scientists are collaborating with artists to investigate how our brains and bodies engage with performance to create new understanding of perception, emotion, imagination and empathy. Divided into four parts, each introduced by an expert editorial from leading researchers in the field, this edited volume offers readers an understanding of some of the main areas of collaboration and research:

1. Dances with Science

2. Touching Texts and Embodied Performance

3. The Multimodal Actor

4. Affecting Audiences

Throughout its history theatre has provided exciting and accessible stagings of science, while contemporary practitioners are increasingly working with scientific and medical material. As Honour Bayes reported in the Guardian in 2011, the relationships between theatre, science and performance are 'exciting, explosive and unexpected'. Affective Performance and Cognitive Science charts new directions in the relations between disciplines, exploring how science and theatre can impact upon each other with reference to training, drama texts, performance and spectatorship.

The book assesses the current state of play in this interdisciplinary field, facilitating cross disciplinary exchange and preparing the way for future studies.

'A deft exploration of the kind of cross-disciplinary work that promises to contribute to a fundamental shift in the way we think about performance. … Shaughnessy illuminates the complex and fruitful space created by challenging binary separations of art and science, then she invites us to dance across it too.' Theatre Journal