< Back to previous page


Text Theatricality. An integrated approach based on rhetorical narratology and performance analysis (3G0B0212)

The present proposal takes its cue from the increasing trend to adapt novels to the theatrical

stage and from other innovative performance practices (reading performances, installations,

social immersion projects). The project aims to study the intersection between narrative and

drama both from a theoretical point of view and in contemporary performance practices.

Selected case studies from 20th and 21st century German and Austrian literature and

performance will be described in terms of their text theatricality. Text theatricality implies that

the textual material already develops and gestures at a theatricality in its own right which the

scenic performance retains by way of an unresolved (e.g. intermedial) tension and through

emergent narrativity. Text theatricality ranges from the usage of (self)narrators, choric figures

and stage managers, over marked shifts between showing and telling, to the (actual or

suggested) presence of a script altering and constraining the performance. The methodological

outlook of the project is a combined one: rhetorical narratology facilitates the analysis of how

narratorial strategies open up a discourse space inhabited by both actors and spectators;

performance analysis enables us to show how narratorial strategies are transferred into scenic,

acoustic and audio-visual cues. The methodology will be applied to corpus texts by Kraus,

Musil, Jelinek and Pollesch and their adaptations. The planned outcome envisages [1] an

innovative, interdisciplinary account of emergent narrativity in performance practices [2] a

better insight into the types and functions of text theatricality. The research questions are

related to narrative theory and to Theatre and Performance Studies in the area of postdramatic


Date:1 Jan 2012  →  31 Dec 2017
Keywords:Text Theatricality
Disciplines:Theatre and performance