During late October, the Philosophy and Theater Group (Carlos Franke, Philip Cherny and Daniel Cole) wrapped up a month and a half long study of Victor Turner's From Ritual to Theatre: The Human Seriousness of Play. For anyone out there who may have listened to our Schechner or Artaud discussions, this one tops off many of the themes and issues we explored in those. PEL Citizens can find all of these on the Free Stuff for Citizens page, and if you aren't a member yet, take a look at some of the perks of membership.
Victor Turner was a true inter-disciplinarian, and this book draws from his own work in anthropology, as well as philosophy, drama and sociology. Like Richard Schechner, Turner believed that acting out the rituals of other cultures provides a rich, sympathetic connection to them that can't be accessed from detached observation or the perusal of data. Like Erving Goffman, Turner saw drama and ritual all over the place in developed societies, with plenty of parallels to the tribal cultures he'd studied in Africa.
Come listen to us try to get a handle on the "liminal" and the "liminoid", as well as Turner's conception of "social drama." These naturally led into questions about what the self is between or outside of the roles we play, and what the experience of the liminal phase might be like.
For November, we're exploring the work of Jerzy Grotowski by way of The Grotowski Sourcebook. This will culminate in a live discussion that will likely take place in early December, so swing by our page if you're interested in joining us. New members are always welcome.
- Daniel Cole