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The strange science and true stories of the unseen other

This book follows a psychologist's quest to understand one of the most curious experiences known to humankind: the universal, disturbing feeling that someone or something is there when we are alone. What does this feeling mean and where does it come from? When and why do presences emerge? And how can we begin to understand a phenomenon that can be transformative for those who experience it and yet almost impossible to put into words? The answers to these questions lie in this tour-de-force through contemporary psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience and philosophy. Presence follows Ben Alderson-Day's attempts to understand how this experience is possible. The journey takes us to meet explorers, mediums and robots, and step through real, imagined and virtual worlds. Presence is the story of whom we carry with us, at all times, as parts of ourselves.

Open Access (free)
Ingmar Bergman, Henrik Ibsen, and television
Michael Tapper

) was also used by some critics to portray a social-democratic utopia turned dystopian nightmare. 6 These interpretations aside, yet another image of the writer-director emerges when one takes a closer look at Bergman’s own works and statements. Bergman was an artist in the modernist and cultural-radicalist tradition of August Strindberg and Henrik Ibsen. This is evidenced by his attacks on social repression in those institutions with which he was most familiar: the school in Frenzy ( Hets , 1944), the church

in Ingmar Bergman
Carl Lavery

This chapter presents the interview between the author and US theatre director JoAnne Akalaitis. She is the founder of the influential avant-garde theatre company Mabou Mines. In this interview, they talk about two widely praised productions of Jean Genet's work, The Balcony with the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1985-1986, and The Screens at the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis in 1989-1990. Genet is the first western playwright to write about Arabs and a revolutionary culture in a way that is not clichéd or necessarily easy to swallow. Genet, like August Strindberg, empowers women in a way that very few playwrights do. He understood the first African rebellions, and the revolutions in the Third World. He's one of the great modern political playwrights: there's no doubt about that.

in The politics of Jean Genet’s late theatre
Rethinking verbatim dramaturgies

Responding to the resurgence of verbatim theatre that emerged in Britain, Australia, the United States and other parts of the world in the early 1990s, this book offers one of the first sustained, critical engagements with contemporary verbatim, documentary and testimonial dramaturgies. Offering a new reading of the history of the documentary and verbatim theatre form, the book relocates verbatim and testimonial theatre away from discourses of the real and representations of reality and instead argues that these dramaturgical approaches are better understood as engagements with forms of truth-telling and witnessing. Examining a range of verbatim and testimonial plays from different parts of the world, the book develops new ways of understanding the performance of testimony and considers how dramaturgical theatre can bear witness to real events and individual and communal injustice through the re-enactment of personal testimony. Through its interrogation of different dramaturgical engagements with acts of witnessing, the book identifies certain forms of testimonial theatre that move beyond psychoanalytical accounts of trauma and reimagine testimony and witnessing as part of a decolonised project that looks beyond event-based trauma, addressing instead the experience of suffering wrought by racism and other forms of social injustice.


This book explores the development of Robert Lepage’s distinctive approach to stage direction in the early (1984–94) and middle (1995–2008) stages of his career, arguing that globalisation had a defining effect in shaping his aesthetic and professional trajectory. It combines examination of Lepage’s theatremaking techniques with discussion of his work’s effects on audiences, calling on Lepage’s own statements as well as existing scholarship and critical response. In addition to globalisation theory, the book draws on cinema studies, queer theory, and theories of affect and reception. As such, it offers an unprecedented conceptual framework, drawing together what has previously been a scattered field of research. Each of six chapters treats a particular aspect of globalisation, using this as a means to explore one or more of Lepage’s productions. These aspects include the relationship of the local (in Lepage’s case, his background in Québec) to the global; the place of individual experience within global late modernity; the effects of screen media on human perception; the particular affect of ‘feeling global’; the place of branding in contemporary creative systems; and the relationship of creative industries to neoliberal economies. Making theatre global: Robert Lepage’s original stage productions will be of interest to scholars of contemporary theatre, advanced-level undergraduates with an interest in the application of theoretical approaches to theatrical creation and reception, and arts lovers keen for new perspectives on one of the most talked-about theatre artists of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Open Access (free)
Lars Gustaf Andersson

is a blend of bourgeois fin-de-siècle and a rural style, a blend which we can recognize from several stage productions of Strindberg from the beginning of the twentieth century onwards. The kitchen, a crucial meeting point for the characters in this drama, is old-fashioned, and there is a pantry door that is taken directly from Strindberg’s drama Dreamplay ; also, the ventilation hole in the shape of a four-leaf clover is one of Bergman’s ways of establishing contact with his mentor. The name August

in Ingmar Bergman
Geraldine Cousin

retrieved from the past. At other times, they represent our fears for, and of, the future, or our anxieties about an inability to protect the vulnerable, The collapsing house 3 given the precarious state of the world. Precariousness is both a prevalent theme in the plays and a key characteristic of the form in which the theme is communicated to an audience. In theatre it is always the present moment, and yet the moment constantly vanishes. Three of the playwrights I consider – J. B. Priestley, August Strindberg and Caryl Churchill – were/are particularly intrigued by

in Playing for time
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Ben Alderson-Day

mimicked her, and at one point—unpleasantly—she felt it embrace her. Like the presences of PH, or August Strindberg, this shadow figure was not her, but its movements were inextricably tied to her own. What had produced this phantom? The answer to this question seems likely to lie in the integration of signals from several different parts of the brain. The TPJ doesn’t handle sensory or motor signals itself; in fact, the TPJ is one of the points of the brain that is the farthest away from our primary sensory or

in Presence
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Maria Holmgren Troy
Johan Höglund
Yvonne Leffler
, and
Sofia Wijkmark

, but also received the thus far largest support grant – 2.2 million kroner – from the EU media programme, Greco, as well as funding from various Nordic media funds.’ J. Stevenson, Lars von Trier (London: BFI, 2002), p. 78. 4 Y. Leffler, I skräckens lustgård. Skräckromantik i svenska 1800-talsromaner (Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet, 1991); H. Johnsson, Strindberg och skräcken. Skräckmotiv och identitetstematik i August

in Nordic Gothic
Birgit Lang

’s shorter-lived series titled ‘Grenzfragen der Literatur und Medizin’ (‘Inter­ secting Issues of Literature and Medicine’), published between 1906 and 1908, with volumes on the pessimistic dramatist Christian Grabbe; Swedish playwright, novelist and poet August Strindberg; and American Romantic writer Edgar Allan Poe.28 In these modern pathographies, the biographies of artists serve to illustrate medical phenomena and classifications, again with very little or no consideration of the creative oeuvre. Thus the attempt to educate readers through depicting and humanising

in A history of the case study