Mapping the invisible nature of theater

dark matterMeditations on those entities that a theater audience doesn’t see—and their significance—are offered by Boston College Associate Professor of English Andrew Sofer in Dark Matter: Invisibility in Drama, Theater, and Performance (University of Michigan Press). In mapping the invisible dimension of theater—whose effects are felt in performance and focus an audience’s experience—Sofer examines phenomena such as hallucination, offstage character and action, technology and trauma. He illuminates the invisible in periods of postclassical western theater and drama, pinpoints new facets of drama and performance that escape sight, and provides case studies that show how dark matter is woven into the fabric of theatrical representation. A colleague writes that, to his knowledge, “No one has undertaken a book-length study of the important phenomenon of unseen objects, people and actions as Sofer has done, and certainly no one has applied to the phenomenon the rich body of theoretical discourse, drawn not only from theater, but from the sciences and social sciences….”

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