“Rehearsing Age” is an effort to create a theoretical bridge between theatre studies and the still-emerging field of aging studies. Three case studies of older people facing aging are presented in the light of Brecht’s theory of estrangement, as laid out in his well-known comparison of dramatic theatre and epic theatre. These two dramaturgies map well onto the dominant theories of aging proffered, respectively, by traditional gerontology and the more recent critical age studies. Lacan’s mirror stage theory, of recent interest to age theorists, is also compared with Brecht’s estrangement theory. Finally, the Aristotelian dramaturgical criterion of “recognition,” also acknowledged by Brecht, is introduced as a potentially useful term for age criticism.


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