What does it mean to lament the demise of theater in the same moment that we endure its ubiquitous proliferation? And how do actors–artists and citizens–make sense of theater's precarity in the midst of this performative circulation? The gesture of "critique" is to question, not only what we know, but how we know, indeed, how we know what we think we know. As such, critique invites us to examine the contexts that have produced knowledge, exposing its provisionality as well as unanticipated spaces of possibility. What happens when those determining contexts are revealed to us? What happens when theater's contexts change in ways that 'theater' did not anticipate? Within the visual art world of the late 20th century, "institutional critique" or "context art" emerged as an art form based in institutional self-reflexivity. By this point in the 21st century, a cadre of experimental theater makers have arguably developed theater's version of institutional critique. This article explores the possibility that theater's processes of circulation, erasure, and re-contextualization are enactments of "critique," oddly productive in the midst of theater's undoing.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 7-19
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.