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GUEST LECTURE: "The Bodily Ascension of Garrick to Heaven," Professor Joseph Roach of Yale University

The Enlightenment tried to banish ghosts from the stage, but ended up conjuring them in larger numbers than ever before in Gothic melodrama. At the same time, it replaced saintly icons with theatrical celebrities, venerating them with images that rival the most florid of religious idols: David Garrick rose from his tomb on an angel-powered ascent to meet Shakespeare in Heaven; Eliza Sheridan was popularly worshiped as "The Saint"; Sarah Siddons converted William Hazlitt to idolatry; French revolutionaries disinterred famous actors to create a sacred chalice of their bones. Demonstrating the transfer of certain traditional religious practices to the cult of theatrical enthusiasm, this paper poses the question: What disenchantment?
Professor Roach is Sterling Professor of English and Theater at Yale University. He is the author of The Player's Passion: Studies in the Science of Acting (1985), Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance (1996), and It (2007).



Thursday, October 9, 2014. 05:00PM


Terrace Room, Margaret Jacks Hall


Departments of English and Theater + Performance Studies


Free + Open to the Public