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The Bodily Ascension of Garrick into Heaven

Date and Time: 
Thursday, October 9, 2014. 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
Meeting Location: 
Margaret Jacks Hall, Terrace Room (460-430)
Workshop: 
Seminar on the Enlightenment and Revolution, 1660-1830
Meeting Description: 
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?
 
About the speaker
Professor Joseph Roach is Sterling Professor of Theater and English. His most recent book is It (Michigan, 2007), a study of charismatic celebrity. His other books and articles include Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance (Columbia, 1996), which won the James Russell Lowell Prize from MLA and the Calloway Prize from NYU, The Player's Passion: Studies in the Science of Acting (Michigan, 1993), which won the Barnard Hewitt Award in Theatre History, and essays in Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, The Drama Review, Theatre History Studies, Discourse, Theater, Text and Performance Quarterly, and others.

Workshops Calendar

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