Date of Award

5-1-2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Speech Communication

First Advisor

Gingrich-Philbrook, Craig

Abstract

This dissertation explores experimentation--across experimental music, experimental theatre, and experimental film, in addition to the term's etymology, scientific usage, and colloquial deployment--in order to derive a deeper understanding of what we mean when we say an artwork is experimental, and how this term can help us understand current artistic praxes and products emerging from performance studies contexts. In this document, I advocate for the term experimental performance as both an umbrella term and as a specific genre name for the artistic activity of contemporary artists working between experimental theatre and performance art, often within performance studies contexts. Ultimately, citing the historical richness of experimental art and its long-standing relationship to the academy as evidence, I advocate for the further academic acknowledgement of experimental performance.

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