Popular Entertainment

Performance and Spectacle, Culture and Competition (Revised First Edition)
Edited by Barbara McKean and Carrie J. Cole
Paperback, 350 pages
ISBN: 978-1-62131-810-1 ©2014
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    Popular Entertainment: Performance and Spectacle, Culture and Competition introduces students to the ways in which performance, spectacle, culture and competition influence not only various forms of popular entertainment, but society's interactions and choices when producing and receiving such entertainment.

    The book is divided into four parts. Part One focuses on theories concerning industry and spectacle, performance, and adaptation. Part Two discusses convergence theory and then applies the four theories to three familiar forms of entertainment—circus, theatre, and film. The third part of the text presents case studies on cultural tourism and discusses the point at which cultural traditions and rituals are transformed into entertainment for public consumption. Part Four considers when competition becomes performance, as manifested on the global cultural stage that is the Olympic Games. Competition as entertainment is also examined within the context of college sports, and reality programming.

    Popular Entertainment is written for lower-division general education courses in Traditions and Cultures. It is also an excellent supplemental text for courses in the history of the theatre, theatre arts, and the social impact of entertainment.

    Barbara McKean, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the School of Theatre, Film, and Television at the University of Arizona where she teaches courses in popular entertainment, improvisation, and audience development. Dr. McKean's research focuses on the role of the teaching artist in theatre education. Before teaching at the university level, Dr. McKean was a professional actress and teaching artist. She served as director of education at the Seattle Children's Theatre, and as artistic director of the Seattle Peace Theatre where she directed collaborative works between young people and artists from Seattle, Moscow, Tashkent, and Zurich. Her book, A Teaching Artist at Work, was published by Heinemann in 2006.
    Carrie J. Cole, Ph.D. teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in theatre history and dramaturgy. Her areas of scholarly interest include dramaturgy, American theatre, performance and popular culture, translation and adaptation for the stage, and audience and fan studies. She has presented at national and international conferences including the American Society for Theatre Research, the Mid-America Theatre Conference, and the International Conference on Storytelling and Cultural Identity. Dr. Cole is an active member of The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, and The Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Recent publications include “Culturally Mapping Universes: Fan Production as Ethnographic Fragments” (with Jen Gunnels) for Transformative Works and Cultures. Dr. Cole serves as co-editor of a special issue on “Performing Fandom” for this same journal.