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Richard Schechner

Richard Schechner

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Richard Schechner is Professor of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts
Tisch School of the Arts
Tisch School of the Arts is one of the 15 schools that make up New York University ....

, New York University
New York University
New York University is a private, nonsectarian research university based in New York City. NYU's main campus is situated in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan...

 , editor of TDR: The Drama Review, and artistic director of East Coast Artists. His BA is from Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

 (1956), MA from the University of Iowa
University of Iowa
The University of Iowa is a public state-supported research university located in Iowa City, Iowa, United States. It is the oldest public university in the state. The university is organized into eleven colleges granting undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees...

 (1958), and PhD from Tulane University
Tulane University
Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States...

 (1962). Schechner is one of the founders of the Performance Studies
Performance Studies
Performance studies have been growing as an academic field since the 1960s. Performance studies believe in the social act of Doing as it takes performance itself as the object of inquiry.The process of defining it becomes a practice in performance studies itself...

 department of the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University (NYU). He also founded The Performance Group
The Performance Group
The Performance Group was a New York City troupe of experimental theater started by Richard Schechner in 1967. TPG's home base was the Performing Garage in the SoHo district...

, an experimental theater troupe. Schechner was artistic director of TPG from its start in 1967 (during a workshop) until 1980 when TPG changed its name to The Wooster Group
The Wooster Group
The Wooster Group is a New York City-based experimental theater company known for creating numerous original dramatic works. It gradually emerged during 1975-1980 from Richard Schechner's The Performance Group and took its name in 1980...

 which continues under the leadership of Elizabeth LeCompte
Elizabeth LeCompte
Elizabeth LeCompte is a founding member and the theater director of experimental theater collective The Wooster Group .-Biography:...

. The home of both TPG and TWG is the Performing Garage
Performing Garage
The Performing Garage is an off-Broadway theater in SoHo, New York City. Established in 1968, it is the permanent home of the experimental theater company originally named The Performance Group that morphed in 1980 into The Wooster Group , and their primary performance venue.Since 1978, it also...

 in New York's SoHo
SoHo is a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, New York City, notable for being the location of many artists' lofts and art galleries, and also, more recently, for the wide variety of stores and shops ranging from trendy boutiques to outlets of upscale national and international chain stores...

 district, acquired by Schechner in 1968. In 1992, Schechner founded a new theater company, East Coast Artists, of which he was the artistic director until 2009. At that point, Benjamin Mosse became ECA's artistic director. Schechner continues to work with ECA.

In 1968, he signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War.

Schechner is married to Carol Martin and the father of two children, Samuel MacIntosh Schechner and Sophia Martin Schechner.

Published works

  • Richard Schechner edited The Drama Review
    TDR (journal)
    TDR: The Drama Review is a peer-reviewed academic journal focusing on performances in their social, economic, aesthetic, and political contexts. The journal covers dance, theatre, music, performance art, visual art, popular entertainment, media, sports, rituals, and performance in politics and...

     (formerly the Tulane Drama Review) from 1962–1969; and again from 1986–present
  • Beginning in 2007, the bi-annual TDR/China appeared, published by the Richard Schechner Center for Performance Studies at the Shanghai Theatre Academy


  • Public Domain (1968)
  • Environmental Theater (1973)
  • Theatres, Spaces, and Environments (1975 with Jerry Rojo and Brooks McNamara)
  • Essays on Performance Theory (1976)
  • The End of Humanism (1981)
  • From the Ramlila to the Avantgarde (1983)
  • Between Theater and Anthropology (1985)
  • The Engleburt Stories (1987, with Samuel MacIntosh Schechner)
  • The Future of Ritual (1993)
  • Performance Theory (a revised version of Essays on Performance Theory, 1988, revised again, 2004)
  • Performance Studies—An Introduction (2002, revised second edition 2006)
  • Over, Under, and Around (2004)

Schechner's books/collections of his writings have been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Parsi, Italian, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Hungarian, and Serbo-Croatian

Edited works

  • Dionysus in 69
    Dionysus (film)
    Dionysus in '69 is a 1970 film by Brian De Palma. The film records a performance of The Performance Group's stage play of the same name, an adaptation of The Bacchae. It was entered into the 20th Berlin International Film Festival. The play is one of the most controversial ever written, as it...

  • Ritual, Play, and Performance (1976, with Mady Schuman)
  • By Means of Performance (1990, with Willa Appel)
  • The Grotowski Sourcebook (1997, with Lisa Wolford).

Theatrical/directorial works

In March 2005, the Richard Schechner Center for Performance Studies was inaugurated as part of the Shanghai Theatre Academy, where Schechner is an Honorary Professor. With The Performance Group Schechner directed many productions including Dionysus in 69 based on Euripides' The Bacchae
The Bacchae
The Bacchae is an ancient Greek tragedy by the Athenian playwright Euripides, during his final years in Macedon, at the court of Archelaus I of Macedon. It premiered posthumously at the Theatre of Dionysus in 405 BC as part of a tetralogy that also included Iphigeneia at Aulis, and which...

 (1968), Makbeth based on Shakespeare's Macbeth
The Tragedy of Macbeth is a play by William Shakespeare about a regicide and its aftermath. It is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy and is believed to have been written sometime between 1603 and 1607...

 (1969), Commune group devised piece (1970), Sam Shepard's The Tooth of Crime (1972), Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children (1975), David Gaard's The Marilyn Project (1975), Seneca's Oedipus (1977), Terry Curtis Fox's Cops (1978), and Jean Genet's The Balcony (1979). With East Coast Artists, Schechner has directed Faust/gastronome (1993), Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters (1995), William Shakespeare's Hamlet (1999), and Schechner's and Saviana Stanescu's YokastaS (2003, YokastaS Redux 2005), Lian Amaris's Swimming to Spalding (2009). Schechner has also directed in Asia and Africa: Anton Chekhov's Cherry ka Baghicha (1983 in Hindi) in New Delhi, Sun Huizhu's Mingri Jiuyao Chu Shan (1989 in Shanghai in Mandarin) August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1992) at the Grahamstown Festival, South Africa, Aeschylus's The Oresteia (1995 in Taipei in Mandarin), and Shakespeare's Hamlet (2007 in Shanghai and 2009 in Wroclaw, Poland, in Mandarin).

While in New Orleans from 1960–67, Schechner was a producing director with John O'Neal and Gilbert Moses of the Free Southern Theatre (1963–65) and a founding director with Franklin Adams and Paul Epstein of the New Orleans Group (1964–67). Schechner is general editor of the Worlds of Performance series published by Routledge and co-editor with Carol Martin of the Enactment series published by Seagull Press.

External links