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date: 22 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the longstanding interrelationships among theatre, households, and what it calls ‘acts of reception’: the performed rituals of welcoming, accommodating, sharing, and dwelling, as well as their more inhospitable alternatives. It considers what hospitality might have to do with theatricality, what they have in common, and what each renders visible in the other. It also explores hospitality’s connections with biopolitics, political theology, and political ecology, and more specifically the confluence of its biopolitical, political–theological, and political–ecological investments. It shows how life in hospitality events manifests itself as theatre and how scenes of accommodation and conviviality and their refusal or violation abound in the mythic situations of dramatic literature. Finally, it explains how the dramatic character of hospitality—its generation of occasions for consumption, enjoyment, and wonder as well as resistance, scepticism, and betrayal—intertwines it with theatricality as a simultaneously formal and material effect.

Keywords: theatre, households, acts of reception, hospitality, theatricality, biopolitics, political theology, political ecology, life, drama

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