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date: 18 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines formactions—the working parts and craft materials of playworlds—that are often simultaneous, clustered, overlapping, and invisible and do not simply mediate or re-present things in the world, but are themselves vitally immanent with possible life. It argues that ‘theatricality’ describes not a technology of mimesis or even a kind of enacted philosophy, but rather a kind of physics: a world in which bodies, ideas, affects, and figures combine and recombine to generate the plays we watch, read, react to, and think about today. It highlights the value of the category of ‘form’ and uses it to address some of the major methodological problems associated with early modern theatre, including the problem of the ontology of theatre and its creations. It considers the metaphysics of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, with particular emphasis on his philosophy of monads, to think about theatrical life.

Keywords: formaction, playworld, life, theatricality, plays, form, early modern theatre, metaphysics, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, monads

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