1 The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics is a consortium of institutions,
scholars, artists, and activists in the Americas who explore the intersections of ‘‘per-
formance’’ and politics (both broadly construed) in the Americas since the sixteenth
century. For more information, see
2 Tim Weiner, in ‘‘Pummeling the Powerful, with Comedy as Cudgel,’’ New York Times,
June 15, 2001, A4, writes that ‘‘when Jesusa Rodríguez is on—onstage, on camera, in
the streets protesting the latest outrage—she may be the most powerful woman in
3 Richard Schechner, Between Theater and Anthropology (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylva-
nia P, 1985), 36. I am indebted to Paul Connerton for the term ‘‘acts of transfer,’’ which
he uses in his excellent book, How Societies Remember (Cambridge: Cambridge UP,
1989), 39.
4 The as/is distinction is Richard Schechner’s; see his Performance Studies: An Introduc-
tion (London: Routledge, 2002), 30–32. However, we disagree on whether the is reflects
an ontology. For Schechner, ‘‘performance is anything but ontological. . . . It is socially
constructed through and through’’ (personal correspondence). I find the tension be-
tween the ontological and constructed more ambiguous and constructive, underlining
the field’s understanding of performance as both ‘‘real’’ and ‘‘constructed.’’
5 ‘‘Here the etymology of ‘performance’ may give us a helpful clue, for it has nothing to
do with ‘form,’ but derives from Old French parfournir, ‘to complete’ or ‘carry out thor-
oughly.’’ Victor Turner, From Ritual to Theatre (New York: Performing Arts Journal
Publications, 1982), 13.
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