Richard Schechner- Restoration of Behavior

 Schechner, R. (1981). “Restoration of Behavior.” Studies in Visual Communication 7:2-45.

Schechner is working from a very literal,  theatrical angle, one that is inclusive and creative enough to encompass multiple understandings of performance.  Schechner understands performance as a continuum. Not everything is meant to be a performance, but everything, from performing arts to politics and economics, can be studied as performance. Schechner defines performance as ‘restored behavour’, to emphasize the symbolic and coded aspects of culture.

Restored behavior is symbolic and reflexive. Performance means never for the first time (for the 2nd or the nth time). RB is “me behaving as if I am someone else.”

Even events and restored events are really restored nonevents because contexts change, memory is fallible, and things are somewhat uncontrollable. (3)

5- the “original” is almost always a conventionalized bundle of previous performances; the original is highly contextually specific

28- A (the actual time/place), B (the restored time and place), AB (the duality of performers being in A and doing a performance in B)

33- Schechner is making an appeal to the liminality that Turner discusses. Rehearsals are this liminal space before performances (35). He even uses the phases of the social drama/liminality as a means for the restoration of behavior (38).

40- the field of performance relies on how things are me and how they are not. To both pull of deception (be a character who is not you) and show sincerity on stage (as if the character was you).


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