Transformations of Religious Performativity: Sacrificial Figures in Modern Experimental Theatre

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This essay examines three modern experimental theatre performances, created in different cultural contexts, places, times, and styles, in which a Crucifixion scene is reenacted. Lothar Shcreyer's 1920 expressionist ritual-performance "Crucifixion" ("Kreuzigung"), Israeli playwright Hanoch Levin's 1981 "The Sorrows of Job" ("Yisurei Iyov"), and Adrienne Kennedy's 1991 "Motherhood 2000," belong to a broad phenomenon of modern and contemporary experimental theatre performances, in which religious icons, texts, or concepts are directly referred to and represented within a non-religious artistic context. Such theatre performances demonstrate the tensions and interrelations between secularism and religious cultural heritage and reveal the ways in which religious themes and icons remain loaded sites of meaning within a secular cultural context. The essay articulates performative characteristics of Crucifixion episodes, by creating a comparison between late medieval Crucifixion episodes and the modern examples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-70
Number of pages14
JournalPerformance and Spirituality
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012


  • Theater-Productions


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