Rebecca Schneider Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies

Rebecca Schneider, Professor in the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, teaches performance studies, theater history, and theories of intermedia. She is the author of  Theatre and History (Palgrave 2014), Performing Remains: Art and War in Times of Theatrical Reenactment (Routledge 2011) and The Explicit Body in Performance (Routledge, 1997). She has coedited the anthology Re:Direction: A Theoretical and Practical Guide to 20th-Century Directing  and a special issue of TDR: The Drama Review on Precarity and Performance (2012) . She is a consortium editor for TDR, contributing editor to Women and Theatre, coeditor with David Krasner of the book series "Theatre: Theory/Text/Performance" with University of Michigan Press, and consulting editor for the series "Performance Interventions" with Palgrave McMillin. Schneider has published essays in several anthologies, including Psychoanalysis and Performance, Acting Out: Feminist Performance, Performance and Cultural Politics, Performance Cosmologies, Performance and the City , and the essay "Solo Solo Solo" in After Criticism. In addition, she has collaborated with artists at such sites as the British Museum in London and the Mobile Academy in Berlin, and delivered lectures at museums such as the Guggenheim in New York, the Gulbenkian in Lisbon, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw,  Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal, and the Centre de la Dance in Paris.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

See fuller list on CV.  SELECTIONS:

Schneider, Rebecca. Theatre and History.  Palgrave, 2014.

Schneider, Rebecca. Performing Remains: Art and War in Times of Theatrical Reenactment. Routledge, 2011.

Schneider, Rebecca. "Solo Solo Solo." In After Criticism: New Responses to Art and Performance, edited by Gavin Butt. Blackwell, 2001.

Schneider, Rebecca. Re:Direction. A Theoretical and Practical Guide, co-edited with Gabrielle Cody. Worlds of Performance Series.  Routledge, 2001.

Schneider, Rebecca. "Hello Dolly Well Hello Dolly: The Double and Its Theatre." In Performance and Psychoanalysis, edited by Adrian Kear and Patrick Campbell.  Routledge, 2001.

Schneider, Rebecca. The Explicit Body in Performance.  Routledge, 1997.

research overview

Rebecca Schneider has written extensively on theatre and performance practices that puncture or stretch the borders of media, writing on plays, performance art, photography, architecture, and "performative" everyday life. She teaches theatre history as well as dance studies, visual culture and performance studies.

research statement

I have written extensively on theatre and performance practices that stretch accepted borders around media. My first book engaged with artists who use their own bodies as the stage for their performances, situating them within theatre and art historical traditions of the "avant-garde" and reading their work relative to feminist and race critical theory. Since that book, I have written on performance art, photography, architecture, and everyday life as "performative."

My second book, titled Performing Remains: Art and War in Times of Theatrical Reenactment, focused on practices in visual and performance art that labor under the rubric "reenactment." In it, I explore the wide range of both live and mediated performance — mostly in performance art, theatre, and photography — that attempts to "step into time" and duplicate or even "touch" prior historical acts and events. For this book, I studied Civil War reenactments and the passionate investments of those who engage in reenactment. I compared the activities of "living history" with related practices of temporal travel in the frames of visual art and theatre (and their intermedial cousins). I contend that in much museum and pedagocial practice, the site of authenticity has shifted off of the historical object and onto the very vexed category of "experience" in relationship to historical knowledge. So, too, has the site in experimental art been shifting for many years off of the art object understood as discrete, and onto engagement with its display and its circulation vis a vis the "experience" of the art participant. It is these shifts, their problems and promises, that that book explores and engages.

My third book, Theatre & History is designed for undergraduates and is a really an extended essay on the paradoxes at the overlap between theatre as a practice and historiography as a practice.

I am now at work on a fourth book on the topic of "Acting in Ruins." This project looks at the live body and the "labor" of acting in relation to neoliberal investments in "creative capital." I'm thinking about the literal ruins of historical theatres (such as those of ancient Greece); the question of whether there are ruins (or "ruin value") in and of acting and performance; and also the matter of theatrical time and theatrical work in relation to capitalism's time and capitalism's work. I recently co-editing a special issue of TDR on "Precarity" that has some relationship to this project as a whole. I am also working on "The Prehistoric Live," looking at tourism and performance at paleolithic and neolithic sites in Europe and the Americas and thinking about new materialist approaches to animism that grant liveness, in geological time, to stone.

Some of my essays are available to download here.

funded research

I am a co-principal investigator for a Mellon Grant awarded to Brown University, Stanford University and Northwestern University titled "Dance Studies In/And the Humanities," for $2,000,000, 2012-2018.