KHAS ERC Performance and Politics Webinars – Dr. Bess Rowen


Book Talk: The Lines Between the Lines: How Stage Directions Affect Embodiment

Speaker: Dr. Bess Rowen

Moderator: İlhan Çamiçi

Time: Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 7:30 pm Istanbul (GMT +3)

11:30 am New York, 4:30 pm London, 5:30 pm Central European Time

Please register in advance for this meeting:

Meeting ID: 886 7714 2380

Passcode: 234015


What is the purpose of a stage direction? These italicized lines, written in between the lines of spoken dialogue, tell us a great deal of information about a play’s genre, mood, tone, visual setting, the cast of characters, and more. But not all stage directions are alike. Because it is the stage directions that help us picture what kinds of embodied people are on stage, they can also help us challenge our assumptions about what representations we repeat or subvert in performance. They are the lines of dialogue between the lines, and they have the power to shape the limits of what we imagine on our stages.

Dr. Bess Rowen is a theatre theorist, historian, and practitioner. Her work focuses on what she terms “affective stage directions”, which are stage directions written in ways that engage future theatre-makers’ physical and emotional responses. Her first book, The Lines Between the Lines: How Stage Directions Affect Embodiment, was published by the University of Michigan Press in October 2021. Her next project stems from her work with the Transfeminisms working group at the American Society for Theatre Research, where she and her collaborators take up important issues of trans and non-binary representation in theatre and performance. While pursuing her doctorate at CUNY, she was the recipient of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Public Humanities and a Graduate Center Dissertation Fellowship. She is an Equity membership candidate and has studied acting at Michael Howard Studios, The Berkshire Theatre Festival, and The Gaiety School of Acting in Ireland. She has directed, stage-managed, and even done a little playwriting. Bess also serves as the Performance Review Editor of The Eugene O’Neill Review and the Conference Planner for the American Theatre & Drama Society. Recent articles can be found in Modern Drama, Theatre Topics, the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, and Theatre Journal. Her avid interests include stage directions, Gender & Sexuality theory, female playwrights, Irish theatre, and theatrical riots.

This webinar series and the “Staging National Abjection” research project are sponsored by a European Research Commission Starting Grant (ERC-2019-StG, Grant ID: 852216).


Twitter: @StagingAbject

Instagram: @stagingabjection

Facebook Page: ERC Staging National Abjection/ERC Ulusal Abjeksiyonu Sahnelemek

KHAS ERC Performance and Politics Webinars – Assoc. Prof. Milija Gluhovic

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