Viral performance practices testify to the age-old—and ever renewed—instinct that when people gather, something spreads. Performance, an art form requiring and relying on live contact, renders such spreading visible, raises its stakes, and encodes it in theatrical form. The artists explored here rarely disseminate their ideas or gestures as directly as a viral marketer or a political movement would; rather, they undermine simplified forms of contagion while holding dialogue with the philosophical and popular discourses, old and new, that have surrounded viral culture.
Viral Performance argues that the concept of the viral is historically deeper than immediate associations with the contemporary digital landscape might suggest, and far more intimately linked to live performance
"...for a book on virality, one could hardly ask for a better approach than the one found here: a sharp shot in the arm of ideas and questions, open-ended and bound for vast transmission." —Theatre Journal
"Viral Performance is a stimulating and intelligently formulated piece of scholarship. The connections between theatre and virality, which may not be immediately or intuitively obvious to all readers, are shown to be logical and intellectually productive. Spread the word about this book. It is well worth reading." —Modern Drama
deep history and networked future of political avant-garde theater making. Her thoughtful analyses of notable 20th century and early 21st century political theater makers will offer students and scholars of theater history a vital resource for remapping genealogies (and germs) of avant garde performance, while her keen eye for the development and mutation of “virus” as form will provide an invaluable guidebook for future generations of political artists." —Elise Morrison, author of Discipline and Desire: Surveillance Technologies in Performance