Performance art and theatre are both rooted in the same practices and ideas. Performance art is an art form that utilizes the human body as a tool for creating art. It has no boundaries and past performance pieces have proven that the options are limitless. The human body acts as a type of canvas in which the artist manipulates however they wish, whether it is on the body itself or the movement or placement. Theatre does the same thing, using people to tell stories that illuminate real life situations in a scripted and rehearsed manner. However, while theatre has become a commercialized and popular form of entertainment, performance art remains more taboo and outlandish. Both these practices ultimately have the same goal: to garner a response, a reaction, an emotion from the audience. However, if they have the same objective, why is it that they are so separated and isolated from each other? The world of performance art and theatre share numerous qualities and yet they exist in two different worlds. This thesis will examine and explore the deep rooted conflict between both types of performance by comparing their traditions and major pieces. I argue that although there are many differences between the two, there are also commonalities that can bring the two together. Both art forms employ a human body as instruments in conveying a point, but the ultimate goal is to have it received by an audience as neither can exist without one. I aim to utilize this research to compare the division between other art forms as well and why often people limit themselves within their field.
Woo, Sally, "“The Modern Performance Art vs. Traditional Theatre: The Division Between the Contemporary and the Conventional”" (2014). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 27.