New Books Network

In Staged: Show Trials, Political Theater, and the Aesthetics of Judgment (Columbia University Press, 2020), Minou Arjomand provides a startling account of the many...

In Staged: Show Trials, Political Theater, and the Aesthetics of Judgment (Columbia University Press, 2020), Minou Arjomand provides a startling account of the many intersections between theatre and trials in Germany and the United States from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Through case studies of Hannah Arendt, Bertolt Brecht, and Edwin Piscator, Arjomand explores the use of trials as a theatrical form, as well as what theatre theory might tell us about political justice.

In doing so, Arjomand demonstrates that calling a trial theatrical is not a criticism but merely a starting point. In considering what type of justice is possible in a trial, we must ask what theatrical conventions are being used, and to what ends. Arjomand’s book both allows us to see pivotal theatrical artists in a new light and poses profound questions about the nature of theatre itself.


Andy Boyd  is a playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the playwriting MFA program at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Arizona School for the Arts. His plays have been produced, developed, or presented at IRT, Pipeline Theatre Company, The Gingold Group, Dixon Place, Roundabout Theatre, Epic Theatre Company, Out Loud Theatre, Naked Theatre Company, Contemporary Theatre of Rhode Island, and The Trunk Space. He is currently working on a series of 50 plays about the 50 U.S. states. His website is AndyJBoyd.com, and he can be reached at andyjamesboyd@gmail.com.