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Theatre has come back to text, but with perspectives shifted by the experimental practices of the twentieth century across performance forms. Contemporary playwriting brings its scenographic engagement to the foreground of the text, reflecting the spatial turn in theory and practice. In production, this spatiality has renewed and enlivened the status and impact of text-based theatre. Theatre studies needs to better describe the artfulness of contemporary text-based theatre, bringing to it the same sophisticated lenses scholars and critics have used for performance-based theatre and other experimental theatre practices. This Element does that by presenting the work of Caryl Churchill, Naomi Iizuka, and Sarah Ruhl as exemplary of the way text-based theatre, both its scripts and productions, now creates and expects a spatialized imaginary and demonstrates the potentials of text-based theatre in an increasingly visual and spatial field of cultural production.
This Element examines practices that occurred since the beginning of the Greek crisis and revisits the mnemonic canon of the Greek War of Independence. By focusing on the institution of the mnemonic canon of independence, and subsequently on its contemporary re-imaginings, this Element interrogates performance work vis-à-vis Greece's histories of colonial dependencies – histories that are integral to the institution of modern Greece. As such, the examples discussed here rehearse independence against and beyond national(ist) fantasies and, in so doing, attest to an emerging desire for decolonisation.
The use of disability as a metaphor is ubiquitous in popular culture – nowhere more so than in the myths, stereotypes and tropes around blindness. To be 'blind' has never referred solely to the inability to see. Instead blindness has been used as shorthand for, among other things, a lack of understanding, immorality, closeness to death, special insight or second sight. Although these 'meanings' attached to blindness were established as early as antiquity, readers, receivers and spectators into the present have been implicated in the stereotypes, which persist because audiences can be relied on to perpetuate them. This book argues for a new way of seeing – and of understanding classical reception - by offering assemblage-thinking as an alternative to the presumed passivity of classical influence. And the theatre, which has been (incorrectly) assumed to be principally a visual medium, is the ideal space in which to investigate new ways of seeing.
This is the first study of French theater and war at a time of global revolutions, colonial violence, and radical social transformation. Analyzing France and its largest Caribbean colony (Saint-Domingue), and spanning the Old Regime and Revolution, Logan Connors presents an ambitious, richly interdisciplinary argument, grounded in theater and performance studies, literary analysis of drama, and cultural, military, and gender history. Demonstrating how war and soldiering catalyzed new drama types and fostered theater's expansion into France's geographical and social peripheries, the study also shows how theater emerged as a dynamic space in which military practices could be re-imagined. This major scholarly intervention provides unparalleled insight into theater's engagement with international and domestic war efforts during a transformational period in global history.
This is the first comprehensive guide to British theatre's engagement with the First World War over the last century, from 1900 to the Armistice Day centenary in 2018. Considering theatre as both an industry and literary-cultural artform, it provides a contextual grounding in the prelude to the conflict and coverage of post-war plays as well as wartime performances. Lively chapters from leading scholars explore diverse genres and practices, from Shakespeare to melodrama, while focusing on topics including regionality, national identity, propaganda, commemoration, gender, censorship and international influences. Presenting original scholarship in an accessible and engaging manner, this Companion establishes theatre as a vital means of understanding wartime experiences, and a central feature in commemoration and remembrance.
This Element argues that the climate emergency requires a new approach to the study of theatre history – a suggestion that is developed through an analysis of the practice of theatrical revival during the Anthropocene era. Staging old plays in new ways can make visible ecological or environmental features that might have previously gone unnoticed: features which, in some cases, might not have been consciously included by the original authors or makers of a work, but which will be detectable to audiences nevertheless. These links are explored through case studies from the contemporary Irish theatre – including revivals of plays by Shakespeare, Lady Gregory, and Samuel Beckett, as performed by such major Irish companies as Rough Magic, Druid Theatre, and Company SJ. The Element ultimately shows how theatre can contribute to debates about the Anthropocene, and offers new pathways for theatre practice and criticism.
This is a bold and wide-ranging account of the unique German public theatre system through the prism of a migrant artistic institution in the western post-industrial Ruhr region. State of the Arts analyses how artistic traditions have responded to social change, racism, and cosmopolitan anxieties and recounts how critical contemporary cultural production positions itself in relation to the tumultuous history of German state patronage, difficult heritage, and self-cultivation through the arts. Jonas Tinius' fieldwork with professional actors, directors, cultural policy makers, and activists unravels how they constitute theatre as a site for extra-ordinary ethical conduct and how they grapple with the pervasive German cultural tradition of Bildung, or self-cultivation through the arts. Tinius shows how anthropological methods provide a way to understand the entanglement of cultural policy, institution-building, and subject-formation. An ambitious and interdisciplinary study, the work demonstrates the crucial role of artistic intellectuals in society.
This collection reveals the wide-ranging impact of the Stage Licensing Act of 1737 on literary and theatrical culture in Georgian Britain. Demonstrating the differing motivations of the state in censoring public performances of plays after the Stage Licensing Act of 1737 and until the Theatres Act 1843, chapters cover a wide variety of theatrical genres across a century and show how the mechanisms of formal censorship operated under the Lord Chamberlain's Examiner of Plays. They also explore the effects of informal censorship, whereby playwrights, audiences and managers internalized the censorship regime. As such, the volume moves beyond a narrow focus on erasures and emendations visible on manuscripts to elucidate censorship's wide-ranging significance across the long eighteenth century. Demonstrating theatre archives' potency as a resource for historical research, this volume is of exceptional value for researchers interested in the evolving complexities of Georgian society, its politics and mores.
The solo singer takes center stage in Euripides' late tragedies. Solo song – what the Ancient Greeks called monody – is a true dramatic innovation, combining and transcending the traditional poetic forms of Greek tragedy. At the same time, Euripides uses solo song to explore the realm of the interior and the personal in an expanded expressive range. Contributing to the current scholarly debate on music, emotion, and characterization in Greek drama, this book presents a new vision for the role of monody in the musical design of Ion, Iphigenia among the Taurians, Phoenician Women, and Orestes. Drawing on her practical experience in the theater, Catenaccio establishes the central importance of monody in Euripides' art.
Susan Glaspell in Context provides new, accessible, and informative essays by leading international scholars and artists on Pulitzer Prize winner Susan Glaspell's life, career development, writing, and ongoing global creative impact. The collection features wide-ranging discussions of Glaspell's fiction, plays, and non-fiction in both historical and contemporary critical contexts, and demonstrates the significance of Glaspell's writing and other professional activities to a range of academic disciplines and artistic engagements. The volume also includes the first analyses of six previously unknown Glaspell short stories, as well as interviews with contemporary stage and film artists who have produced Glaspell's works or adapted them for audiences worldwide. Organized around key locations, influences, and phases in Glaspell's career, as well as core methodological and pedagogical approaches to her work, the collection's thirty-one essays place Glaspell in historical, geographical, political, cultural, and creative contexts of value to students, scholars, teachers, and artists alike.
This global overview of how translation is understood as a performative practice across genres, media and disciplines illuminates the broad impact of the 'performance turn' in the arts and humanities. Combining key concepts in comparative literature, performance studies and translation theory, the volume provides readers with a dynamic account of the ways in which these fields fruitfully interact. The chapters display interdisciplinary thinking in action across a wide spectrum of performance practices and media from around the world, from poetry and manuscripts to theatre surtitles, audio description, archives, installations, dialects, movement and dance. Paying close attention to questions of race, gender, sexuality, embodiment and accessibility, the collection's rich array of methodological approaches and experiments with scholarly writing demonstrate how translation as a performative practice can enrich our understanding of language and politics.
Providing a new way of thinking about industrialism and its history through the lens of one of Britain's most recognisable heritage brands, Catherine Hindson explores the creativity that was at the heart of Cadbury's operation in the early twentieth century. Guided by Quaker Capitalism, employees at Bournville took part in recreational and educational activities, enabling imagination to flourish. Amidst this pattern of work and play arose the vibrant phenomenon that was factory theatre, with performances and productions involving tens of thousands of employees as performers and spectators. Home-grown Bournville casts and audiences were supplemented by performers, civic leaders, playwrights, academics, town planners, and celebrities, interweaving industrialists with the city's theatrical and visual arts as well as national entertainment cultures. This interdisciplinary study uncovers the stories of Bournville's theatre and the employees who made it, considering ground-breaking approaches to mental and physical health and education.
This is a love story but not as you know it. Should an academic study be framed in this way? Love seems an unlikely bedfellow for critical thinking. Watching an Emma Rice production and being in her rehearsal room you feel the love: a warm and generous welcoming in; a joyful celebration of the theatrical exchange. What produces this pleasurable affect and how might we consider its political potential? This Element positions Emma's theatre-making, a body of work spanning three decades, as feminist acts of love. Drawing on fieldwork research her practice is viewed through the critical lenses of feminisms and affect to consider its contextual tensions, its ethics of affirmation, staging of femininities and contribution to queer worldmaking. Mapping her work from this perspective brings to light her important contribution to UK feminist theatre; its love activism offering an emergent strategy for change.
This new edition provides an expanded, comprehensive history of African American theatre, from the early nineteenth century to the present day. Including discussions of slave rebellions on the national stage, African Americans on Broadway, the Harlem Renaissance, African American women dramatists, and the New Negro and Black Arts movements, the Companion also features fresh chapters on significant contemporary developments, such as the influence of the Black Lives Matter movement, the mainstream successes of Black Queer Drama and the evolution of African American Dance Theatre. Leading scholars spotlight the producers, directors, playwrights, and actors who have fashioned a more accurate appearance of Black life on stage, revealing the impact of African American theatre both within the United States and around the world. Addressing recent theatre productions in the context of political and cultural change, it invites readers to reflect on where African American theatre is heading in the twenty-first century.
This ambitious study traces the strategies of human rights activists to show how world-changing reform movements were shaped by women and men from modest backgrounds who were deeply attuned to the power of performance. Tracy C. Davis explores nineteenth-century reform campaigns through the pioneering work of a family of activists – prominent anti-slavery lecturer George Thompson, his daughter Amelia (the first female theatre and music critic for a British daily newspaper) and her husband, the political organizer Frederick Chesson. Engaging in some of the most important social struggles of the late Georgian and Victorian periods – including abolition, enfranchisement, and anti-genocide - this book reveals how two generations' insights into performance consolidated into activist tactics that persist today. Characterised by a skilful deployment of performance theory alongside deep and wide-ranging historical knowledge, this ground-breaking work demonstrates what 'dramaturgy' can teach us about 'history'.
Subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) services are available on many online video streaming platforms (VSPs) in China, such as iQiyi, Youku, and Tencent Video, backed by Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent groups (BAT), respectively. The video content on these platforms can be the same shows as those broadcasted on national or provincial television stations, or originally produced and exclusively streamed on the VSP. Meanwhile, VSPs purchase the distribution rights of foreign films and television series to enrich the content pool. This book aims to provide an account of Chinese television, particularly online drama series, or webisodes, with an awareness of the existence and competition of Netflix, covering topics on business strategies of VSPs, original content production trends, trans-media stories telling cases, practitioner insights, and audiences behavior.
Yul Brynner's star image was built on cosmopolitan flair, shifting tales of origin, baldness, as well as film roles as foreign rulers, freedom fighters, army officials, gunslingers and secret agents of ever-shifting ethnicities. Whether Cossacks, marauding pirate captains or cross-dressing torch singers, Brynner's characters were invariably stand-outs.
This book explores his exotic and masculine star image and its transformations from lavish Orientalist Hollywood spectacles of the 1950s to 1960s European co-productions, 1970s action films and scifi. Extensively researched, it covers the actor's entire film catalogue, his rumoured yet unrealised projects, television work and stage appearances, as well as their international media reception. Thematically organised, the book inquires after racial casting politics, the construction of sex symbols, Brynner's humanitarian work and the recurring poses and gestures that characterised his performance style.
Premier playwright of modern theater and trailblazer of the short story, Anton Chekhov was also a practising doctor, journalist, writer of comic sketches, philanthropist and activist. This volume provides an accessible guide to Chekhov's multifarious interests and influences, with over 30 succinct chapters covering his rich intellectual milieu and his tumultuous socio-political environment, as well as the legacy of his work in over two centuries of interdisciplinary cultures and media around the world. With a Preface by Cornel West, a chronology and Further Reading list, this collection is the essential guide to Chekhov's writing and the manifold worlds he inhabited.
For the Romans, much of life was seen, expressed and experienced as a form of theatre. In their homes, patrons performed the lead, with a supporting cast of residents and visitors. This sumptuously illustrated book, the result of extensive interdisciplinary research, is the first to investigate, describe and show how ancient Roman houses and villas, in their décor, spaces, activities and function, could constitute highly-theatricalised environments, indeed, a sort of 'living theatre'. Their layout, purpose and use reflected and informed a culture in which theatre was both a major medium of entertainment and communication and an art form drawing upon myths exploring the core values and beliefs of society. For elite Romans, their homes, as veritable stage-sets, served as visible and tangible expressions of their owners' prestige, importance and achievements. The Roman home was a carefully crafted realm in which patrons displayed themselves, while 'stage-managing' the behaviour and responses of visitor-spectators.
In Motswasele II, the first historical drama written by a Motswana author and originally published in the Bantu (later, African) Treasury Series by the University of the Witwatersrand Press, in 1945, Leetile Disang Raditladi explores the concept of bogosi (chieftainship) and what it means to be a good chief through the characters of two powerful men, Moruakgomo and Motswasele. According to the history of the Bakwena, the two men vied for the throne. Raditladi critiques the tyranny of Motswasele, whose actions are those of a greedy dictator with no regard for his people. His iron-fisted rule, disregard for advice from his council, and the fact that he helps himself to his subjects' cattle at will cause great unhappiness. He surrounds himself with untrustworthy people who are not of royal blood and know nothing about power. In contrast, Moruakgomo is portrayed as a true leader who is caring, brave, wise, visionary and not above taking advice.
In the drama, Motswasele is cautioned against wronging people he may need in the future, and being swayed by false songs of praise. Motswasele II highlights the importance of traditional rule, and the need for a chief to dispense power judiciously and to resolve conflicts where these arise.
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