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Rethinking verbatim dramaturgies

Responding to the resurgence of verbatim theatre that emerged in Britain, Australia, the United States and other parts of the world in the early 1990s, this book offers one of the first sustained, critical engagements with contemporary verbatim, documentary and testimonial dramaturgies. Offering a new reading of the history of the documentary and verbatim theatre form, the book relocates verbatim and testimonial theatre away from discourses of the real and representations of reality and instead argues that these dramaturgical approaches are better understood as engagements with forms of truth-telling and witnessing. Examining a range of verbatim and testimonial plays from different parts of the world, the book develops new ways of understanding the performance of testimony and considers how dramaturgical theatre can bear witness to real events and individual and communal injustice through the re-enactment of personal testimony. Through its interrogation of different dramaturgical engagements with acts of witnessing, the book identifies certain forms of testimonial theatre that move beyond psychoanalytical accounts of trauma and reimagine testimony and witnessing as part of a decolonised project that looks beyond event-based trauma, addressing instead the experience of suffering wrought by racism and other forms of social injustice.

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The Voortrekker Monument and Freedom Park
Yvette Hutchison

was the suggestion that the government should provide monuments and memorials as symbolic forms of reparation, alongside financial reparations to victims and their families. In 1999 Nelson Mandela formulated the dream that was to be realised in Freedom Park: ‘The day should not be far off, when we shall have a people’s shrine, a freedom park, where we shall honour with all the dignity they deserve, those who endured pain so we should experience the joy of freedom’. The project was proposed in 1998, and then allocated 52 hectares on Salvokop, opposite the Voortrekker

in South African performance and archives of memory
Open Access (free)
Cultural geographies of poetry in colonial Aotearoa
Nikki Hessell

into the frame of the negotiation, in the language of one’s interlocutors and in a form that they will appreciate and comprehend. This form frequently involves citing or repeating past promises in order to establish the evidential base for reparations. But citation and repetition were also always factors in formal Māori communication, in particular the role of whaikōrero (speechmaking) in the deliberations. One important characteristic of whaikōrero is its strategic use of repetition. Speakers repeat chants, songs, proverbs, genealogies, formulaic expressions, and

in Worlding the south
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Josette Bushell-Mingo’s Cleopatra, Royal Exchange, Manchester, 2005; Tarell Alvin McCraney’s ‘radical edit’, Royal Shakespeare Company, The Public and GableStage, 2013
Carol Chillington Rutter

published in 1805 showing these last throes, the gruesome ‘Revenge taken by the Black Army for the cruelties practised on them by the French’, blacks stringing up whites, all of these men in the same Napoleonic uniforms, illustrated McCraney's production programme.) But the subjection that French military action couldn't achieve, French political chicanery did. France demanded ‘reparations’ before the French state would recognise the new nation. Haitians were required to compensate former plantation owners for ‘loss of property’ – that is, for themselves as slaves. While

in Antony and Cleopatra
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Reading Old Testament women in early modern England, 1550–1700
Victoria Brownlee and Laura Gallagher

hailed as virtuous wifely exemplars. 21 Although Old Testament women were frequently categorised as godly or wicked, the biblical narratives within which these women reside often reveal more complex figures than marriage and conduct writings suggest. Take Abigail, for example. 1 Samuel 25 details how she makes reparations to David and his army for Nabal’s churlishness by

in Biblical women in early modern literary culture 1550–1700
Abigail Ward

appetite for the exotic, if it means that I can get some royalties here and there. As to the British guilt for the Empire which translates into book buying and prize giving, I’ll gladly jostle in the queue for handouts and reparations. (I’ve even contemplated writing a sombre novel on slavery to cash in on White angst.) 48 However much his comments are meant ironically, Dabydeen nevertheless seems quick to draw distinct racial lines, especially when referring to the apparent desire of white readers to consume ‘exotic’ literature, leading to his

in Caryl Phillips, David Dabydeen and Fred D’Aguiar
Revising Religio Medici in the English Revolution
Matthew C. Augustine

, as hopelesse of their reparations ’ (p. 3). As Wilding rightly notes, the breakdown of state censorship after the calling of the Long Parliament, the abolition of Star Chamber, and the impeachment of Strafford and Laud, had opened the way for an outpouring of Puritan writing and millenarian prophecy in the early 1640s. Seen in this light, Browne’s tone of remonstrance and regret, coupled with his reference to the ‘tyranny’ of the press – its autonomous operation, irrespective of any authority – takes on a plausibly partisan cast. 19 Browne

in Aesthetics of contingency
Piscator, Hochhuth and Weiss
Amanda Stuart Fisher

Horsman argues, Adorno ‘draws the by-now familiar picture of postwar West Germany as a country firmly in denial of its Nazi past’ (Horsman, 2011: 1). Horsman goes on to argue, while the German government of the time ‘had officially recognised the nation’s responsibility for the Holocaust and had agreed to pay reparations to survivors, Germans privately sought to side-step the question of the Holocaust as much as possible’ (Horsman, 2011: 1). The German documentary plays of the 1960s were therefore speaking difficult truths to an audience that was reluctant to hear them

in Performing the testimonial
Yvette Hutchison

, forgiveness and national unity. As already discussed, symbolic reparations in the form of new cultural commemorations were intrinsic to this process, insofar as they translated specific aspects of the oral histories into concrete embodiments of the redefined narrative of South African history, while also addressing ongoing issues of loss and the need for mourning. From the election of the transitional Government of National Unity, multiculturalism was advocated in South Africa, which was celebrated as being ‘one nation, many cultures’. ‘Unity in diversity’ formed the basis

in South African performance and archives of memory
Yvette Hutchison

specific embodied persona. These theatrical performances, exhibitions and cyber engagements suggest that memory and history are fundamental to how South Africans are negotiating what is remembered and forgotten, and thereby ‘writing’ and performing themselves in the present. Conclusion It is clear that the attempt to get South Africans to engage with their various memories of the past and thus revise ways in which people engage with one another in the present through the TRC, symbolic reparations, including various memorial projects, and the African 42 See Maingard

in South African performance and archives of memory