This book presents a study that undertakes an examination of participatory practices in contemporary theatre, performance and the visual arts, setting these against the broader social and political horizons of civic participation. It reconsiders the status of participation, with particular emphasis on participatory art both beyond a judgement of its social qualities as well as the confines of format and devising. The book attempts a cross-disciplinary discussion of participation, bringing together examples from the field of applied and community theatre, performance art and participatory visual arts. Gestures of participation in performance indicate possibilities for reconfiguring civic participation in public spaces in unexpected ways. Thus, less emphasis is laid on direct opposition and instead seeking a variety of modes of resisting co-optation, through unsolicited, vicarious or delicate gestures of participation. The book examines the question of institutional critique in relation to participatory art. It moves on to address the relationship between participatory art and the concept of 'impact'. A close examination of one workshop setting using the methodological framework of the 'theatre of the oppressed' in the context of a political party-led initiative follows. The book follows two conceptually inspired performance projects Where We Are Not? and If I Could Take Your Place? Finally, it emphasizes on how common-sense assumptions around audience participation in theatre and performance theory are called into question by the artwork's foregrounding of sleep as a mode of participation.
The neo-classical troopers' memorial of New Zealand, together with others around the former British Empire, illustrates the manner in which the South African War became a major imperial. This book explores how South Africa is negotiating its past in and through various modes of performance in contemporary theatre, public events and memorial spaces. Opinion on the war was as divided among white Afrikaners, Africans, 'Coloureds' and English-speaking white South Africans as these communities were from each other. The book analyses the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as a live event and as an archive asking throughout how the TRC has affected the definition of identity and memory in contemporary South Africa, including disavowed memories. It surveys a century of controversy surrounding the origins of the war and in particular the argument that gold shaped British policy towards the Transvaal in the drift towards war. The remarkable South African career of Flora Shaw, the first woman to gain a professional position on The Times, is portrayed in the book. The book also examines the expensive operation mounted by The Times in order to cover the war. While acknowledging the need not to overstress the role of personality, the book echoes J. A. S. Grenville in describing the combination of Milner and Chamberlain as a 'fateful partnership'. Current renegotiations of popular repertoires, particularly songs and dances related to the struggle, revivals of classic European and South African protest plays, new history plays and specific racial and ethnic histories and identities, are analysed.
This monograph takes as its subject the dynamic new range of performance practices that have been developed since the demise of communism in the flourishing theatrical landscape of Poland. After 1989, Lease argues, the theatre has retained its historical role as the crucial space for debating and interrogating cultural and political identities. Providing access to scholarship and criticism not readily accessible to an English-speaking readership, this study surveys the rebirth of the theatre as a site of public intervention and social criticism since the establishment of democracy and the proliferation of theatre makers that have flaunted cultural commonplaces and begged new questions of Polish culture. Lease suggests that a radical democratic pluralism is only tenable through the destabilization of attempts to essentialize Polish national identity, focusing on the development of new theatre practices that interrogate the rise of nationalism, alternative sexual identities and forms of kinship, gender equality, contested histories of antisemitism, and postcolonial encounters. Lease elaborates a new theory of political theatre as part of the public sphere. The main contention is that the most significant change in performance practice after 1989 has been from opposition to the state to a more pluralistic practice that engages with marginalized identities purposefully left out of the rhetoric of freedom and independence.
since the cinematic release of Titus , many of which exhibit the pervasive
influence of that film. Within each section, I hope to delineate the lines of descent that
incline toward Taymor’s version of the play and then radiate from it, investing the
stylised, realistic, and political approaches with renewed vigour. When possible, I also pay
close attention to the cultural and historical circumstances surrounding each production that helped to shape the
specific meaning generated through the collaboration of contemporary
perspective and from another point of view. The
book hence has made no attempt at hiding my own Regie. It certainly does not seek
to offer a ‘truthful representation and interpretation of the work’ of contemporarytheatre directors and the history they draw on, and neither do I consider this the
prime task of theatre direction. Instead, this study presents itself as an Inszenierung of
Regie that attempts to activate the same movement of speculative mediation, the very
energies of dialectic sublation that characterise and drive Regie.
Regie is, then, more than another
area marked as an aesthetic space, wherein they may reflect or represent the world outside,
undisturbed or untouched by it; rather, these two dimensions are
porous, connected by a vector shuttling back and forth between them,
not merely transporting ideas from one dimension to the other, but
affecting and transforming each of them in the process.
The present study undertakes an examination of participatory practices in contemporarytheatre, performance and the visual arts, setting
these against the broader social and political horizons of civic participation. It does
monument, the transient and the permanent. As a metatheatrical motif, supernatural creatures question not only the theatrical medium but also the theatricality of the venue and their compatibility. The Shakespearean supernatural thus challenges the Avignon Festival while paradoxically confirming its mission as a platform for experimentation, a laboratory for the performing arts and a showcase of contemporarytheatre.
Twenty-seven Shakespearean productions were programmed in the Honour Court of the Popes’ Palace over the seventy
importance for contemporarytheatre and performance scholarship, followed by a consideration of the
centrality of aesthetics or style in his work – style conceived
as a manner of approaching, at times circumventing, discourses of power
and truth. We conclude with a brief exposition of the chapters and their
position within the overall organisation of the book’s
This book brings together studies of cultural institutions in Manchester from 1850 to the present day, giving an unprecedented account of the city’s cultural evolution. These bring to light the remarkable range of Manchester’s contribution to modern cultural life, including the role of art education, popular theatre, religion, pleasure gardens, clubs and societies. The chapters show the resilience and creativity of Manchester’s cultural institutions since 1850, challenging any simple narrative of urban decline following the erosion of Lancashire’s industrial base, at the same time illustrating the range of activities across the social classes. The essays are organized chronologically. They consider the role of calico printers in the rise of art education in Britain; the origins and early years of the Belle Vue Zoological Gardens; the formation of the Manchester Dante Society in 1906; the importance of theatre architecture in the social life of the city; the place of religion in early twentieth-century Manchester, in the case of its Methodist Mission; the cosmopolitan nature of the Manchester International Club, founded in 1937; cultural participation in contemporary Manchester; and questions of culture and class in the case of a contemporary theatre group.
Selina Todd’s essay is a focused study of one cultural institution – a contemporary theatre group from north Manchester, MaD theatre company. Todd examines MaD’s experience, using this case study to argue that policymakers and middle-class cultural practitioners marginalise working-class cultural production. She is as interested in cultural production as in cultural consumption, suggesting that ‘cultural inclusion’ is usually interpreted as a very specific form of limited participation, with no place for a role as producer of culture. MaD is a working-class community theatre company, founded in 1996. Its membership and audiences increased in the years up to 2009, the company performing an original play each year. Audience questionnaires show that 60 percent of the audience were local, the majority manual and clerical workers, unemployed, or students. Todd situates MaD in the context of Manchester’s history of working-class culture, and of representations of working-class life, addressing questions of culture and community and of local, national and global reach. She shows that celebrating ‘diversity’ might actually work against class equality at the local level.