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Mark Robson

What does it mean to think of the work of Michel Foucault in terms of what I am calling here critical dramaturgy? There might appear to be a certain redundancy in underlining the critical, since from as early as Lessing’s Hamburgische Dramaturgie (1767–79), the critical dimension of dramaturgy has been insistently reinforced. For Lessing

in Foucault’s theatres
Karen Fricker

3 Lepage’s cinematic dramaturgy This chapter and the one that follows explore the ways in which Lepage uses cinematic techniques in his original theatre work, and the effects of these techniques. Many have noted his productions’ cinematic qualities, and the scholars Ludovic Fouquet and Piotr Woycicki have explored his engagement with film at some length. I build on these studies and extend them further by drawing on film and media theory, on affect theory, and on the work of Jacques Rancière to focus on questions of spectatorship. As I argue, Lepage borrows

in Robert Lepage’s original stage productions
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Author: Farokh Soltani

Radio / body draws from the philosophical discipline of phenomenology to question a number of prevalent ideas in radio theory and practice. The intention is to shift the basis for comprehending the experience of radio drama from theoretical systems such as semiotics, and abstract metaphors such as ‘visual imagination’ and ‘theatre of the mind’, towards a model that understands it in terms of perceptual, bodily experience of a holistic, graspable world. It posits that radio drama works because the sonic structure created through its dramaturgy expresses the perceptual experience of encountering the auditory world – a ‘listening to a listening’ – and radio dramaturgy can be understood as a process of structuring sounds that listen to the dramatic world. Using this insight, it is posited that conventional radio dramaturgy generates a mode of listening focused on the referential meaning of the sounds, rather than their affective qualities – this is labelled the semantic paradigm of British radio. The history of this paradigm is explored in depth, revealing its emergence to be the product of contingent cultural and technological factors. Now that these factors have changed radically due to the rise of digital technologies, it is argued that a paradigm shift is taking place, with a move towards a more bodily, more resonant dramaturgy.

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.

This edited collection is the first to engage directly with Foucault’s thought on theatre and with the theatricality of his thought. Michel Foucault was not only one of the most controversial and provocative thinkers of the twentieth century, he was also one of its most inventive and penetrating researchers. Notoriously hard to pin down, his work evades easy categorisation – philosopher, historian of ‘systems of thought’, ‘radical journalist’ ‒ Foucault was all of these things, and so much more. In what some see as a post-critical landscape, the book forcefully argues for the urgency and currency of Foucauldian critique, a method that lends itself to theatrical ways of thinking: how do we understand the scenes and dramaturgies of knowledge and truth? How can theatre help understand the critical shifts that characterised Foucault’s preoccupation with the gaze and the scenographies of power? Above all, what makes Foucault’s work compelling comes down to the question he repeatedly asked: ‘What are we at the present time?’ The book offers a range of provocative essays that think about this question in two ways: first, in terms of Foucault’s self-fashioning – the way he plays the role of public intellectual through journalism and his many public interviews, the dramaturgy of his thinking, and the appeal to theatrical tropes in his work; and, second, to think about theatre and performance scholarship through Foucault’s critical approaches to truth, power, knowledge, history, governmentality, economy, and space, among others, as these continue to shape contemporary political, ethical, and aesthetic concerns.

Migration, colonial Australia and the creative encounter
Author: Paul Carter

Translations is a personal history written at the intersection of colonial anthropology, creative practice and migrant ethnography. Renowned postcolonial scholar, public artist and radio maker, UK-born Paul Carter documents and discusses a prodigiously varied and original trajectory of writing, sound installation and public space dramaturgy produced in Australia to present the phenomenon of contemporary migration in an entirely new light. Rejecting linear conceptualisations of migrant space–time, Carter describes a distinctively migrant psychic topology, turbulent, vortical and opportunistic. He shows that the experience of self-becoming at that place mediated through a creative practice that places the enigma of communication at the heart of its praxis produces a coherent critique of colonial regimes still dominant in discourses of belonging. One expression of this is a radical reappraisal of the ‘mirror state’ relationship between England and Australia, whose structurally symmetrical histories of land theft and internal colonisation repress the appearance of new subjects and subject relations. Another is to embrace the precarity of the stranger–host relationship shaping migrant destiny, to break down art’s aesthetic conventions and elide creative practice with the poetics (and politics) of social production – what Carter calls ‘dirty art’. Carter tackles the argument that immigrants to Australia recapitulate the original invasion. Reflecting on collaborations with Aboriginal artists, he frames an argument for navigating incommensurable realities that profoundly reframes the discourse on sovereignty. Translations is a passionately eloquent argument for reframing borders as crossing-places: framing less murderous exchange rates, symbolic literacy, creative courage and, above all, the emergence of a resilient migrant poetics will be essential.

Abstract only
Farokh Soltani

much more immersed, embodied and direct. Yet, the way radio dramas are made has not changed enough with the times, meaning that the level of bodily resonance that may fulfil the demand of a listener like him can be found more readily in other media, whilst conventionally created radio drama still aspires only to be the theatre of the mind . I can even explain how this rather outdated mode of making radio drama – which I have labelled semantic dramaturgy – is created through paradigmatic conventions, how it originates from a set of unique and contingent conditions

in Radio / body
The semantic paradigm of British radio dramaturgy and its problems
Farokh Soltani

Now that we have a phenomenological framework to analyse radio drama, I can begin to apply this framework to historical and contemporary radio dramaturgies in more concrete and specific detail, to critique aspects of practice and to explore possible future developments. I begin this with the chapter at hand, in which I analyse how conventional British radio drama listens to its world. I want to make a rather bold claim here: that conventional British radio production is dominated by a certain dramaturgical attitude, which results in a radio

in Radio / body
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The problem of radio drama
Farokh Soltani

production, which calls for a re-examination of its aesthetics and dramaturgy – a task that this volume undertakes. Secondly, my student accidentally posited the key question that I aim to answer: how does radio drama work? How is it that a series of sounds created by actors and producers in a studio can become a complete dramatic experience for me? The third and most important connection, however, is that the incredulity of the comments hint at a phenomenon characteristic of radio drama: radio's very capability to function as a dramatic medium has been a matter of

in Radio / body
A genealogy of the semantic paradigm of radio dramaturgy
Farokh Soltani

In the previous chapter, I posited that British radio dramaturgy follows a semantic paradigm. I then argued that this paradigm could be critiqued for its disregard for resonance, and instead envisaged a hypothetical resonant mode of dramaturgy, through which the radio-body listens to itself. I then highlighted a significant critique of this hypothesis: the historical dominance of the semantic paradigm can imply that it is the ‘final’ form of radio drama. Andrew Crisell follows such an argument in ‘Better than Magritte’ – an

in Radio / body