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Female theatre workers and professional practice

Stage women, 1900–50 explores the many ways in which women conceptualised, constructed and participated in networks of professional practice in the theatre and performance industries between 1900 and 1950. A timely volume full of original research, the book explores women’s complex negotiations of their agency over both their labour and public representation, and their use of personal and professional networks to sustain their careers. Including a series of case studies that explore a range of well-known and lesser-known women working in theatre, film and popular performance of the period. The volume is divided into two connected parts. ‘Female theatre workers in the social and theatrical realm’ looks at the relationship between women’s work – on- and offstage – and autobiography, activism, technique, touring, education and the law. Part II, ‘Women and popular performance’, focuses on the careers of individual artists, once household names, including Lily Brayton, Ellen Terry, radio star Mabel Constanduros, and Oscar-winning film star Margaret Rutherford. Overall, the book provides new and vibrant cultural histories of women’s work in the theatre and performance industries of the period.

Working memories

Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space explores how street theatre transforms industrial space into postindustrial space. Deindustrializing communities have increasingly turned to cultural projects to commemorate industrial heritage while simultaneously generating surplus value and jobs in a changing economy. Through analysis of French street theatre companies working out of converted industrial sites, this book reveals how theatre and performance more generally participate in and make historical sense of ongoing urban and economic change. The book argues, firstly, that deindustrialization and redevelopment rely on the spatial and temporal logics of theatre and performance. Redevelopment requires theatrical events and performative acts that revise, resituate, and re-embody particular pasts. The book proposes working memory as a central metaphor for these processes. The book argues, secondly, that in contemporary France street theatre has emerged as working memory's privileged artistic form. If the transition from industrial to postindustrial space relies on theatrical logics, those logics will manifest differently depending on geographic context. The book links the proliferation of street theatre in France since the 1970s to the crisis in Fordist-Taylorist modernity. How have street theatre companies converted spaces of manufacturing into spaces of theatrical production? How do these companies (with municipal governments and developers) connect their work to the work that occurred in these spaces in the past? How do those connections manifest in theatrical events, and how do such events give shape and meaning to redevelopment? Street theatre’s function is both economic and historiographic. It makes the past intelligible as past and useful to the present.

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Pavel Drábek
M. A. Katritzky

modern theatre historiography with verifiable specificities. Methodologically, this is a crucial feature of all the chapters in this volume: the systematic yoking of theories (views and maps) to surviving historical evidence for the performative event – whether as material object, text, performative routine, structural pattern (theatergram), social realities (rituals, festivities, genres), archival

in Transnational connections in early modern theatre
Open Access (free)
Street and theatre at the end of Fordism
David Calder

. Therefore this chapter brings together street theatre historiography and performance analysis. In doing so, it shows how street theatre’s engagement with real and imagined pasts shapes persistent assumptions about its political efficacy and its relationship to theatre in purpose-built spaces. French street theatre’s origin stories trace the form to the protests of May 1968 or link it to a premodern carnivalesque; in both cases, street theatre is supposed to transcend the atomization of bodies in space and time by eliminating the distinction between performer and spectator

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space
Patrick Duggan

power in Benjamin’s presupposed ancient world links to the productive nature of mimesis which is available within Marxist theatre historiography as identified, for example, by George Thomson in the 1940s (cf. Shepherd and Wallis 2004: 215). This Marxist standpoint proposes that mimesis is a process through which, for example, ‘the hunter tries to be like an animal s/he hunts in 59 Trauma-tragedy: Symptoms of contemporary performance order to know it and so capture it’ (Shepherd and Wallis 2004: 215). This is mimesis as mechanism for survival in the world; a

in Trauma-tragedy
Gilli Bush-Bailey

perpetuate that exclusion as theatre historians begin to catalogue and interpret theatre and performance in the recent past of the twentieth century. Bennett is rightly suspicious of a historiography that works only in the margins but, as her own research interest in the twentieth-century female dramatist reveals, feminist theatre historiography could be said to collude with this marginalization by focusing on individual female achievement when we should, I suggest, be looking instead for networks of influence and collaboration – not only in the subjects we choose to

in Treading the bawds
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Re-evaluating the AFL
Naomi Paxton

political agenda. As both performance studies and histories of women in theatre and theatre historiography have developed extensively since the 1980s, there is now perhaps a language within the wider discipline of theatre studies through which the material produced by the League can be read. The year 2013 saw the public commemoration, particularly in the press and on television, of Emily Wilding Davison’s fatal accident at the Derby –​probably the most widely publicised act of suffrage militancy and one that has come to represent the movement in the public imagination

in Stage Rights!
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The politics of performance and the performance of politics
Peter Yeandle
Katherine Newey

has led – via the work of scholars such as Patrick Joyce, James Vernon and Gareth Stedman Jones– to the complicating and muddying of concepts of class.22 The turn to ‘performance’ reflects developments in cultural history that call for analysis of visual culture as well as the discursive treatment of documentary sources. Yet the performative turn, in the context of the new theatre historiography, permits the resurrection of class as an analytical category. Performance: a category for the analysis of political culture? It is to the development of ‘performance’ as

in Politics, performance and popular culture
Biblical plays between Czech drama and English comedy in early modern Central Europe
Pavel Drábek

‘Jiné příčiny by se vyhledali, / Kterýmžto byšte všyckni místo dali, / Proč jsou Commediae všem užitečné, / Bohu i také dobrým Lidem vděčné’ ( Šalamoun 1604, A3r). 8 The ‘size of all that's missing’ is Odai Johnson's phrase and the title of his work-in-progress on the archival limitations of theatre historiography. 9

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama
Performing quacks at court
M. A. Katritzky

disguised as healers in this festival’s closing entry are particularly significant. They provide a wealth of information for theatre historiography, referencing the comic stage (Matamorbe and Francatable); Scottish (Macollo), German (Faustus) and French (Ferrand) itinerant physicians, and the stage names of two of the most successful performing quacks of their time, the Frenchman

in Transnational connections in early modern theatre