States that the emergence of new performance paradigms in the second half of the 20th century is only now being recognized as a fresh phase in human history. Suggests that everywhere performance is becoming a key quality of endeavor, whether in science and technology, commerce and industry, government and civics, or humanities and the arts. Notes that the world is experiencing what the author here calls the 'performative society' - a society in which the human is crucially constituted through performance. Looks for signs and portents of the future of drama and theater in the performative society, finds mostly dissolution and deep panic, and tentatively suggests the need for a radical turn that will embrace the promiscuity of performance.
States that ways in which people receive and perceive what they taste, hear, touch, and smell all serve as potential resources for an understanding of an artistically mediated event. Notes that though some modes of perception are more usually associated with the visual than the performing arts, the development of forms of Live Art has begun to challenge the understanding of how the conventions of theatricalizing experience can be modulated. Uses methodologies drawn from a phenomenological perspective to examine the way in which Robert Wilson's installation, "H.G.," presented at the Clink, near London Bridge, in 1995, triggered a journey in sensory perception for its spectators, and served as an exemplar of the ways in which the full range of sensory resources can be 'theatrically' deployed.
States that many partisans of Alfred Jarry's work have discovered "Ubu roi" and the "science" of pataphysics via a study of the Parisian avant-garde, and the play has been discussed for a hundred years in this context. Assesses Jarry in the context of the world of rural puppetry. Brings the rural puppet into focus in a discussion of the Ubu cycle and exposes Père Ubu's identity as a class hybrid, whose maddening and elusive nature stems from the fusion of popular and elite forms. Reveals that Jarry's use of puppet forms is radically different from that of the Symbolists, who conceived puppets as theoretical figures within a fully formed aesthetic doctrine.
States that since the World Kayak Championships of 1990, and the momentous political changes with which it coincided, the artificial lake created near the Polish city of Poznan for that event has become the annual focus for a quite different event: the Malta Festival of Theater, which has earned a reputation for both hosting and initiating important experimental work, but is nonetheless rooted in the need to maintain close contact with its even larger and more enthusiastic audiences. Presents a range of illustrations of some of the outstanding productions in addition to retrospects by two regular members of those audiences. Indicates that the first outlines the origins and development of the festival, while the second offers a personal response to the achievements of the festival and to the philosophy of theater underlying them.
The ways in which we receive and perceive what we taste, hear, touch, and smell all serve as potential resources for our understanding of an artistically mediated event. Though some modes of perception are more usually associated with the visual than the performing arts, the development of forms of Live Art has begun to challenge our understanding of how the conventions of theatricalizing experience can be modulated. Using methodologies drawn from a phenomenological perspective, Stephen Di Benedetto here examines the way in which Robert Wilson's installation, HG presented at the Clink, near London Bridge, in 1995, triggered a journey in sensory perception for its spectators, and served as an exemplar of the ways in which the full range of sensory resources can be 'theatrically' deployed.
Augusto Boal is one of the best-known contemporary practitioners and teachers in the use of drama as a means of challenging the status quo. Starting as a self-proclaimed revolutionary, he developed his "Theatre of the Oppressed" working with the poor of Brazil. Now he is perhaps best known for his work in "Forum Theatre" and "Image Theatre." The authors argue that not only have Boal's methods been far from revolutionary for many years, but that they are now focused on individual needs, enabling the individual to survive a little longer within an oppressive social structure. They propose that this is not a case of Marxist revolutionary ideology becoming diluted over time, but that the roots of the change are to be found in a lack of grounding in Marxist theory and philosophy from the beginning.
The young Joseph Goebbels, caught up in the heady mix of ideas and ideals permeating German artistic circles during and after the First World War, expressed both his convictions and his confusions through writing plays. None of these deserve much attention as serious drama, but all shed light on the ideological development of the future Nazi Minister of Culture. While also developing an argument on the wide relationship between Expressionism and modernism, David Barrett here traces that relationship in Goebbels' plays, as also the evolution of an ideology that remained equivocal in its aestheticthe necessary condemnation of 'degenerate' art tinged with a lingering admiration, epitomized in the infamous exhibition of 1937.
Traces the trajectory of a number of Bernard-Marie Koltès's plays through the space of translation, including "Roberto Zucco," "Dans la solitude des champs de cotton" ("In the Solitude of the Cottonfields), "Quai Ouest" ("Quay West"), and "Combat de nègre et de chiens" ("Black Battles with Dogs"). Indicates that the authors, who are both Koltès translators, rely on testimonials from a variety of directors, translators, and actors, as well as evidence from productions in the U.K., Ireland, and the U.S., to trace the challenges that have faced English-speaking artists wishing to stage this demanding writer.
States that even by the time theater publicist and would-be historian Walter Macqueen-Pope was publishing his later volumes in the 1950s, the rise of academic theater scholarship was questioning such anecdotally based and unverified accounts of the theater and its past. Suggests that today, one can look at Macqueen-Pope, and at the period immediately before the First World War which was so often the focus of his attention, not so much for evidence of flawed scholarship as for his revealing attitude towards his subject and its social context. Concludes that while Macqueen-Pope may not tell the whole truth about his many subjects, such a "wistful remembrance" remains significant to any investigation of a theatrical past "that must always be a melting pot of imperfect recognitions and unattainable desires."
In this article Susan Oommen looks at the plays of the popular Indian dramatist Mahesh Dattani as conversations between the writer and his audience on models of reality, and interprets their performance as moments in subjectivization. In initiating an audience into redefining identity, she argues that Dattani provides the parameters within which problematizations may be reviewed and better understood. He also seeks to queer the debate on Indian middle-class morality, thereby challenging its privileged status and underscoring the interconnection between repression and invisibility. The question for the audience is whether Dattani's plays can cue them into experiences of resistance and encourage them to reinvent narratives that may then function as personal histories. One of the plays on which this article focuses, Dance Like a Man, was seen during this year's Edinburgh Festival as part of the Celebration of Indian Contemporary Performing Arts.