The authors explores the fundamental differences in approaches to the training of the aspirant actor, distinguishing between "acculturation" as the usual point of departure in eastern traditions, and "inculturation" as the dominant western mode. They explores the differing natures of the young actor's apprenticeship which have historically derived from these traditions, and the consequences of new emphases and social movements in the 20th century which threaten the future of the "accultured" approach, while requiring a new range of responses from the "incultured." This article was first presented at the international symposium "Tacit Knowledge - Heritage and Waste."
"When gods, spirits, and ancestors choose to make themselves present among the living, it is often in the form of a disembodied voice. Such voices can inhabit objects, animals, or otherwise silent parts of the human body. So the sounds that everyday things make might be the speech of the objects themselves, or of the spirits who speak through them. Fiona Templeton and Tadeusz Kantor both summon up voices that do not seem to belong to the bodies which appear on stage: Templeton's RECOGNITION allows a voice from the past to 'inhabit' a living body, while Kantor's work showed how material objects can be made to speak." (NEW THEATRE QUARTERLY) Kantor's "ventriloquial habitation by a strange voice" is compared and contrasted "with the work of the performance artist...Templeton, whose RECOGNITION interweaves past and present, the living and the dead, in analogous fashion...[T]hrough very different philosophies and technologies, both Kantor and Templeton 'transmit a sensual understanding of the past' to their audiencesthrough whose own responses the past is ultimately made to speak."
Lovell describes how a kind of intelligent technological environment can expand the expressive potential of traditional theater in many ways, and considers how this will affect the viewers' and performers' perceptions, setting out some of the pros and cons of the involvement of computer intelligence in performance settings. He argues that computer involvement is not about the death of traditional theater forms, but rather about their growth into new realms of expressiveness.
The work of the Polish director Tadeusz Kantor drew much on his own past - and specifically on memories of the dead. He himself took a "part apart" in his work on stage, manipulating and orchestrating the plays in progress, simultaneously as an actor and auteur. Margolies relates Kantor's dramatic memorializing of the dead and his creative ambivalence toward theatrical illusion to the "intersection of mysticism and rationalism" in his Polish-Jewish background - notably, to the image of the dybbuk, through whom the spirits of the dead speak, as in S. Anski's play of that name. She relates this ventriloquial habitation by a strange voice with the work of the performance artist Fiona Templeton, whose "Recognition" interweaves past and present, the living and the dead, in analogous fashion. She suggests that, through very different philosophies and technologies, both Kantor and Templeton "transmit a sensual understanding of their past" to their audiences - through whose own responses the past is ultimately made to speak.
Gargano takes a number of major modern dance events from the span of the 20th century to show the interaction between dance and scientific theory, from Loie Fuller's work at its beginning to Maguy Marin's "Coppelia" towards its end. She argues that the latter brings quantum mechanics and chaos theory into the sociological realm as it demonstrates how consciousness and social relations are tied to the new physics.
In the first of two essays employing academic discourses of cultural exchange to examine the intra-cultural situation in contemporary British society, published in NTQ 61, Barnaby King analyzed the relationship between Asian arts and mainstream arts in Britain on both a professional and a community level. In this second essay he takes a similar approach towards African-Caribbean theatre in Britain, comparing the Black theatre initiatives of the regional theatres with the experiences of theatre workers themselves based in Black communities. He shows how work which relates to a specific 'other' culture has to struggle to get funding, while work which brings Black Arts into a mainstream 'multicultural' programme has fewer problems. In the process, he specifically qualifies the claim that the West Yorkshire Playhouse provides for Black communities as well as many others, while exploring the alternative, community-based projects of 'Culturebox,' based in the deprived Chapeltown district of Leeds.
In an earlier issue of New Theatre Quarterly, NTQ55 (August 1998), Marcia Blumberg examined the setting of the kitchen in performances by Bobby Baker and Jeanne Goosen, arguing for the 'transitional and transgressive' possibilities of this domesticum-performance space. Here, Elaine Aston returns to the 'kitchen' in Bobby Baker's performances of 'daily life.' The article examines Baker's 'language' of food which 'speaks' of domesticity, and her conjunction of comic playing and the hysterical marking of the body, to show how her performance work constitutes an angry, feminist protest at the lack of social transformation in women's lives.
Focuses on the role and impersonation of African rituals and festivals, and examines the relationship between the forms, objectives, and contexts of the performances and the kinds of impersonation to be found in them. Distinguishes between the western actor and the African role-player, and between "intense impersonation" and possession, suggesting some generic parallels between western theater and African performance. Defines impersonation as the imitation of the appearance, speech, and behavior of a character. Includes a sidebar listing different types of African performances, the kind of impersonation it elicits, and its approximate equivalent in western theater.
Few studies of African ritual and festival performance have been written from a theatrical perspective, and Sam Ukala believes that the richness of such events has yet to be fully explored by African dramatists-while most of the western paratheatrical experiments derived from them have been influenced more by anthropological models than aesthetic principles. In pursuit of a dramaturgical approach to the study of African rituals and festivals, he focuses on the role and nature of impersonation in these events, and examines the relationship between the forms, objectives, and contexts of the performances and the kinds of impersonation to be found in them. Distinguishing between the western actor and the African role-player, and between 'intense impersonation' and possession, he suggests also some generic parallels between western theatre and African performance.
Cochrane discusses the history and development of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in relation to the city as an outcome of the city's growth in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, which made it distinctive in terms of its manufactures, the workers and entrepreneurs who produced them, and a civic consciousness that was disputed yet also shared. She also traces the transition between old and new theater buildings and spaces which continued to reflect shifting class and cultural relationships as the city, its politicians, and its planners adapted to the second half of the 20th century.