Theatre Scandals

Social Dynamics of Turbulent Theatrical Events


Since the beginning of theatre history, scandals have taken place and the variety of causes, processes and types of interactions makes them an interesting object of study. Theatre scandals often indicate clashes with a dominant ideology or with the ideology of a particular group in society. Sometimes, following a scandal, the attacked ideology changes and incorporates the possibility of the aesthetics or themes that caused the clash. In this way, scandals can cause dynamic changes within cultural systems.
Next to theoretical considerations the contributors, all members of the IFTR Theatrical Event Working Group, present in their various case studies a wide cultural and chronological diversity of theatre scandals, all of which were experienced as very shocking moments in theatre history.

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Vicki Ann Cremona, Docteur ès Lettres (1980), Université de Provence, is Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Malta. She has published on public celebration, including Carnival and Power. Play and Politics in a Crown Colony (2018).

Peter Eversmann, Ph.D. (1996), University of Amsterdam, is Associate Professor of Theatre Studies at that university. He has published on theatre history and on the psychology of the spectator, including The Experience of the Theatrical Event (2004).

Bess Rowen, Ph.D. (2018), Villanova University, is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre. She has published articles and interviews on twentieth- and twenty-first-century theatre in the United States. She has a forthcoming monograph on her concept of affective stage directions.

Anneli Saro, Ph.D. (2004), University of Tartu, is Professor of Theatre Research at that university. She has published on Estonian theatre history and system, on poetics of playing and reception research.

Henri Schoenmakers, Ph.D. 1983 University of Antwerpen, was Professor of Theatre Studies (Utrecht University, 1984-2005) and of Theatre and Media Studies (University of Erlangen, 2000-2007, and Roosevelt Academy of Utrecht University, 2008-2013). He has published on the theory and reception of theatre and media, e.g. Theater und Medien / Theatre and the Media: Grundlagen – Analysen – Perspektiven (2008).
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors


1 General Introduction Willmar Sauter and Henri Schoenmakers
2 Spreading Like Wildfire: the Genesis and Evolution of Theatre Scandals Peter Eversmann
3 Scandalous Theatrical Events: Concerns and Emotions Henri Schoenmakers

Scandals Starting during Theatrical Events

4 The Hamburg Theatre Scandal of 1801: Political, Economic and Aesthetic Conflicts on Stage Martin Schneider
5 Burning the Bridge while Bridging the Gap: Riotous Pedagogy in ``The Plough and the Stars'' – Riot of 1926 Bess Rowen
6 Shit, Idealism and Contingency: Terror in God’s Theatre Janne Tapper

Scandals Starting Outside and around Theatrical Events

7 The Ejima-Ikushima Scandal Tove Bjoerk
8 Scandal and Rebellion in the Theatrical Event: the Maltese Carnival of 1846 Vicki Ann Cremona
9 Why Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Play Garbage, the City, and Death Could Not Be Performed in Germany Beate Schappach
10 Swiss-Swiss Democracy: the Making of Scandal as Play and Counter Play Andreas Kotte
11 Israeli-Palestinian Conflict on the Israeli Stage Arousing Scandal: the Case of Return to Haifa Naphtaly Shem-Tov
12 Mike Daisey’s False Witness Joshua Edelman

Scandals and Beyond

13 Cleopatra – between Historical and Movie Scandals Willmar Sauter
14 Censorship as a Tool for the Prevention and Suspension of Scandals Anneli Saro
15 The School for Scandal Marvin Carlson
All interested in theatre scandals, their theoretical mapping and their role in theatre history. Especially theatre and performance scholars, dealing theoretically or historically with the function of theatre in society.
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