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In: Festivalising!
Author: Peter Eversmann

Abstract

This chapter explores the analogy between contagious diseases and theatre scandals. The potential of a scandal is present in many theatrical events, but under what conditions does this potential come to fruition? And once a scandal does break out, how does it spread, what – if any – containment strategies are employed, how does it (eventually?) die out and are there any longer-lasting effects – such as immunity, scars, heightened susceptibility, and so on? The chapter starts out from the assumption that any derogatory statement about a planned or actualized theatrical expression, pronouncing it to be scandalous and denying its right to be performed, might turn it into a fully-fledged public scandal. The dynamics of this process are described by applying concepts employed by epidemiology. Using these concepts and models from the medical world in the context of theatre reception is not without problems. Think only of questions like ‘what is/are the organism(s) that are affected?’; ‘in what way can a theatre scandal be considered a disease?’; ‘can a deliberate provocation be compared with involuntary infection?’ etc. Nevertheless, as will become clear from several examples, the analogy provide deeper insight into the ontology, origins, development and classification of theatre scandals. The chapter ends with a questionnaire derived from epidemiological notions and designed to assist in the research of the dynamics of theatre scandals – their origins, evolution and demise.

In: Theatre Scandals
In: Festivalising!
Author: Peter Eversmann

Abstract

This chapter explores the analogy between contagious diseases and theatre scandals. The potential of a scandal is present in many theatrical events, but under what conditions does this potential come to fruition? And once a scandal does break out, how does it spread, what – if any – containment strategies are employed, how does it (eventually?) die out and are there any longer-lasting effects – such as immunity, scars, heightened susceptibility, and so on? The chapter starts out from the assumption that any derogatory statement about a planned or actualized theatrical expression, pronouncing it to be scandalous and denying its right to be performed, might turn it into a fully-fledged public scandal. The dynamics of this process are described by applying concepts employed by epidemiology. Using these concepts and models from the medical world in the context of theatre reception is not without problems. Think only of questions like ‘what is/are the organism(s) that are affected?’; ‘in what way can a theatre scandal be considered a disease?’; ‘can a deliberate provocation be compared with involuntary infection?’ etc. Nevertheless, as will become clear from several examples, the analogy provide deeper insight into the ontology, origins, development and classification of theatre scandals. The chapter ends with a questionnaire derived from epidemiological notions and designed to assist in the research of the dynamics of theatre scandals – their origins, evolution and demise.

In: Theatre Scandals
Collective Approaches to Theatre and Performance
Series Editor: Peter Eversmann
Themes in Theatre is a platform for contemporary issues and current scholarship within international theatre studies. Monographs are not considered for this series; it aims at volumes that are characterised by a high level of interconnectedness – each author clearly contributing to a central subject within the field of theatre and performance.

Both diverse and interdisciplinary, the series furthers works which reflect on a variety of concepts and methods and which explore topics at the forefront of theatre research. Therefore, Themes in Theatre is not limited to any specific ‘-ism’, theatre genre, approach or methodology. As long as academic standards are met and the collectivity of the work is ensured, we welcome historical, critical, theoretical, and analytical discussions on the theatrical arts.

Themes in Theatre is published in association with the International Federation for Theatre Research. Scholars who are no members are also welcome to submit a proposal for a themed volume.
For information on the IFTR, its working groups and yearly conferences, please see the website: www.iftr.org.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals for collected volumes to the publisher at BRILL, Christa Stevens.
In: Avant-Garde and Criticism
In: Drama, Performance and Debate
In: Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679)
In: Avant-Garde and Criticism
In: Quid est secretum?