Political Performances

Theory and Practice

Political Performances: Theory and Practice emerges from the work of the Political Performances Working Group of the International Federation for Theatre Research/Fédération Internationale pour la Recherche de Théâtrale. The collection of essays strives to interrogate definitions and expand boundaries of political performance. Members of Political Performances are from around the world and so approach the intersection of politics and performance from very different perspectives. Some focus on socio-political context, others on dramatic content, others on political issues and activism, and still others examine the ways in which communities perform their collective identity and political agency. The organizational structure of Political Performances highlights the variety of ways in which politics and performance converge. Each section - “Queries”, “Texts”, “Contexts” and “Practice” - frames this confluence according to certain common threads that emerge from essays that deal with topics from the ethics of autobiographical performance, the political efficacy of verbatim theatre, the challenges of community-based performance, political and self-censorship, and the impossibility of representing atrocity. The essays challenge existing ideas of political performance and point the way to new approaches.

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E.J. Westlake: Mapping Political Performances: A Note on the Structure of the Anthology
Avraham Oz: Introduction - Performance as Sepulchre and Mousetrap: Global Encoding, Local Deciphering
Part One: Queries
Paola Botham: Witnesses in the Public Sphere: Bloody Sunday and the Redefinition of Political Theatre
David Grant: Orality and the Ethics of Ownership in Community-Based Drama
Bérénice Hamidi-Kim: The Théâtre Du Soleil's Trajectory from “People’s Theatre” to “Citizen Theatre:” Involvement or Renunciation?
Tal Itzhaki: Ways of Unseeing: Glass Wall on the Main Stage
Deirdre Heddon: To Absent Friends: Ethics in the Field of Auto/Biography
Part Two: Texts
Carl Lavery: Reading The Blacks through the 1956 Preface: Politics and Betrayal
Sydney Cheek O’Donnell: Barbarians and Babes: A Feminist Critique of a Postcolonial Persians
Tom Maguire: Performing Stereotypes at Home and Abroad
Sanja Nikčević: The Comeback of Political Drama in Croatia: Or How to Kill a President by Miro Gavran
David Watt: Local Knowledges, Memories, and Community: From Oral History to Performance
Part Three: Contexts
Shimon Levy: Modalities of Israeli Political Theatre: Plonter, Arna’s Children, and The Ruth Kanner Group
Susan C. Haedicke: Documenting the Invisible: Dramatizing the Algerian Civil War of the 1990s
Wendy Clupper: The Erotic Politics of Critical Tits: Exhibitionism or Feminist Statement?
E.J. Westlake: The Güegüence Effect: The National Character and the Nicaraguan Political Process
Part Four: Practice
Beverly Redman: Do the Ends Justify the Means? Considering Homeless Lives as Propaganda and Product
Kerrie Schaefer: The Birabahn/Threlkeld Project: Place, History, Memory, Performance, and Coexistence
Lloyd Peters and Sue Becker: Non-Naturalistic Performance in Political Narrative Drama: Methodologies and Languages for Political Performance with Reference to the Rehearsal and Production of E To The Power 3—Education, Education, Education
Sonja Arsham Kuftinec: Gay Muslims and Salty Meat Pies: The Limits of Performing Community
About the Contributors