Adaptation, Participation, Risk-taking: Creative Interventions In Contemporary Performance

Translator and theatre scholar Dr. Jozefina Komporaly reflects on a day of exchange between the worlds of research, practice, and immersive theatre, with adaptation and interactivity at its core. This article aims to highlight converges and confluences between professional performance practice, academia, and the general public, drawing on an event that situated the day-to-day work of theatre practitioners, aspects of performance criticism, and the notion of work in progress side by side. The venue, however, was not the familiar territory of a break-out space or rehearsal room regularly used by theatre professionals, but the Theatre @ Wimbledon College of Arts, University of...

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Unpacking The Role Of Women In Ibsen’s “The Enemy Of The People”

Goodman’s Resident Dramaturg on how her work gives texture and specificity to a production. Consider the riddle of Neena Arndt’s work at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. She conducts research that informs designs but doesn’t design sets or costumes or soundscapes. She often appears on Goodman stages but is not an actor. Arndt is a dramaturg who researches playwrights, characters and their lives, relevant social and political events, and other themes for use by actors, designers, directors, and sometimes press offices. She might even have a hand in refining a play adaptation. She is part of the community that...

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“Anæsthesia Transopera” – Interactive Transmedia Opera

In 2016 the art & science collective Dæd Baitz (Agnieszka Jelewska, Michał Krawczak, Paweł Janicki, Rafał Zapała, Michał Cichy, Exu Arin) created a concept and a prototype for an interactive environment for experimental transopera. The project was commissioned by the Polish Theatre Institute in Warsaw. The main dramaturgy was based on texts of the Russian philosopher Nikolai Fyodorov. At the end of the nineteenth century, Fyodorov created the concept of Russian Cosmism–a philosophy which literally in many parts prefigures the modern theory of transhumanism, with a deep Christian twist. In Fyodorov’s vision, all people should be resurrected and get...

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Discussion On The Greatest Theatrical Scandal Of 2017: “Klątwa” At The Powszechny Theatre In Warsaw

Kasia Lech (KL): How could we introduce Klątwa [The Curse] and its context to someone for whom the play, Polish theatre, and the Polish socio-political context are rather unknown? Agata Łuksza (AŁ): Undoubtedly Klątwa, directed by Olivier Frljić, caused in Poland the greatest theatrical scandal of 2017. It premiered at the Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw, a city-subsidized institution led by Paweł Łysak and Paweł Sztarbowski who coined their theatre “theatre which interferes.” So far, all of Frljić’s attempts to cooperate with Polish theatres have resulted in nationwide discussions about the borders of theatre art. Klątwa really struck a chord by...

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Interview With The Art Director Of MICET Interactive Theatre Museum In Kraków

Walking into the old basement of the legendary Old Theatre (Stary Teatr) in Krakow, you soon realize nothing is old here. MICET, the new interactive theatre museum, which opened just about a year ago, completely transforms the theatre’s dark, moldy basement into one of the most cutting-edge museum/installation/performance spaces in Europe.

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The Importance Of Documenting And Archiving The Performing Arts

Chloe Chotrani is a movement artist and writer based in Singapore. She has set up the performing arts archive, Talking Circles, a digital archive of performing artists from South, Southeast Asia, and its Diaspora. A continuous work in progress, the archive stands as a blog–Talking Circles; where you can find informal interviews of performing artists where we talk about social, political, artistic, and economic values in their practice. Talking Circles was created from an affinity with Southeast Asia. Beyond the digital, Talking Circles works on the field–sourcing writers from fringe areas of Southeast Asia such as West Sumatra, Mindanao and East Timor for potential...

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Can You Hear Me Now? Dramaturgy: Speaking With Many Voices

When describing the role of a dramaturg Dr. Philippa Kelly says this: “I see a dramaturg’s shadow as flitting constantly, Ariel-like, in the process of creation” and it could not be a more fitting way to describe her extensive career as an author, instructor, and dramaturg. Since encountering Shakespeare at age fourteen, she’s become the first woman in history to prepare a public edition of King Lear and has published several books, including three on King Lear, the most recent being The King and I. She’s also educated students and audiences about Shakespeare in schools, prisons, and at the...

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Flock Theatre Presents “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” In The Monte Cristo Cottage

On the first night of rehearsal in the Monte Cristo Cottage in New London, CT, Flock Theatre Artistic Director Derron Wood poked me and with a boyish grin whispered, “Hear that?” While Victor Chiburis banged through his Act IV monologue about being lost in the sea and fog, downriver, the New London foghorn moaned in the dark. The coincidence of actual fog arising in concert with its textual reference represented the aesthetic—part naturalism, part realism—that Derron sought in his production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night, the first to be performed in full in Eugene O’Neill’s boyhood home. Since...

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From Script To Stage: Sustaining The Rhythm In Performing Art In Nigeria

Can rhythm in theatre performances be sustained? Composing a moist and spicy story could be quite engaging. It involves a lot of mind drills and research, a lengthy journey to embark on but the wind-down results are always worth it especially when the piece is creatively marshaled. It is always an exciting occasion when I go to the theatres to watch good plays notched with present-day realities. The experiences and effects are such that chills my spine afterward. For any piece of theatre to be termed as terrific, there must be a flow of rhythm that guides it through...

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“The Grift”: Theatre or Escape the Room?

Theatre as a concept is related to the idea of “play.” After all, scripts are plays and actors play roles. However, it is not often that these words are dissected to reach the idea of “game.” This is why, when arriving at the charming Town Hall Hotel for the site-specific, immersive, interactive production of The Grift, it was surprising to hear the hotel staff commend the play as a “very fun game.” Soon enough, the 50 audience members were given color bracelets that would divide them into different “teams.” This game-like audience division is not unheard of in immersive...

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The New Play Dramaturgy in Russia

The movement for the renewal of the repertoire and new playwriting in Russia is hardly more than fifteen years old. In that time a powerful network has been created, an infrastructure that covers Russia and the former Soviet republics. This network has become involved with the selection and cross-country distribution of plays; experimental work; the education of playwrights, directors, and actors in the new aesthetic; and the presence of the contemporary play in social networks. Today, dramaturgical life is both highly saturated and fiercely active. Seminars, laboratories, readings, student performances, festivals, discussions, and competitions extend across all of Russia,...

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The Importance Of Dramaturgical Design

A man in all-black production attire shoots an audience with a camcorder in an almost lackadaisical manner. The footage is instantaneously projected on a large screen behind, in grainy black and white. There is the slightest of time-lags, and that unavoidable hand-held shakiness. Of course, the video is slightly less fluid than in real life (techies can blame that on the frames per second), and it is strangely voiceless. The sound is switched off, and that’s deliberate, but the silence is peculiar because the audience itself is in the midst of the very live action that the video seeks...

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The Place Of A Dramaturg In Twenty-First Century England

Between 2002–2005, I carried the professional title of a Dramaturg in the UK. Even when confronted with the friendliest of dispositions, being a “dramaturg” in England [ii] inevitably goes hand in hand with having to explain what your job title means. Having continental roots (especially German, Scandinavian or Eastern European) appears to bestow more of a natural entitlement to the D-word; however, this by no means guarantees freedom of access to the English rehearsal room. My first projects in my new job was a devised piece that would consist of Romani music and folk-tales, which would form Northern Stage’s own contribution to an international festival...

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American Lyric Theater: 10 Years of Nurturing the Future of Opera

I’m not particularly interested in an opera written for three vacuum cleaners featuring a punk-singer with no discernable plot. I’m not saying that type of work is not a legitimate form of musical-theatrical expression, but that isn’t what excites me about the potential of opera. I don’t think we have to revolt against opera’s history to define its future. Quite the contrary – I’m excited to see how artists BUILD upon opera’s history to create a vibrant future.

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Dramaturgical Leadership And The Politics Of Appeal In Commercial Theatre

In an early scene of Rick Elice’s irreverent Peter Pan prequel, Peter And The Starcatcher, the precocious Molly Aster discovers three orphan boys in the bilge dungeon of the Neverland, a shabby merchant ship on an 1885 voyage from Portsmouth to the remote and dangerous isle of Rundoon. Upon her request for the leader, and without the consensus of his fellow orphans, the cocksure Prentiss introduces himself in charge. After a few more feeble assertions, including his claim that “The leader has to be a boy,” Molly turns to the timid, tubby orphan: “Ever notice, Ted—the more you claim leadership the more it eludes you?” Appreciating the sly put-down, from a girl no less, Ted shoots Prentiss a sideways glare and anachronistically retorts, “Oh, snap!”[1] Staged by Tony-winning veteran...

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What Is The Current State Of Slovak Theatre?

We began in February with the first trip to Bratislava to see the S.T.O.K.A. theatre production and ended in June at the “Dotyky a Spojenia” Festival at Martin. We visited 19 theatres (12 state-run, 7 independent), saw 54 productions and made 4,000 kilometers on our “wonderful” roads. That, perhaps, allows us, to share a few lines about the state of theatre in Slovakia and a little about the productions of the past season. It is the year 2015. Theatres in dramaturgical vacuum It might be just our opinion (though one does not have to leave home to check the reality,...

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“A Day By The Sea” at Southwark Playhouse

Some plays would now be completely forgotten if not for a scandal that makes them memorable. NC Hunter’s A Day By The Sea, first staged in 1953, is a good example. Today, its name is chiefly remembered because it was the play John Gielgud was rehearsing when he was arrested for cottaging at a time when homosexual acts were illegal. The scandal of his being fined for “persistently importuning men for immoral purposes,” a crime against the social mores of the 1950s, led to fears that his career would be over. As it happened, he was vilified, received hate mail,...

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The Making Of La Dramaturgie In France

The cover image of the January 1986 special issue of Théâtre/Public, “Dramaturgie,” offers a glimpse of what dramaturgy looked like to French theatre scholars and practitioners at the time: a photo of a hand lightly touching a single typewritten piece of paper on a desk, other overturned pages nearby. It is dark. A small lamp illuminates the stack of paper, it is a script. In her preface to this issue that proposed to assess the state of dramaturgy, Michèle Raoul-Davis made the distinction between the “literary side of the dramaturg, the person responsible for the programming and publications for...

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