Themes in Theatre

Articles

No. 8, 2014

Playing Culture - an Introduction
'Salve, clarissime! ''Hail to you, most enlightened,' exclaims the Promotor and continues: 'accipe coronam lauream, ecce diploma publicum', that is, 'receive the laurel crown and the official diploma.'This solemn greeting is extended to those who during...
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Playing Culture: The Return Of/to the Homo Ludens
Playing Culture, together with Cultural Context, Contextual Theatricality and Theatrical Playing, are the four conceptual categories that constitute The Theatrical Event. This model has been the intellectual, social, emotional and playful ongoing project...
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Play Is the Pleasure of Being the Cause on the Comparability of Scenic Sequences within the Playing Culture
Game theory has always been part of theatre-theoretical analysis, which tries to explore the ephemeral object 'theatre' as closely as possible. Game theory is incorporated into this discourse - for example as a guiding formula or in interaction theory...
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Playing Is Not Pretending
1. Every regular visitor of theatre performances remembers an occasion when a more or less serious accident happened on stage. What usually amazes us is the time that passes between the accident itself and the spectators' acceptance that this bleeding,...
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Performance, Production and Other Spatio-Temporal Practices in the Edgy City
As my title suggests, I am interested in exploring borders, whether these are drawn in space or in time, through conceptual distinctions among theatre, performance or event, urban form, fabric or structure, or in phenomenological differences between...
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Writing: Exploring the Margins of Playing and Theatricality
In this article, two phenomena are investigated more thoroughly: writing and theatricality. Writing belongs to the domain of every-day practices but in certain circumstances might become playing and under rather extreme circumstances such as the Literary...
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Naming as a Playing Practice and Political Strategy
This chapter explores playing as an effective strategy to redefine and criticise dominant social discourses. It focuses on the phenomenon of naming as a playing practice and political strategy: more specifically, on how naming procedures co-create social...
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Pervasive Games: Representations of Existential In-between-Ness
INTRODUCTIONIn spring 2010 I watched the television documentary film, The Yes Men Fix the World (2009), about an American performance art group that operates between the fields of performance art and social activism.The Yes Men is a two-man performance...
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Playing on and around the Public Square
Sergeis torg, a square in the middle of Stockholm's modem city is surrounded by banks, offices, department stores and the large House of Culture (Kulturhuset). In the middle of November 2007 about 50 middle-aged and elderly women were gathered on the...
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When the Saint Comes Marching out - the Cultural Playing of a Maltese Festa
The Maltese festa - the celebration of individual Patron Saints in different villages and towns - constitutes one of the main highlights of the communal life of Maltese inhabited centres. Not all communities celebrate their festa with the same intensity,...
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Playing with Change: Repetition and Innovation in Township Performance
In the contemporary post post-apartheid moment in South Africa (Kruger 1999), in the townships which surround Cape Town, theatre is commonly practised by many young people with intense enthusiasm. There are literally dozens of theatre groups, comprising...
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'Being Oneself on Stage': Modalities of Presence on Stage
Introduction1Human beings have the capacity to 'act as-if. We can pretend that we are sad, that we are happy, or that we are interested, even when we do not feel those emotions at all. This capacity is of great help in maintaining social relationships....
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The Structure of Acting Reconsidered: From the Perspective of a Japanese Puppet Theatre, Bunraku
My primal interest is to show a model for an analysis of the structure of any theatrical performance, modem or traditional, Western or Japanese. I have stated my ideas several times before (Mori, 2002, 2007). But I have further explored them since, mainly...
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The Theatricality of Playing over and Playing Out
If Frankenstein were a theatre, Victor and Elizabeth, two brilliant objects of desire and enviable emblems of poise, would be the actors in it, and the Monster, who hides in the wings, is unnamed and ignored, and disrupts the action with his unsanctioned...
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No. 7, 2013

List of Illustrations
4.1: The farewell sequence from Monteverdi's L'lncoronazione di Poppea (1642) (Monteverdi 1967: 37-8), bars 423-433. © Mit freundlicher Genehmigung der UNIVERSAL EDITION A.G., Wien.4.2: Claudio Monteverdi, L'lncoronazione di Poppea, production: Klaus...
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Empty Houses, Booming Voices
Why, then, for the love of opera? [...] Because from its very beginning, opera was dead, a stillborn child of musical art. [...] Opera never was in accord with its time-from its very beginnings, it was perceived as something outdated, as a retroactive...
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Is This Still Opera? Media Operas as Productive Provocations
"THAT'S NOT OPERA ANYMORE"Several years ago, at the world congress of the International Federation for Theatre Research in Amsterdam (2002) I gave a presentation on CNN operas in the course of which I parenthetically mentioned the phenomenon of television...
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A New Glimmer of Light: Opera, Metaphysics and Mimesis
Throughout the four hundred years of its existence opera is the art form that has, above all others, served to inscribe or figure some of the fundamental concepts of Western metaphysics. As Gary Tomlinson writes, opera's history may be seen as "the changing...
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The Singing Body in the Tragédie Lyrique of Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century France: Voice, Theatre, Speech, Pleasure
In her paper on the "operatic scandal of the singing body" for The Cambridge Opera Journal, Michelle Duncan points out how difficult it is to give an account of the experience of listening to opera, especially while considering the performer's body:[...]...
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Performing Affect in Seventeenth-Century Opera: Process, Reception, Transgression
It was not only Athanasius Kircher who, in his Musurgia universalis of 1650, raised the question of "whether, why, and in what way music has the power to move the human soul" (Kircher 1650 [Volume 1]: 549).1 The discussion about the musical and theatrical...
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The Violettas of Patti, Muzio and Callas: Style, Interpretation and the Question of Legacy
Whereas the field of musicology, in principle, embraces both the study of the musical score and the musical performance, little interchange has traditionally taken place between these two branches. Students of the great composers rarely combine close...
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The Tenor in Decline? Narratives of Nostalgia and the Performativity of the Operatic Tenor
A Doleful tale prepare to hearAs ever yet was told:The like, perhaps, ne'er reach'd the EarOf either Young or Old.This of the sad and sudden DeathOf one of mighty FameWho lately hath resign'd his Breath-Old Tenor was his Name.(Joseph Green, 1750)The...
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The Threepenny Opera: Performativity and the Brechtian Presence between Music and Theatre
"I strongly recommend people who suffer from chronic sleeplessness a visit to the Theatre at Schiffbauerdamm" was the sarcastic reaction of one reporter sent out to review the opening of The Threepenny Opera on 31 August 1928 (quoted in Wyss 1977: 50).1...
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The Acousmêtre on Stage and Screen: The Power of the Bodiless Voice
Since the emergence of motion picture, opera and cinema have been mutually attracted to each other and each has influenced the other. As early as 1904, George Méliès produced La Damnation du Docteur Faust, based on Gounod's opera Faust, and many other...
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Dancing in the Twilight: On the Borders of Music and the Scenic
MUSIC, SCENE, INTERMEDIALITYMusical and scenic performances normally meet on well-established grounds: genres and conventions have in most cases answered all open questions about their hierarchy, the chronology of the artistic creation processes, and...
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Turkish Post-Migrant "Opera" in Europe: A Socio-Historical Perspective on Aurality
In European countries with a high level of urbanised multiculturalism and migration density, such as the Netherlands and Germany, new forms of music theatre are emerging that include different communities and social groups. One such development is opera...
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"Powerful Spirit": Notes on Some Practice as Research
By way of a prologue, I am going to frame this discussion within a narrative of meaning, reiterating a nagging question in discussions of music theatre: namely, how does it mean? I am not seeking to answer that question, though, and indeed would rather...
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