1st Edition

Staging 21st Century Tragedies Theatre, Politics, and Global Crisis

Edited By Avra Sidiropoulou Copyright 2022
    276 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    276 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Staging 21st Century Tragedies: Theatre, Politics, and Global Crisis is an international collection of essays by leading academics, artists, writers, and curators examining ways in which the global tragedies of our century are being negotiated in current theatre practice.

    In exploring the tragic in the fields of history and theory of theatre, the book approaches crisis through an understanding of the existential and political aspect of the tragic condition. Using an interdisciplinary perspective, it showcases theatre texts and productions that enter the public sphere, manifesting notably participatory, immersive, and documentary modes of expression to form a theatre of modern tragedy. The coexistence of scholarly essays with manifesto-like provocations, interviews, original plays, and diaries by theatre artists provides a rich and multifocal lens that allows readers to approach twenty-first-century theatre through historical and critical study, text and performance analysis, and creative processes. Of special value is the global scope of the collection, embracing forms of crisis theatre in many geographically diverse regions of both the East and the West.

    Staging 21st Century Tragedies: Theatre, Politics, and Global Crisis will be of use and interest to academics and students of political theatre, applied theatre, theatre history, and theatre theory.

    Part 1: Crisis as Tragedy and Judgment

    1. Tragedy and Crisis: Staging Forced Displacement and Its Reluctant Hero

    Yana Meerzon

    2. Beyond Suffering or Resolution. Tragedy and the Twenty-First Century Collective Experience

    Avra Sidiropoulou

    3. Prophets Needed: Five Easy Pieces and La Reprise: Histoire(s) du théâtre (I) by Milo Rau

    Carol Martin

    Τestimony 1.1. Avra Sidiropoulou in Conversation with Daniel Wetzel

    Τestimony 1.2. Cards of Identities (Poetic luxury)

    Hanane Hajj Ali

    Τestimony 1.3. Chorus and Crisis in the Contemporary United States

    Peter Campbell

    Part 2: Texts and Contexts of Crisis: Power/lessness, Precarity and Identity Politics

    4. Caesar Must (Not) Die. Italian Political ‘Caesars’ in the New Millennium

    Silvia Bigliazzi

    5. Leaving the world good or leaving a good world? Theatre and crisis through the lenses of Bertolt Brecht

    Aldo Milohnic

    6. Tragic and Post-tragic Representations of Precarity in 21st-Century U.S. Drama: Fractured Togetherness in Lynn Nottage’s Sweat and Annie Baker’s The Flick

    Ana Fernandez Caparrós

    7. Modern African Drama in Crisis? Two African Authors in Search of Identity

    Taiwo Afolabi, Stephen Ogheneruro Okpadah and Ogah Mark Onwe

    Part 3: Stage Narratives of Failure or Visions of a Better World? Bankrupt States, Violent Cities, Global Resistance Civic Consciousness and the Poetics of Participation

    8. Theatre remains traditionalist and Eurocentric. About Milo Rau’s "theatre of crisis"

    Freddy Decreus

    9. Spectacles of Suffering: Contemporary Greek Narratives of Crisis

    Constantina Ziropoulou

    10. Theatre as Assembly: Radical Dramaturgy in ‘Theatre Commons’

    Tadashi Uchino

    11. Marca España. Making Theatre from Precarity, State Violence and Fiesta

    Ana Contreras Elvira

    Τestimony 3.1. Aoidoi of a Country’s Living History

    Lupe Gehrenbech

    Part 4: Reflections on the Covid 19 Pandemic and the Crisis of the Anthropocene

    12. Rudimentary organon for the theatre of the Anthropocene

    Frank Raddatz

    Testimony 4.1. Theatre in Covid Τimes: A Report from Greece

    Anestis Azas

    Testimony 4.2. All is related to Me

    Su Xiaogang

    Testimony 4.3. Plays (we never staged) to survive

    Miguel Rojo and Javier Hernando (Los Barbaros)

    Testimony 4.4. Troy Too [Original playscript]

    Karen Malpede (Theatre Three Collaborative)


    Avra Sidiropoulou is Associate Professor at the M.A. in Theatre Studies Programme at the Open University of Cyprus and Artistic Director of Athens-based Persona Theatre Company. She is the author of Directions for Directing. Theatre and Method (Routledge 2018) and Authoring Performance: The Director in Contemporary Theatre (Palgrave Macmillan 2011). She was Visiting Researcher at MIT and the Graduate Centre at CUNY, the Freie University, the Universities of Surrey, Leeds, and Tokyo (Japan Foundation Fellow). Avra has lectured, directed, and conducted theatre workshops in many parts of the globe. Recent directing works include Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal (Cyprus Theatre Organization 2022), Bryony Lavery’s Frozen (Skala Theatre 2020), Phaedra I— (text: Sidiropoulou—Tristan Bates Theatre, London 2019), and A Doll’s House (Technochoros Ethal 2019). She was nominated for the League of Professional Theatre Women Gilder/Goigney International Award 2020. https://persona.gr/en/people/avra-sidiropoulou/.