Theatre has always been subject to a wide range of social, political, moral, and doctrinal controls, with authorities and social groups imposing constraints on scripts, venues, staging, acting, and reception. Focusing on a range of countries and political regimes, this book examines the many forms that theatre censorship has taken in the 20th century and continues to take in the 21st, arguing that it remains a live issue in the contemporary world. The book re-examines assumptions about prohibition and state control, and offers a more complex reading of theatre censorship as a continuum ranging from the unconscious self-censorship built into social structures and discursive practices, through bureaucratic regulation or unofficial influence, up to detention and physical violence. An international team of contributors offers an illuminating set of case studies informed by both new archival research and the first-hand experience of playwrights and directors, covering theatre censorship in areas such as Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Poland, East Germany, Nepal, Zimbabwe, the USA, Ireland, and Britain. Focusing on right-wing dictatorships, post-colonial regimes, communist systems and Western democracies, the essays analyze methods and discourses of censorship, identify the multiple agents involved, examine the responses of theatremakers, and show how each example reveals important features of its political and cultural contexts. Expanding understanding of the nature and effects of censorship, this volume affirms the power of theatre to challenge authorized discourses and makes a timely contribution to debates about freedom of expression through performance.
Foreword by Lisa Appignanesi Introduction: Censorship and Creative Freedom Catherine O’Leary Part I: First-Hand Experiences of Censorship1. The Dictator’s Gift of Censorship Fernando Arrabal 2. The Strategy of Communist Censorship in Poland towards the Most Critical and Subversive Student Theatre Productions of 1978 and 1979 Juliusz Tyszka 3. Between the Silence of Submission and the Challenges of Authenticity: Theatrical Censorship in Franco’s Spain (1939-75) Patricia W. O’Connor 4. Theatre Censorship in South Asia: Hegemony and AmbivalenceAbhi Subedi 5. Silence One Story and Another is Born: Experience of Censorship in Iran and the UK in 2010 Lisa Goldman Part II: Censorship in Authoritarian Regimes 6. Who was Afraid of Fernando Arrabal? The Architect and the Emperor of Assyria in Yugoslavia Denis Poniž 7. Hide and Seek: Selected Stratagems of Polish Independent TheatreCompanies Joanna Ostrowska 8. Der Georgsberg: The Economy as Theatre in the German Democratic Republic Barrie Baker 9. Bowdlerised Shakespeare Productions in Hungary and Portugal Zsófia Gombár 10. Theatre Censorship in Portugal during the Estado Novo: Policies, Censors, Organisation and Procedures Ana Cabrera 11. An Overview of Theatre Censorship in Brazil (1925-1970) Mayra Rodrigues Gomes & Eliza Bachega Casadei 12. Mapping Translated Theatre in Spain through Censorship Archives Raquel Merino Álvarez 13. Regime Loyalty and Rebellion: Re-Inventing the Colonial Censorship Nightmare in Zimbabwe Praise Zenenga Part III: Censorship in Democratic States14. Stage Irish Neutrality: Theatre Censorship during the ‘Emergency’, 1939-45 Donal Ó Drisceoil 15. Not Recommended for Licence: British Theatre Censorship under the Lord Chamberlain Steve Nicholson 16. Freedom of Speech and Hair: The Legal Legacy John H. Houchin 17. Anthony Neilson’s Stitching and the High Moral Ground: A Case Study from Malta Vicki Ann Cremona Conclusion: The Power of Theatre Michael Thompson
This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering theatre and performance alongside topics such as religion, politics, gender, race, ecology, and the avant-garde, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.