Neoliberalism, Theatre and Performance  book cover
1st Edition

Neoliberalism, Theatre and Performance

Edited By

Andy Lavender

ISBN 9780367190422
Published August 12, 2021 by Routledge
124 Pages

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Book Description

Neoliberalism, Theatre and Performance tackles one of the most slippery but significant topics in culture and politics. Neoliberalism is defined by the contributors as a political-economic system, and the ideas and assumptions (individualism, market forces and globalisation) that it promotes are consequently examined.

Readers will gain an insight into how neoliberalism shapes contemporary theatre, dance and performance, and how festival programmers, directors and other artists have responded. Jen Harvie gives a broad overview of neoliberalism, before examining its implications for theatre and performance and specific works that confront its grip, including Churchill’s Serious Money and Prebble’s Enron. Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink conducts a fascinating discussion with Rainer Hofmann, artistic director of the SPRING Festival in Utrecht, on ways in which performance festivals can respond to neoliberal culture. Cristina Rosa explores contemporary dance in neoliberal Brazil as a site for both commodification and challenge. Sarah Woods and Andrew Simms discuss and present excerpts from their activist satire Neoliberalism: The Break-up Tour.

Slim and elegant, forceful and wide-ranging, Neoliberalism, Theatre and Performance is an accessible resource for students, practitioners and scholars interested in how neoliberalism both suffuses and is resisted by today’s contemporary performance scene.

Table of Contents


Andy Lavender

1. Neoliberalism, theatre, performance, inequality, and alternatives 

Jen Harvie

2. ‘What the hell is water?’ The arts festival and the free market 

Rainer Hofmann in conversation with Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink

3. Neoliberalism and contemporary dance in Brazil

Cristina Rosa

4. Neoliberalism: The Break-up Tour

Sarah Woods and Andrew Simms

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Series Editor(s)


Andy Lavender is Vice Principal and Director of Production Arts at Guildhall School of Music & Drama. He writes on contemporary theatre and performance, and is the series editor of 4x45.