From its very beginnings, theatre has been both an art and a public space, shared by actors and spectators. As a result, its entity and history is intimately tied to politics: a politics of inclusion and exclusion, of distributions and placements, of spatial appropriation and utopian concepts. This collection examines what is at stake when a theatrical space is created and when a performance takes place; it asks under what circumstances the topology of theatre becomes political.
The book approaches this issue from various angles, taking theatre as a cultural paradigm for political dimensions of space in its respective historical context. Visiting the political dimensions of theatrical space in both theatre history and contemporary performance, the volume responds to the so-called spatial turn in cultural and historical studies, and questions a politics of aesthetics that is discussed in continental philosophy. The book visits different levels and linkages between aesthetic theory and geography, art and sociology, architecture and political theory, and geometry and history, shedding new light on theatre, politics, and space, thereby transforming this historically intertwined triad into a transdisciplinary theme.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Placements and Boundaries 1. The Theatre ici Marvin Carlson 2. Monarchs on Trial at the Early Modern Court Janette Dillon 3. What time is this place? Continuity, Conflict and the Right to the City: Lessons from Haymarket Square Loren Kruger 4. Performing Like a City: London's South Bank and the Cultural Politics of Urban Governance Michael McKinnie 5. What is Sydney about Sydney theatre?: Performance Space and the Creation of a ‘Matrix of Sensibility’ Gay McAuley 6. Thresholds of Tolerance: Censorship, Artistic Freedom and the Theatrical Public Sphere Christopher Balme 7. "Set in Poland, that is to say Nowhere": Alfred Jarry and the Politics of Topological Space Nicolas Salazar-Sutil Part 2: Utopia and Heterotopia 8. Equality and Theatre Architecture: Voltaire’s Private Theatre Ludger Schwarte 9. Rousseau's Heterotopology of Theatre Juliane Rebentisch 10. Heterotopias of the Public Sphere: Theatre and Festival around 1800 Patrick Primavesi 11. Other Space or Space of Others?: Reflections on Contemporary Political Theatre Benjamin Wihstutz 12. Opéra Pagaï’s Entreprise de Détournement: Collages of Geographic, Imaginary and Discursive Spaces Susan Haedicke Part 3: Strategies of Spatial Appropriation 13. Policies of Spatial Appropriation Erika Fischer-Lichte 14. "Moment to Moment—Space": The Architecture Performances of Gordon Matta-Clark Philip Ursprung 15. Uncanny Connections: William Forsythe’s Choreographic Installations Kirsten Maar 16. Change through Rapprochement: Spatial Practices in Contemporary Performances Jens Roselt 17. Life Politics/Life Aesthetics: Environmental Performance in red, black, GREEN: a blues Shannon Jackson