The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Politics is a volume of critical essays, provocations, and interventions on the most important questions faced by today‚Äôs writers, critics, audiences, and theatre and performance makers. Featuring texts written by scholars and artists who are diversely situated (geographically, culturally, politically, and institutionally), its multiple perspectives broadly address the question "How can we be political now?"
To respond to this question, Peter Eckersall and Helena Grehan have created eight galvanising themes as frameworks or rubrics to rethink the critical, creative, and activist perspectives on questions of politics and theatre. Each theme is linked to a set of guiding keywords:
- Post (post consensus, post-Brexit, post-Fukushima, post-neoliberalism, post-humanism, post-global financial crisis, post-acting, the real)
- Assembly (assemblage, disappearance, permission, community, citizen, protest, refugee)
- Gap (who is in and out, what can be seen/heard/funded/allowed)
- Institution (visibility/darkness, inclusion, rules)
- Machine (biodata, surveillance economy, mediatisation)
- Message (performance and conviction, didacticism, propaganda)
- End (suffering, stasis, collapse, entropy)
- Re. (reset, rescale, reanimate, reimagine, replay: how to bring complexity back into the public arena, how art can help to do this).
These themes were developed in conversation with key thinkers and artists in the field, and the resulting texts engage with artistic works across a range of modes including traditional theatre, contemporary performance, public protest events, activism, and community and participatory theatre.
Suitable for academics, performance makers, and students, The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Politics explores questions of how to be political in the early 21st century, by exploring how theatre and performance might provoke, unsettle, reinforce, or productively destabilise the status quo.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors
1. A Dramaturgy of Cultural Activism
PART I: POST
PART II: ASSEMBLY
PART III: GAP
PART IV: INSTITUTION
PART V: MACHINE
PART VI: MESSAGE„ÄÄ
PART VII: END
PART VIII: RE
Peter Eckersall is Professor of Theatre at the Graduate Centre, CUNY, and Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Recent publications include New Media Dramaturgy (with Edward Scheer and Helena Grehan, 2017) and The Dumb Type Reader (with Edward Scheer and Fujii Shintaro, 2017).
Helena Grehan is Professor of Creative Arts at Murdoch University. She writes on performance and politics, spectatorship and ethics, and new media dramaturgy. Her most recent books are New Media Dramaturgy (with Edward Scheer and Peter Eckersall, 2017) and William Yang: Stories of Love and Death (with Edward Scheer).
This impressive companion offers deep analysis and extensive international coverage of performances, contexts, theories and geographies. The eight terms that structure it creatively disrupt conventional perceptions of politics and standard ways of thinking about theatre‚Äôs impact. The length of each short essay belies both its complexity and its contribution to productive negotiations between theatre and politics.
Professor Joanne Tompkins, The University of Queensland
The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Politics provides crucially diverse and consistently inspiring clarion calls to action. A rich collection of interventions from across our contemporary world, The Companion offers vital examples of cultural activism that readers might engage, develop and deliver in their own acts of political performance.
Professor Susan Bennett, University of Calgary