Theatre After Empire  book cover
1st Edition

Theatre After Empire

ISBN 9781138368958
Published May 31, 2021 by Routledge
224 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Emphasizing the resilience of theatre arts in the midst of significant political change, Theatre After Empire spotlights the emergence of new performance styles in the wake of collapsed political systems.

Centering on theatrical works from the late nineteenth century to the present, twelve original essays written by prominent theatre scholars showcase the development of new work after social revolutions, independence campaigns, the overthrow of monarchies, and world wars. Global in scope, this book features performances occurring across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. The essays attend to a range of live events—theatre, dance, and performance art—that stage subaltern experiences and reveal societies in the midst of cultural, political, and geographic transition.

This collection is an engaging resource for students and scholars of theatre and performance; world history; and those interested in postcolonialism, multiculturalism, and transnationalism.

Table of Contents

1 Dr. See-Through and His Kin: East African Theatre in the Interregnum  2 Between Empire and Dictatorship: The Decolonial Dreams of Raul Leis  3 Absurdist Theatre Goes Postcolonial: Trans-Contextuality, Absurd Jokes, and Evocation in (Post)colonial Plays  4 History Plays: Performing the Anti-Apartheid Movement on Contemporary South African Stages  5 Brendan Behan’s Depictions of Mid-Twentieth-Century Irish Failure  6 Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Development of Western Turkish Theatre and the Pursuit of Identity  7 Toward a New African Personality: The National Theatre Movement of Ghana from Nkrumah to Rawlings  8 Rediscovering Tradition in Modern Asian Theatre  9 The Empire Lingers: Staging Zainichi Korean Lived Experiences in Contemporary Japan  10 Toward a Third Performance: Dance, Exile, and Anti-Imperialism in Fernando Solanas’s Tangos: El exilio de Gardel  11 Bollywood Affects: Feeling Brown with Meena Kumari  12 Sounding Asian American: Geeks and Superheroes in Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone

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Megan E. Geigner is an assistant professor of instruction in the Cook Family Writing Program at Northwestern University. She researches the performance of racial, ethnic, and national identity. She is co-editor of Makeshift Chicago Stages: A Century of Theater and Performance.

Harvey Young is Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Boston University. His books include Embodying Black Experience and Performance in the Borderlands.


"Noting that the after-effects of imperialism may still be felt everywhere in the world, Theatre after Empire proves that they can best be seen anywhere today through the Argus-eyed scrutiny of theatrical representation. The well-chosen essays collected here, like the variety of the dramas they document from every inhabited continent, specify the locations of residual empires and judiciously critique the deferral of their redress." - Joseph Roach, Sterling Professor of Theater Emeritus, Yale University.