1st Edition

Theatre and National Identity Re-Imagining Conceptions of Nation

Edited By Nadine Holdsworth Copyright 2014

    This book explores the ways that pre-existing ‘national’ works or ‘national theatre’ sites can offer a rich source of material for speaking to the contemporary moment because of the resonances or associations they offer of a different time, place, politics, or culture. Featuring a broad international scope, it offers a series of thought-provoking essays that explore how playwrights, directors, theatre-makers, and performance artists have re-staged or re-worked a classic national play, performance, theatrical form, or theatre space in order to engage with conceptions of and questions around the nation, nationalism, and national identity in the contemporary moment, opening up new ways of thinking about or problematizing questions around the nation and national identity. Chapters ask how productions engage with a particular moment in the national psyche in the context of internationalism and globalization, for example, as well as how productions explore the interconnectivity of nations, intercultural agendas, or cosmopolitanism. They also explore questions relating to the presence of migrants, exiles, or refugees, and the legacy of colonial histories and post-colonial subjectivities. The volume highlights how theatre and performance has the ability to contest and unsettle ideas of the nation and national identity through the use of various sites, stagings, and performance strategies, and how contemporary theatres have portrayed national agendas and characters at a time of intense cultural flux and repositioning.

    1. Introduction Nadine Holdsworth  Part I: Revisiting ‘National’ Plays and Cultural Icons  2. "It’s just changed color?": Clowning with Parodies of Religion, Race and Nation in Woza Albert! and Woza Andries? Anton Krueger  3. Over and Beyond Under Milk Wood: Dylan Thomas, National Icons and Re-Imagining the Cultural Landscape of Wales Nadine Holdsworth  4. Within These Walls: The Beaux Stratagem, the City of Derry and ‘the only Loyalist theatre producer in Ireland’ Wallace McDowell  Part II: Directing the National Repertoire  5. La Casa De Bernarda Alba [The House of Bernard Alba]: Federica Garcia Lorca, the Spanish Civil War and the Issue of Historical Memory Maria M. Delgado  6. An Inspector Calls and Calls Again: Nation, Community and the Individual in J. B. Priestley’s Play Maggie B. Gale  7. Stealing the Scene: Simon McBurney’s All My Sons in New York Marvin Carlson  Part III: The Nation’s ‘Imagined Community’  8. Born in YU: Performing, Negotiating, and Transforming an Abject Identity Silvija Jestrovic  9. What Happened to Our Nation of Culture? Staging the Theatre of the Other Germany Peter M. Boenisch  Part IV: Nations in Flux  10. "Once Again With Feeling": Emily of Emerald Hill as Floating Signifier KK Seet  11. The Takarazuka Revue’s Wind in the Dawn: (De-)nationalization of Japanese Women Nobuko Anan  12. ‘Members of a Chorus of a Certain Tragedy’: Euripides’ Orestes at the National Theatre of Greece Marilena Zaroulia


    Nadine Holdsworth is Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Warwick. She has published widely on modern and contemporary theatre including Joan Littlewood’s Theatre (2011), Theatre & Nation (2010) and co-edited (with Mary Luckhurst) A Concise Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Drama (2008).