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Theatre and the politics of engagement
Author: Simon Parry

This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.

Johanna Gondouin, Suruchi Thapar-Björkert, and Ingrid Ryberg

reproduces the image of the sexually available, servile South East Asian woman-​as-​prostitute, a dominant stereotype of Asian women in Hollywood Cinema instated by iconic performances in Vietnam war films such as Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter (1978) and Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket (1987) (Prasso, 2005). In addition to the submissive and hypersexual Thai prostitute, these young women also come across as another stereotypical image of the third world woman:  the passive, silent victim, whose lack of agency allows the Western feminist subject to define herself as

in The power of vulnerability
Katariina Kyrölä

necessitate more questioning, careful contextualisation and collective consideration of why, when and if to warn. Indeed there was a time when feminist, queer and critical race studies scholars were much more worried about the treacherousness of pleasure than about pain and hurt. For example, in the 1980s Mary Ann Doane (1982) interrogated the ways Hollywood cinema constructs the female body as an idealised and pleasurable spectacle. Through a recognition and pull of similarity, the female spectator has no choice but to over-​identify with the image, unless she fully

in The power of vulnerability
Gob Squad, a funny robot and dancing scientists
Simon Parry

smoothly integrated into a seamless, immersive experience, as is often the case in Hollywood cinema or even in more experimental work such as that by Velonaki, My Square Lady hopped backwards and forwards across the break, both generating and exposing a series of contradictory feelings, experienced within different theatrical modes of being. Hansky as Orpheus controlled a sense of loss, safely smashing a bottle, boxed into a stage on a stage, boxed into a score and a libretto, experienced as metaphor performed and received via 200 years of opera history. Hansky as Hansky

in Science in performance
Anu Koivunen, Katariina Kyrölä, and Ingrid Ryberg

). Vulnerability and Human Rights. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. Tyler, I. (2013). Revolting Subjects:  Social Abjection and Resistance in Neoliberal Britain. London and New York: Zed Books. Vaittinen, T. (2015). ‘The power of the vulnerable body’, International Journal of Politics, 17:1, pp. 100–​18. White, P. (1999). Uninvited:  Classical Hollywood Cinema and Lesbian Representability. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Wiegman, R. (2014). ‘The times we’re in: Queer feminist criticism and the reparative “turn” ’, Feminist Theory, 15:1, pp. 4

in The power of vulnerability