Working memories
Author: David Calder

Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space explores how street theatre transforms industrial space into postindustrial space. Deindustrializing communities have increasingly turned to cultural projects to commemorate industrial heritage while simultaneously generating surplus value and jobs in a changing economy. Through analysis of French street theatre companies working out of converted industrial sites, this book reveals how theatre and performance more generally participate in and make historical sense of ongoing urban and economic change. The book argues, firstly, that deindustrialization and redevelopment rely on the spatial and temporal logics of theatre and performance. Redevelopment requires theatrical events and performative acts that revise, resituate, and re-embody particular pasts. The book proposes working memory as a central metaphor for these processes. The book argues, secondly, that in contemporary France street theatre has emerged as working memory's privileged artistic form. If the transition from industrial to postindustrial space relies on theatrical logics, those logics will manifest differently depending on geographic context. The book links the proliferation of street theatre in France since the 1970s to the crisis in Fordist-Taylorist modernity. How have street theatre companies converted spaces of manufacturing into spaces of theatrical production? How do these companies (with municipal governments and developers) connect their work to the work that occurred in these spaces in the past? How do those connections manifest in theatrical events, and how do such events give shape and meaning to redevelopment? Street theatre’s function is both economic and historiographic. It makes the past intelligible as past and useful to the present.

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Street and theatre at the end of Fordism
David Calder

1 Theatre in ruins: street and theatre at the end of Fordism 1973 was an inauspicious year for France’s economy and a surprisingly sunny one for its street performers. After the spring crash in the global property market but before the autumn oil embargo, Jean Digne, director of the Théâtre du Centre in Aix-en-Provence, and Charles Nugue, director of the city’s cultural centre, organized a festival: Aix, ville ouverte aux saltimbanques (Aix, city open to street performers). The event brought tumblers, jugglers, fire-spinners, magicians, and busking musicians

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space
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Care and debility in collaborations between non-disabled and learning disabled theatre makers
Dave Calvert

disability as the product of an inaccessible social environment rather than individual difference. Agendas of care also began to widen at this point, from the institutional regimes of medical care, linked (as in the 1908 Royal Commission) with control, to personalised care with the educational aims of offering support and nurturing potential. Theatre with learning disabled actors, which emerged alongside community care in the 1980s, continues to cater for the dependencies of learning disabled actors, while also seeking to develop accessible training and aesthetic forms

in Performing care
Gob Squad, a funny robot and dancing scientists
Simon Parry

2 Laughing at science in the theatre: Gob Squad, a funny robot and dancing scientists In a fleeting moment at a rehearsal for My Square Lady, in a large space backstage at a Berlin opera house, Myon, the humanoid robot and ostensibly central character of the piece, turned its head and focussed its gaze on me. I briefly appeared on the screen overhead showing Myon’s periodically changing and unpredictable point of view. I laughed quietly to or maybe at myself. In the notes I made at the time about this rehearsal session, I also remarked that one of the

in Science in performance
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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.

Theatre of Debate
Simon Parry

4 Theatre, education and the politics of life itself: Theatre of Debate Over the first two decades of the twenty-first century, one UK-based theatre company systematically engaged with emergent themes in the biological and related sciences probably more than any other, at least in terms of the number of productions, collaborations with scientists and other experts, and total audiences reached. Unlike the practices discussed so far in this book though, most of Y Touring Theatre Company’s work was not presented within theatres. Over this time Y Touring worked

in Science in performance
Open Access (free)
Working memory
David Calder

wrecking ball had already reduced to rubble before a successful lobbying effort by locals and preservationists to designate the building a heritage site. Stéphane Bonnard is not (primarily) a heritage preservationist. He is, with Pierre Duforeau, co-artistic director of street theatre company KompleXKapharnaüM. Since its founding in 1995, KompleXKapharnaüM has worked out of a former metal parts factory in what is now the Carré de Soie. KompleXKapharnaüM creates sitespecific, multimedia performances that engage local memory, industrial and working-class heritage, and

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space
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Alternative pasts, sustainable futures
David Calder

theatre festival at Chalon-sur-Saône. As part of that festival, multimedia artist Fabrice Giraud and arts collective Zo Prod have installed this interactive sculpture, Le murmure des plantes 2.0 (The whisper of plants 2.0, first created in 2013), in the Jardin de l’Arquebuse. Giraud’s installation is not the first industrial vegetation to spring up at a French street theatre festival. Whereas Le murmure des plantes 2.0 consists of a single, physically immobile sculpture, Compagnie Fer Recuperation 175 Figure 5.1  Fabrice Giraud, Le murmure des plantes 2.0, 2015. à

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space
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The imaginary archaeology of redevelopment
David Calder

de Soie encompasses the Villeurbanne neighbourhoods east of Boulevard Laurent Bonnevay and the Vaulxen-Velin neighbourhoods south of the Canal de Jonage. Initiated in 2004, the project reimagines this disparate collection of brownfields and social housing as the eastern centre of leisure and business for a growing European agglomeration. KompleXKapharnaüM, the street theatre company discussed in Excavation 99 this chapter, is based in a former metal parts factory on rue Francia, a short walk past the city limits in Vaulx-en-Velin’s western neighbour

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space
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Putting the countryside back to work
David Calder

2 Reincorporation: putting the countryside back to work A man in worker’s blues speaks into a megaphone as his comrades distribute tracts to the assembled crowd. This task completed, the men climb atop a truck laden with empty oil drums. They rhythmically strike the drums with mallets and sticks and touch their edges with power saws and belt sanders, creating fountains of sparks that burn starkly against the deepening indigo of the evening sky. These men are members of street theatre company Metalovoice, performing as hosts of the Ouverture festival. It is 2011

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space