Dystopian performatives and vertigo aesthetics in popular theatre
Speculative theatricality: dystopian
performatives and vertigo aesthetics
in popular theatre
The scientific version of our existence on this planet may very well be physically true, but we don’t like it much. It isn’t cuddly. There aren’t many tunes
you can hum in the shower. (Atwood 2012, 54)
What is this feeling
So sudden and new?
I felt the moment
I laid eyes on you
My pulse is rushing
My head is reeling
My face is flushing
What is this feeling?
Fervid as a flame
Does it have a name? (Holzman and Schwartz 2006, 146)
The novelist Margaret Atwood snappily
and tensions. To explore this it is necessary, for a while, to go
outside the 1950s, and away from film history, for film criticism and
theory has been churlish about the theatrical in cinema; indeed, the
inferiority felt by the film industry towards the theatre noted earlier
is markedly absent. In theatre criticism, to note that a play is
‘cinematic’ is often to find something interesting in it, to
Visual Advocacy in the Early Decades of Humanitarian Cinema
Immersive Realities and Witnessing Audiences
The stories in these movies were framed for international audiences and circulated through charity and religious networks, from the field to the theatrical venues back home. The circuit started with the image-makers: relief workers or professional filmmakers, who also became observers (but not impartial observers), shot many of these movies on the spot. Very often, they were the first Western bystanders (besides journalists) to assess the needs, thus offering a unique glimpse on the other side of the mirror. The circuit then
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Pinder , J.
( 2018 ), ‘ A Theatrical
Critique of Humanitarian Civility in the ICRC
Museum ’, Research in Drama Education: The Journal
of Applied and Theatre and Performance , 23 :
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( 2018 ), ‘ Reparación y escucha del sujeto-víctima: discursos y prácticas en la intervención psicosocial con víctimas del conflicto armado en Colombia ’, Revista Colombiana de Ciencias Sociales , 9 : 1 , 76 – 99 ,
https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=6223155 (accessed 18
( 2012 ), ‘ The Theatricality of Humanitarianism: A Critique of Celebrity Advocacy ’, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies , 9 : 1 , 1 – 21 , doi: 10
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.
Anglophone precedents and thus robbed it of the
clear sense of direction that had enabled its rapid postwar modernization.8 These drastically altered circumstances, characterized by pervasive
uncertainty, make working memory both especially necessary and more
As I demonstrate below and throughout this book, working memory
operates theatrically and performatively. To make historical sense of
deindustrialization and redevelopment requires theatrical events and
performative acts that revise, resituate, and re-embody particular pasts.
Working memory depends
beyond the human: to an emergent history of the
universe where humanity makes a brief appearance; to climatic forces
with which we are painfully at odds; to a cosmology in which humans are
minutely peripheral. The tendency for theatrical performance to emerge
from the political paradoxes of science runs throughout the examples
discussed in this book.
Theatre, as incarnated in the figures of McKellen/Prospero and MilesWildin/Miranda, struggles with the decentring of the human subject
even as it attempts to grapple with the emergence of new objects; science
creative interactions between the robot and performers at
the opera. Members of the robotics research team started visiting the
opera house and, along with Myon, ultimately found themselves in
rehearsals and then on stage.
The collaboration culminated in a short series of performances on the
main stage of the opera house in summer 2015. As I will discuss in more
detail below, these were celebratory events involving a large eclectic cast
Science in performance
and all the theatrical infrastructure of a large state-funded opera. The
singers from the opera house
Care and debility in collaborations between non-disabled and learning disabled theatre makers
resulting performance is often perceived as belonging primarily to Bel’s repertoire rather than Theater HORA’s. Gerald Siegmund ( 2017 ) proposes that Bel’s collected work constitutes an ongoing critical interrogation of dance itself, a discursive project in which Bel sets the parameters for a theatrical examination of the dancing body as culturally produced. Everything that happens within these parameters therefore participates in ‘the discourse “Jérôme Bel”’ (Siegmund, 2017 : 12).
Siegmund accordingly suggests that Disabled Theater attends to several recurring