Postdramatic Tragedies

ISBN : 9780198817680

Emma Cole
336 ページ
138 x 138 mm
Classical Presences

Ancient tragedy has played a well-documented role in contemporary theatre since the mid-twentieth century. In addition to the often-commented-upon watershed productions, however, is a significant but overlooked history involving classical tragedy in experimental and avant-garde theatre. Postdramatic Tragedies focuses upon such experimental reinventions and analyses receptions of Greek and Roman tragedy that come under the banner of 'postdramatic theatre', a style of performance in which the traditional components of drama, such as character and narrative, are subordinate to the immediate, affective power of more abstract elements, such as image and sound. The chapters are arranged into three parts, each of which explores classical reception within a specific strand of postdramatic theatre: text-based theatre, devised theatre, and theatre that transcends the usual boundaries of time and space, such as durational and immersive theatre. Each offers a semiotic and phenomenological analysis of a particular case study, covering both widely known and less studied productions from 1995 to 2015. Together they reveal that postdramatic theatre is related to the classics at its conceptual core, and that the study of postdramatic tragedies reveals a great deal about both the evolution of theatre in recent decades, and the status of ancient drama in modernity.


List of Illustrations
0 Introduction
The Development of Postdramatic Theatre
Postdramatic Tragedies, 1995-2015
Part One: Rewriting the Classics
Introduction to Part One
1 Sarah Kane's Phaedra's Love
Tragedy and the Oeuvre of Sarah Kane
Masculinity and Sexuality in Phaedra's Love: Text and Performance
Violence and Voyeurism in Phaedra's Love: Text and Performance
2 Martin Crimp's Alles Weitere kennen Sie aus dem Kino
The Postdramatic Tragic Chorus
Socio-Cultural Politics in Alles Weitere kennen Sie aus dem Kino
The Postdramatic Aesthetic of Repetition
3 Tom Holloway's Love Me Tender
The Role of Text in Australian Postdramatic Classical Receptions
The Postdramatic Realisation of Love Me Tender: Scenes One Three
Politics and the Postdramatic in Love Me Tender: Scenes Four Eight
The Classical Palimpsest in Love Me Tender: Scenes Nine Fifteen
Part Two: Devising the Classics
Introduction to Part Two
4 The Wooster Group's To You, The Birdie!
Devising via Euripides, Seneca, and Racine
The Politics of To You, The Birdie!'s Postdramatic Form
Gender, Class, and the Classics in To You, The Birdie!: Source Texts and Performance
5 The Hayloft Project's Thyestes
Devising and Performing Thyestes
The Gender Politics of Thyestes
The Postdramatic Techniques and Violent Aesthetic of Thyestes
Part Three: Transcending the Boundaries of Time and Space
Introduction to Part Three
6 ZU-UK's Hotel Medea
Analysing Emancipation
Intellectual Agency in Hotel Medea and the Postcolonial Tradition of Medea Receptions
Felt Agency and the Domestication of Medea
Navigational Agency and Multi-Perspectivalism in Hotel Medea
7 Jan Fabre's Mount Olympus: To Glorify the Cult of Tragedy (A 24-Hour Performance)
Mount Olympus as Postdramatic Classical Reception
Emancipation, Immersion, and Ethics
Mount Olympus as Modern Tragedy
8 Conclusion


Emma Cole is a Lecturer in Liberal Arts and Classics at the University of Bristol. She received her doctorate from UCL in 2015 and since then has published widely on the reception of Greek and Roman literature (primarily tragedy and epic) in contemporary theatre, including the co-edited collection Adapting Translation for the Stage (with Geraldine Brodie; Routledge, 2017), and chapters and articles on the work of Katie Mitchell (2015), Martin Crimp (2016), and Sarah Kane (2017). From 2019-2021 she is completing an AHRC leadership fellowship, during which she will undertake a project investigating immersivity and the classics with a focus on British theatre company Punchdrunk.