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Resisting Theatre: Plays, Politics and the Academy, Day One

A circle of plain black chairs spirals out from the foreground of the image in a grey rehearsal room. On the edge of each chair sits a light green book, the title is indistinguishable. The title of the conference is on the right hand side of the image in red and yellow typewriting font. The date of the conference is in the same font in white above the chairs.

Friday 18 June 2021, 1.45PM to 18 June 6:00 PM

Speaker(s): Cristina Delgado-García, David, Sarah Grochala, Francesca Medici, Liz Tomlin, Isla Cowan, Milo Harries. Chairs: Ben Poore, Lynette Goddard, Rebecca Benzie

How can plays become sites of resistance?

Some theatre companies have at times resisted the play in favour of improvisation, physical theatre, and collective creation; theatre studies has sometimes resisted the play in favour of ideas of performance, liveness, and presence. But how might plays in themselves resist theatre, or performance, or offer forms of political resistance? This conference aims to resituate analysis of the play in all its resistant complexity at the heart of contemporary theatre studies.>

We want to open a space for critical reflection on the condition and methodologies of contemporary play analysis: to think about its purposes, practices, histories, limitations, and possibilities in the academy, and in the industry and wider public spheres. We also want to consider the way contemporary playwriting around the world resists traditional modes of analysis while remaining attuned to and engaged in pressing social realities.

You can join the discussion by following and using the hashtag #ResistingTheatre on Twitter.

The current dates and timings of the conference are as follows:

View the conference programme here: Resisting Theatre Conference schedule (PDF , 93kb)

Friday 18 June

1.45pm Welcome

2pm Keynote – Cristina Delgado-García

Birth me in reverse”: Returning to character otherwise’

Chair Ben Poore

3pm Break

3.15pm Panel 1: Politics of Form

David Barnett ‘Experimental Veneer, Conservative Politics: The Case of Alistair McDowall’s Pomona’

Sarah Grochala ‘The Politics of Form: Exploring the role different dramaturgies play in determining the political character of a play’

Francesca Medici ‘Eschewing the dystopian: Visual trend or effective formal strategy in contemporary British political plays?’

Liz Tomlin ‘Critiquing the privileges of performance and spectatorship: the political operation of actor/character duality in Mouthpiece and Iphigenia in Splott.’

Chair – Lynette Goddard

4.45pm Break

5pm Panel 2: Ecodrama

Isla Cowan ‘Resisting Analysis: Theatre and Ecology’

Milo Harries ‘‘This isn’t going to change anyone’s mind about anything’: David Finnigan’s Kill Climate Deniers and Metatextual Politics’

Chair Rebecca Benzie

6pm Close of Day one

Location: Online via Zoom

Admission:, £10 full price, £5 for for PGRs (postgraduate researchers), ECRs (early career academics), and unwaged.