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

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.

Saturday 19 June 2021, 9.15AM to 19 June 6:00PM

Speaker(s): Sara Freeman, Kate Katafiasz, Rosa Lambert, Clio Unger, Mary Mazzilli, Cormac Power, Trish Reid, Lianna Mark, Alex Watson, Kathy Perkins, Ekin Bodur, David Bullen, Kate Holden, Frances Babbage, James Kenworth, Catherine Love. Chairs: Chris Megson, Rebecca Benzie, Nicholas Holden, Lynette Goddard, Ben Poore

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:

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

Saturday 19 June

9:15am Welcome

9:30am Panel 3: Words in Space

Sara Freeman ‘Dramaturgy and the Poetics of Space: Critical Tools for Contemporary Texts’

Kate Katafiasz ‘Being Other’

Rosa Lambert ‘(Play)wri(gh)ting Movement: Towards a Choreographic Mode of Textual Analysis’

Clio Unger ‘Live Performance Analysis and the Politics of Criticism’

Chair Chris Megson

11:00am Break

11:15am Panel 4: Pedagogy

Mary Mazzilli ‘Narrative drama and monodrama as sites of resistance in contemporary British theatre: race and the migration experience.’

Cormac Power ‘The role of the transcendent in debbie tucker green’s truth and reconciliation’

Trish Reid ‘Challenging Hierarchies of Legitimacy: Play Analysis as “Epistemic Disobedience”.’

Chair Rebecca Benzie

12:30pm Break

12:45pm Lunchtime Session – Limits Roundtable

Lianna Mark and Alex Watson

Chair Nicholas Holden

1.30pm Break

2pm Keynote: Kathy Perkins

‘Staging Resistance: Publishing, Designing and Producing Plays by African Women’

Chair Lynette Goddard

3pm Break

3.15pm Panel 5: Adaptation and Tragedy

Ekin Bodur ‘Epistemic Resistance in Şahika Tekand’s Tragic Theatre: Io and Eurydice’s Cry&rsquo

David Bullen ‘Greek Tragedy as Failed Drama: Resisting Aristotelian Genealogy and Ontology in Contemporary British Theatre’

Kate Holden ‘Unborn out of the Father’s Head: Re-envisioning Justice and Feminist Revenge’

Chair Chris Megson

4.30pm Break

4.45pm Panel 6: Adaptation

Frances Babbage ‘“Call yourself a writer?’” Wade’s The Watsons and the novel demands of adaptation’

James Kenworth ‘“I prefer the remix”: Localizing the classics’Catherine Love ‘Disrupting the Chekhovian ‘work’: RashDash and Inua Ellams’ re-imaginings of Three Sisters.’

Chair Ben Poore

6pm Close of Day two

Location: Online via Zoom

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