Theatres of Politics

Join this group if you attended the Theatres of Politics conference in Swansea Old Library. Join if you are interested in the politics of theatre and the theatres of politics.

Members: 27
Latest Activity: Jan 18, 2012

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I was contacted by Jen Marlow from Seattle (filmmaker, writer, theatre director and human rights activist) some time ago: Would I like to add my name to a Global Call To Theatrical Action? Would I…Continue

Started by Maria Morancho Nov 17, 2010.

Are the Leaders Debates Theatre ?


Started by Guy O'Donnell Apr 29, 2010.

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Comment by Stephen Donnelly on June 8, 2010 at 1:17
So, when is the next one of these talks going to happen? does anyone have specific topics they want to discuss? The last discussion relit my interest in public and social performance and how people perform the roles they're given. Nikki and Alan, any idea on when the next one will be? Would the start of the new academic term be to horrific for you both?
Comment by Leona Jones on April 28, 2010 at 21:06
Yes, it was a thought-provoking day looking at two massive topics. Maybe a search for definitions of ‘politics’ could be added to those of ‘theatre’? ‘Who defines?’ and ‘Why?’ are interesting questions in themselves. Theatre, like politics, is everywhere, but is sometimes obscured by the obvious, for a huge variety of reasons.

Thanks for the references, Stephen and Miranda.

‘Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon.
Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted,
And human love will be seen at its height.
Live in fragments no longer.
Only connect...’
(E M Forster, ‘Howard’s End’)

More, please!
Comment by Stephen Donnelly on April 28, 2010 at 11:34
I really enjoined listening to peoples ideas and views about the theatre in politics and am looking forward to future meet-ups and events like this.

I think the word 'theatre' kept confusing the conversation a bit throughout the day. Defining the goings on in the houses of parliament, council chambers, between people meeting people in the street or at the assembly as having different modes of performance or being events that have a degree of theatricality about them might have helped define our discussion. 'Theatre' could then have been viewed as the art-form who's definition changes through time and cultures. They are subtle differences in language but I think would have been important in opening up the subject. Anyone interested should read some Richard Schechner. He's grrreat!

For anyone interested in surveillance here's a link to the online journal I briefly mentioned / attempted to site during the discussion;
(its very good)

Miranda - just a quick quote from the American writer and neuroscientist Sam Harris about imprisonment and interaction, and how much of a struggle people find it to be cut off from others.

''solitary confinement […] is considered a punishment even inside a prison. Even when cooped up with homicidal maniacs and rapists, most people still prefer the company of others to spending any significant amount of time alone in a box.”

All this internet stuff is still important interaction and contact with others, but lacks that ongoing dialogue that's carried in body language and the sound of the voice, the things that give Theatre its power. ( The internet in its defence gives us longer time to check our references and spelling).

Looking forward to the next discussion, any ideas when its going to happen??
Comment by Miranda Ballin on April 26, 2010 at 6:48
I really enjoyed the day and the cross section of people and minds that were present - I came away reflecting on why this kind of interaction when people meet together in person still feels so important to me and how this relates to Art and Theatre and what it might do most powerfully in a political framework.
I read an article in the Independent about the work of a photographer in Burma revealing the plight of Political Prisoners there fighting for democracy. This part particularly struck me -
Win Tin, was a senior colleague of the opposition leader Aung San Sui Kyi was detained for 19 years and tortured however he commented - "the hardest thing for me was the separation from other people. Even when I was in hospital I was put in a different room... you long to have a discussion with your friends. You feel as if you are losing your mind" . I cannot help but return to the fact that this human engagement means we are are greater than the sum of our parts - so as a busily email this the contradiction of my actions of course remains.
Comment by National Theatre Wales on April 25, 2010 at 22:56
Our day sitting around the Shelf Life set in Swansea Library and discussing political theatre and theatrical politics was very stimulating. A good crowd of minds and hearts and lots of insight. For me the question that lingered was around 'applied' theatre and political theatre. Is the most political act these days to use theatre towards social transformation? Have a look at the blogs by Genaya Parris, who recently visited Brazil to investigate socially engaged arts on our behalf - some stimulating examples there.
Comment by Nikki Cooper on April 24, 2010 at 20:33
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Theatres of Politics day on Friday!

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