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Visual Studies Seminar

Department of Philosophy

 By

Dr. R. Darren Gobert

York University

 

" The Aesthetics of James Macdonald and

 the 21st Century Theatre "

(in English)

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Date : 24 April 2006 (Monday)
Time : 5:00 ¡V 6:30 pm
Venue : SO201

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Abstract

European theatrical culture of the latter twentieth century was preoccupied with auteur directors such as Robert Wilson and Arianne Mnouchkine, for whom the text is secondary to the theatrical mise en scˆone.  But in the past ten years, this culture has seen a so-called ¡§return to playwriting¡¨ or ¡§rebirth of the author.¡¨  This return or rebirth has been led by contemporary British playwrights such as Martin Crimp, Mark Ravenhill, and especially Sarah Kane; their plays have been embraced by repertories across Europe with an unusual speed and zeal, and their success has repositioned London as the major European theatrical centre.

Mise en scˆone has hardly been inconsequential to the success of contemporary British playwrights, however.  In this lecture, Darren Gobert considers the aesthetics of director James Macdonald, whose celebrated productions of recent British plays¡Xin London but also in Berlin, Vienna, Milan, and New York¡Xhave done much to popularize them. Accompanied by images from Macdonald¡¦s stagings of Crimp¡¦s Fewer Emergencies, Kane¡¦s 4.48 Psychosis, and Caryl Churchill¡¦s A Number, the lecture more broadly considers the relationship between director and playwright¡Xbetween mise en scˆone and text¡Xin Western theatre of the twenty-first century.

Dr. R. Darren Gobert

R. Darren Gobert (Ph.D., Columbia) specializes in modern and contemporary drama and theatre, and dramatic and performance theory.  As a critic, he has written on English, French, and German drama. As a theatre practitioner, he has directed plays by Albee, Beckett, Chekhov, and others.  He is Assistant Professor at York University in Toronto, where he is appointed to the Department of English and the Graduate Programmes in Literature and in Theatre Studies.

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All are welcome
For enquiries, please call 2616 7488 or e-mail to dphilo@ln.edu.hk