AWPN - New Collection of Plays is Shining the Light on African Women Playwrights
The African Women's Playwright Network is publishing a new collection of plays, Contemporary plays by African Woman, by African playwrights from Egypt, Cameroon, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and South Africa. See Brittle Paper post on its significance, https://brittlepaper.com/2018/04/collection-contemporary-plays-african-women/
Sean O'Driscoll, a third year theatre student, had his solo performance for You, Me & Everyone We Know: Identity & Performance module with Anna Harpin, picked up by an associate at Camden People's Theatre for a video games-themed night of performance art .
Sean: "I thought it right to let the department know about the piece's professional 'life-after-assessment'"
Professor Jim Davis awarded £600,000 AHRC grant to research Theatre and Visual Culture in the Nineteenth Century
An AHRC grant of approximately £600,000 has been awarded to Professor Jim Davis as Principal Investigator and to Professor Kate Newey (Exeter University) as Co-Investigator for a research project on Theatre and Visual Culture in the Nineteenth Century. The project will be based at Warwick in Theatre and Performance Studies. Two named postdoctoral full-time research fellows will also be attached to the project for its three-year duration: Dr Pat Smyth, an art historian specialising in the relationship between art and theatre in nineteenth-century France, who will be based at Warwick, and Dr Kate Holmes (who has a specialist interest in circus and aerial performance), based at Exeter. Bristol University’s Theatre Collection and Exeter University’s Bill Douglas Museum will be project partners, collaborating in the mounting of exhibitions and conferences.
The project will focus on the relationship of popular forms of theatre to visual culture and on spectacle and spectatorship in nineteenth century Britain, with France used as a comparative case study. The study of theatrical spectacle in this period has been neglected, despite revisionist studies such as Meisel’s Realizations (1983) which examines the practice of ‘realizing’ works of art on stage. The project will use archival research and recent theoretical approaches to move beyond Meisel’s model to offer a new reading of nineteenth-century staging that considers it not just aspiring to the condition of visual art, but as part of wider popular visual culture. A key aim will be to interrogate the continuing association between spectacle and ‘passive viewing’ by demonstrating the capacity of stage spectacle to convey multiple meanings and by exploring audience participation in the active construction of those meanings. Thus, the project will examine theatrical spectacle as part of a commercial, technologically innovative explosion of imagery in this period, part of a visual culture that included new forms such as lithography, steel-engraving, optical entertainments (such as panoramas and dioramas) and the illustrated press. The circulation of images will be examined in relation to theories of ‘remediation’. While existing studies of inter-art connections work on the premise of exchanges between essentially discrete art forms, this project will test the notion of a new kind of popular audience for whom distinctions of media were irrelevant and who sought instead the sensation of ‘immediacy’.
Mask Workshop - Mon 19 - Thur 22 March (10.00-13.00 each day)
with Giulia Filacanapa and Boris Dymny, assisted by Léandre Ruiz
Mon 19 - Thur 22 March (10.00-13.00 each day)
Department of Theatre & Performance Studies
University of Warwick
The mask is traditionally an enhancing instrument that extends the actor’s body and makes it hybrid, not dissimilar to the computer-generated avatar animated by a performer. Can the masks of the commedia dell’arte and their associated techniques of improvisation help us to understand and develop the theatrical potential of the avatar? Can masks enhance the performer’s creativity? In order to help investigate the relationship between the artefacts and practices inherited from the commedia and the digital technology of the avatar, we will explore the world of theatrical masks, and in particular the characters of the commedia dell’arte.
We will examine the ‘code’ of commedia masks, with the objective of discovering ‘narrative gesture’. As with historical commedia dell’arte, where the characters communicated in many different dialects, we will weave different languages to create short multilingual plays. It won’t be necessary to understand every word in order to understand the story: the body language, gesture, geometry of the stage and emotions of the characters will be enough. During this workshop we will undertake training, improvisation exercises, writing sessions, and onstage trials.
Dr Giulia Filacanapa is the founder and director of the theatre company GenteGente !! The company promotes the creation and the dissemination of theatre masks. Giulia obtained a double PhD in History of Theatre (University of Florence) and Italian Study (University Paris 8) in 2015 (her dissertation concerned the renaissance of the commedia dell’arte in the 20th century in Italy and France). She is currently an Assistant Professor at University Paris 8, and with Dr. E. Magris has managed The Augmented Stage: actor's techniques, creative practices and training methods, a three-year project funded by the Labex Arts-H2H (2015-17). In 2016 she created the experimental research programme Masks and Avatars as part of this larger enquiry.
Boris Dymny is a director, actor, and writer. He trained in physical and mask theatre with Samovar, Mario Gonzalez and Carlo Boso. He founded Di Mini Teatro in 2012 to conduct research and practice with masks, and the company’s activities include training courses and social action theatre (for example working with traveller communities).
Léandre Ruiz is a performer with GenteGente!! directed by Dr. Giulia Filacanapa, with whom he has been working since the creation of the company. Since 2013 he has developed and participated in applied performing arts projects, mostly with teenagers in the medico-social field. Following a BA degree in theatre, he is currently studying for a Masters degree in the department of dance studies at Paris 8 University, focusing on pedagogy and movement analysis.
This workshop is part of the Mask and Avatar project, which includes a phase at Warwick, culminating in a mask/mocap Engagement Day with performances (G55) on Friday 23 March 2018.
To sign up, please email Kate Brennan (email@example.com). Please note that numbers are limited, and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.